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Home  |  News  |  Law Enforcement and Safety Consortium strives to increase awareness of the dangers that can be associated with boating

Law Enforcement and Safety Consortium strives to increase awareness of the dangers that can be associated with boating
Thursday, June 30, 2011

RICHLAND COUNTY, SC - During a press conference today held on Lake Murray, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts, Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Colonel Alvin Taylor and the Safety Consortium sponsored by the Lake Murray Association discussed the dangers that can be connected with boating on our lakes without proper planning ahead. With Fourth of July this weekend, the partners discussed how important it is to be safe on the water.

The partnership between the law enforcement agencies and the Safety Consortium is nothing new; nor is the danger connected with boating under the influence. The Sheriff’s Departments, DNR and the Safety Consortium have been working together for years on making our waterways safer and need your help.

The press conference was an opportunity for citizens to hear the dangers that can be connected with boating and not wearing personal flotation devices, not being aware of the rules of the road for boating and not planning properly.

Sheriff Leon Lott stated that every year we lose a life on our waterways by someone drinking in excess and driving a boat. The Sheriff added that we can prevent this by simply not drinking and driving a boat. Sheriff Leon Lott stated that it takes every boater taking personal responsibility, and doing the right thing. The Sheriff added that the law enforcement partnerships and collaboration with the Safety Consortium are extremely important to the safety of our citizens and it is up to our citizens to make the right decisions.

“There are approximately 500, 000 boats registered in the state of South Carolina and 50,000 of these specifically on Lake Murray,” said Colonel Alvin Taylor, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. “Fourth of July is a celebration traditionand we would like everyone to enjoy themselves this holiday season, but also to be safe. Our goal is to have no boating fatalities or injuries this year. With there being no brakes on a boat, speed limits or lines on the water the risk is as great or greater than in a car for an accident to occur. So be safe this summer.”

Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster stated that his Department is glad to participate in this vital mission to help people enjoy their holiday. The Sheriff added that safety on the water should be practiced everyday and not just on the holidays.

The press conference stressed the importance of all citizens taking the time and effort toward making our waterways safer. All of the partners involved in enforcing the laws on the lake and in creating greater awareness to safety on our waterways are asking that everyone do their part toward boating safety and are providing just a few simple tips that can make the difference between life and death:

  • Personal flotation devices – they must fit correctly, be used for the intended purposes and everyone must have one

  • When it comes to children, personal flotation devices should always be worn near any body of water

  • Boating safety checklist should always be followed when operating a water craft which includes navigational lights, first aid kit, fire extinguishers and audible devices

  • No operation of water craft while under the influence of alcohol – if you are going to consume alcohol while boating please use a designated Skipper and you must be over the age of 21

  • Please note that FREE courtesy boat safety inspections will be conducted on Saturday from 8 AM to 10 AM at the Lake Murray Dam and also at Billy Dreher Island.

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