BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office is warning those planning on attending the annual Coonfest Party this Saturday that deputies will be patrolling the water in "full force."
Sheriff Wayne DeWitt said deputies will be checking boats in the area of Raccoon Island for required safety equipment, underage drinking, and boating under the influence.
DeWitt also said a noise ordinance in the Pinopolis Locks will be enforced.
Last year, deputies made several arrests and issued many citations, mostly alcohol-related. DeWitt said they're expecting a record crowd on the island this year.
Along with the sheriff's office, the Department of Natural Resources, Santee Cooper Law Enforcement, Berkeley County Rescue Squad and Charleston County Sheriff's Office will be contributing to patrols.
DeWitt says boaters can expect stronger-than-normal currents in the diversion canal and Cooper River due to the recent amount of rainfall.
As several people have already died tragically on the water this year, DeWitt stressed for boaters to "have a plan" for the festivities.