Officials urge boaters to be smart, safe on waters over holiday weekend

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina law enforcement officials are urging boaters to be careful on the state's waterways during the Memorial Day weekend.

The U.S. Coast Guard, the state Department of Natural Resources and local law enforcement agencies are staging a National Safe Boating Week event in Charleston on Thursday.

The event in Brittlebank Park on the Ashley River features boating safety presentations as well as free vessel inspections and question-and-answer sessions about boating safety.

There have been 15 boating fatalities in South Carolina already this year, compared to 11 in all of 2009. The Memorial Day weekend is generally the first busy boating weekend of the year.

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