Police step up patrols on water for July 4 holiday

Police step up patrols on water

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - If you are on a boat, you better behave. That was the warning from local police agencies that stepped up patrols on the water for July 4.

Sgt. Andy Fitch and Deputy Mark Scheffler are members of the Charleston County Sheriff's Marine Patrol.

They go looking for boaters who break the law.

"Boating under the influence and people not coming out prepared," Fitch explained.

Even though the seas were choppy, people were chomping at the bit to get out on the water.

The deputies made some spot checks to make sure there are life jackets and other safety devices on boats.

"We're not trying to put anybody on the spot," Fitch told the captain.

That boat checked out fine.

A second boat was stopped and Fitch saw a can of beer.

He gave the crew some advice.

"Make sure you keep a designated driver. You know there's plenty of us out here," he told the captain.

"If they're not intoxicated I'll remind them that there's a lot of us out here, and that's exactly what we're looking for and just try to get their attention," said Fitch.

People partying on Morris Island got lots of attention.

It's one of the biggest party spots on July 4.

Every now and then you'll have issues with people getting kind of on top of each other and people getting upset because they're getting too close to their boat or something like that," Fitch said.

While we were out, there were no issues on the water, but the deputies know there's plenty of summer left.

"When you have a lot more people on the water, there's more potential," Fitch warned. "We don't want to take people to jail. We just want to make sure everybody's safe. But if we have to take them to jail to do that, we will do it."

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