DNR holds safety inspections

By: Nikki Vandenabeele

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Labor Day weekend is considered the last blast of summer and one of the busiest weekends of the year on state waters.

Dozens of boaters lined up around the Lowcountry to take part in the DNR's courtesy boat inspections. More than five boat landings across the region were set up with DNR officers to help captains ensure their boat was ready for the water.

"We're telling you, hey we found this that you'd be in violation on the water doing this activity. You can go to Wal-Mart or wherever you need to go to pick up this piece of safety equipment," said Sgt. Lee Ellis, from DNR.

Not only are the inspections saving boaters money by catching possible violations before they happen but also saving them time on the water. "It makes it nice because when the game warden stops you they've already checked your boat. They know you've got everything, just as long as you don't add anybody else," said boat owner, John Kilcoyne.

DNR has been doing courtesy boat inspections across the state for more than five years. During the courtesy boat inspection DNR officers are checking for the right safety equipment, including your fire extinguisher, life jacket and registration. They also have a reward program for kids with the right size life jacket.

The Zippit program, which officers use to encourage kids to wear their life jacket, rewards kids with a t-shirt and a coupon for a free Wendy's frosty."We want to encourage people to boat. Boating is a great sport here just boat responsibly," said Capt. Chisolm Frampton, from DNR.