Holiday Boating Patrol in Full Force

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Columbia, S.C. (WOLO)– Many people are spending July 4th outside and one of the more popular spots is Lake Murray.
Officers of many different agencies have stepped up patrols ensuring the waterways are safe.
Out on the water, everyone is looking to have a lot of fun on the long holiday weekend, but the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources says the rules of the road apply out on the lake, and you can’t drive impaired.

“We’ll a lot of time you’ll see a boater being reckless, driving reckless. He may be splashing another boat on a jet ski, he may not be able to drive his boat in a straight line,” Steven Johnson said, a DNR officer.

July 4 is a day everyone else gets to enjoy the day off and get out on the water, but the DNR does not get to sit back and relax. It’s one of the busiest days on the lake and the DNR worries some people don’t know the rules of the waves.

“With boating traffic, you want to make sure… a lot of people don’t know who has the right away, so if you’re in doubt– slow down,” Johnson said.

The DNR also recommends having a phone with a weather app on you to make sure you don’t get caught in a storm while out on the water.

“Look at those phones. Listen, if you hear thunder it’s time to get off the water. If you see a dark cloud coming, it’s time to get off the water,” Johnson said.

Johnson also stressed the importance of having the navigation and 360-lights on at official sunset, which is 8:38 on Independence day. You must have those on until official sunrise.

“Jet skis have to be in at sunset. They cannot be in operation after sunset. You cannot mount lights on jetskis. Can’t waterski after sunset, can’t kneeboard, or anything like that,” Johnson said.

If the DNR gives you a ticket, it could be for 100-dollars or more! So make sure you have all your life jackets, a throwable floatation device, a fire extinguisher and a sound device. And if you don’t think you could drive a car, don’t drive a boat.

“We want to make sure everybody comes out and has a great time, goes home safe at night. That is our number one goal,” Johnson said.

Categories: Lexington, Local News, News