Johns Island community concerned for safety after boat rips through dock

Published: May. 10, 2019 at 7:46 PM EDT
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JOHNS ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - A Johns Island couple is facing thousands of dollars in repairs after a boat ripped through their dock and destroyed one section.

The crash happened on Wednesday at about 9:00 p.m. The dock is located at a private residence off of Chisolm Street on Johns Island.

Several people living near the house along the Stono River are now voicing concern about the safety risks some boats pose to the community.

“I think sometimes, folks go too fast," resident Barbara Leonard said. "They don’t take their time.”

Since Leonard moved close to the Stono River a few years ago, she’s noticed the river gets a lot of traffic. Lining that river is a quiet neighborhood on Gift Boulevard, where Leonard lives.

“You really are hoping for some respect from people that are using the area, the river," Leonard said.

But there was no respect for the dock off of Chisolm Street on Wednesday night.

A boat drove into the dock, didn’t stop and left behind damage that the owners estimate to be about $10,000.

“That is very dramatic," Leonard said as she saw the damage for the first time.

It’s especially dramatic for this small, usually quiet community on Johns Island.

News of the destruction has neighbors questioning the safety of their docks.

“They are places where you can go out and be safe," Leonard said. "To see something like this is really quite shocking.”

Leonard thinks this accident will spark action in the neighborhood. She’s confident they will at least have a meeting to talk about how to increase safety out on the water near their houses.

“We’re going to be more diligent in terms of posting signs, in terms of reporting some of these boats, getting some attention paid to this recklessness," Leonard said.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is still investigating this incident.

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