4th of July weekend the most dangerous for boaters

4th of July weekend the most dangerous for boaters

MT. PLEASANT, SC - The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is conducting boating inspections throughout the state for the 4th of July weekend.

DNR said this holiday weekend is the most popular time to go boating, and it's also one of the most dangerous.

"This is when we see the most boating accidents," Angus McBride, a Sergeant for DNR said. "This is when we see the most congestion on the water, so being vigilant on these weekends and offering these courtesy inspections and trying to interface with the public, hopefully will save a few lives."

The inspectors are not writing tickets and said the inspections are just to make sure everyone is safe.

"We'll be glad to go through what they have, all their safety equipment, to check to make sure that what they have is legal and up to date, and if we find any deficiencies, we annotate it for them," McBride said. "There's no tickets, no warning written here, this is just for the public.

While inspectors are looking for everything from life jackets to fire extinguishers, the most common mistake happens out on the water.

"People are forgetting to pay attention to everything going on around them," McBride said. "You have to maintain that situational awareness when you're operating your boat."

McBride also said that if you are going out to see the fireworks it's important to appoint a designated captain to not drink and to not rush back to shore if you don't have to.

"Everybody leaving at one time causes a terrible traffic jam," McBride said. "If you can imagine I-26 at 5 o'clock in the afternoon, that's what some of these areas in the waterways, some of these choke points are going to look like."

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