The Department of Health and Environmental Control told the Count on 2 Investigators that the agency is not responsible. The Town of Mount Pleasant said the same thing when questioned about what could have been a disaster when the dock collapsed at a Shem Creek restaurant Saturday night.
About 20 people fell into the creek when that dock gave way behind The Wreck restaurant. The group was posing for a picture while attending a birthday party at the time of the collapse. Three of those who fell went to the hospital with minor injuries.
“It certainly could have been a lot worse,” said Mount Pleasant Town Councilman Joe Bustos. “I have made calls to make sure we were not negligent in some way and we were not.”
The town’s planning department said it does not currently have a program that includes regular inspections of the docks within town limits.
DHEC’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) is the agency that issues permits for private docks to be built, but a DHEC spokeswoman says, that is where its oversight ends.
“DHEC isn’t responsible for structural integrity inspections of docks,” said Laura Renwick.
Bustos thinks DHEC may need to consider a regular inspection of private docks where the public is invited in.
“Those restaurants are inspected and those grades put in the window grading the physical facility and cooking methods, and it would seem to me that agency also has responsibility to look at [the docks],” said Bustos.