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Pawleys Island: Danger – Keep off double entendres

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

Some people just can’t keep their hands off Pawleys Island’s groins.

Well, not the groins themselves, but the signs attached to them.

“People take those signs,” Mayor Bill Otis said. “We think because they have the word ‘groin’ on them.”

So the town has replaced signs that used to read “Danger Keep Off Groin” with a less anatomical message: “Danger Keep Off.”

There are 24 rock and concrete groins on Pawleys Island, starting just south of Pawleys Pier and running to the end of the island. They are built perpendicular to the beach in order to trap sand that moves in the current parallel to the shore.

“People do get hurt on the groins,” Otis said. “We’re putting the public on notice.”

Not that the town actually owns the groins, although it participated in a state-sponsored project to rebuild them as part of a beach nourishment project in 1999. “We’re not saying we do or we don’t,” Otis said, adding that there has never been a suit stemming from what could be called a groin injury.

Along with the new, and hopefully less titillating, signs, the town has added brass numbers to the posts. That will allow people to use the groins as reference points during emergencies. “They’re mile posts, they really are,” Otis said.

Midway Fire and Rescue has a list of the numbered groins and the corresponding street addresses for the house closest to the north side of each one.

There are no plans to extend the numbering system beyond the groin field, Otis said.

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