New signs to protect port

By Tracey Amick, Live 5 News

(WCSC) CHARLESTON SC - Sheriff Al Cannon says when boats get too close to the port, its up to marine patrols from Project Seahawk to check them out, using valuable time and money to make sure no threat is on board. And most of the time it's just a boater who doesn't know better. So now new signs are going up- warning boaters to stay away.

The signs will be placed at about 100 locations throughout Charleston County at ports on the waterfront.

"It is to inform people and get them to cooperate and to voluntarily stay back from the area", Cannon said.

These signs will also make it easier to ticket the offenders and enforce the fines.

"It could cost up to 440 dollars based on the fees", Cannon said.

It may seem like a stiff penalty for accidental intruders, but when you consider what's at risk-it makes sense.

"The estimates for what would happen to the economy to the state of South Carolina if something were to happen to our Port of Charleston would exceed millions of dollars", Cannon said.

Not to mention the lives that could be lost if terrorists or their weapons got through. It's a way to keep the innocent boats away, so law enforcement can deal with the rest.

The signs will be in place by January 1st, and will cost about 12 thousand dollars.