Crackdown on criminal activity on Edisto River

Authorities cracking down on Edisto River activity

COLLETON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Authorities in Colleton and Dorchester County Tuesday announced they are cracking down on criminal activity by people who float down the Edisto River.

Stepped up patrols will begin this weekend.

The crackdown comes after several problems and complaints from last Summer.

"Littering, underage drinking, public drunk, disorderly conduct," said Colleton County Sheriff Andy Strickland.

Deputies and officers from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources put on a display to show they won't put up with any floaters who don't follow the rules.

They plan to have lots of boats patrolling the river, and a plane to look for trouble from the sky.

"We want to make sure we can eliminate or keep criminal activity at a minimum," Strickland said.

Deputies said the stepped up enforcement stemmed in part after complaints from people who live on the Edisto.

"The cursing, the littering, you can't take your own child down to the edge of your own property. You're dealing with broken bottles," said Colleton County Sheriff's Major Paul Haase.

There may yet be some more issues.

The floaters themselves may be facing some danger.

"The river level is actually up and it's very, very swift opposed to last year. The river levels were extremely low," Strickland warned.

That's why a lot of the focus will be on teens who may try to drink on the river.

That's where the organization Colleton KEYS, which stands for Keeping Every Youth Safe gets involved.

"They don't have the best decision making skills. When you add alcohol to the mix, it makes it even worse, it's a very dangerous situation," said Amanda Darden, KEYS coordinator.

Deputies and DNR officers are hoping anyone who hits the water this weekend will get the message, not to mess up.

Authorities say the increased patrols on the Edisto River will continue throughout the Summer.

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