SCDNR will offer free boat inspections
BY SHARRON HALEY
MANNING – Memorial Day kicks off a busy season of recreational activities on Lake Marion as well as all of South Carolina’s lakes and waterways.
Each year, during and around Memorial Day weekend, officers from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources conduct courtesy boat inspections at public boat landings across the state to ensure the safety of boats and people. people on these boats.
From 10 a.m. to noon on Remembrance Day, MNR officers will conduct courtesy boat inspections at Alex Harvin III Landing off the US 260 south of Manning.
“Courtesy boat inspections have a dual purpose,” said Sgt. SCDNR. Cary Robinson. “First, inspections can save lives by ensuring that necessary safety equipment is on boats. And second, inspections can save boaters money since courtesy checks are free and can prevent possible equipment security breaches. “
SCDNR officers will perform a quick but thorough inspection of your boat to make sure you have all the required safety equipment and the correct boat and engine registration for your craft before setting out on the lake. These courtesy inspections are completely voluntary and are not necessary before launching your boat.
Boaters who participate in the free courtesy inspection and do not comply with safety rules or registration requirements will not receive a ticket during the free inspections. Boaters who do not comply will have the opportunity to correct the problem before launching their boat. Officers will also answer any boating questions and offer boating tips on how to stay safe on the water.
Robinson also urged boaters to exercise caution and not drink when operating a boat.
“Alcohol affects each person differently,” Robinson added. “Please do not drink and operate your boat or watercraft.”
SCDNR offers a checklist to review before you leave home and another checklist to review before launch.
Make sure your boat or watercraft is equipped with an ignition safety switch or engine shutdown device. This device is designed to stop the engine if the operator falls or is thrown into the water. A lanyard connects the safety switch to the operator’s wrist or to the personal flotation device. When the lanyard is removed from the switch, the engine stops. In South Carolina, it is illegal to operate a boat or personal watercraft without a fully operational self-encircling device or cord-type ignition safety switch.
Before leaving the house:
– Download a DNR flotation plan, fill it out and make sure to leave the plans with a responsible person.
– Always check the weather.
– Let someone know where you are going.
– Gather all rescue devices and make sure they are all in good working order and of the correct size for all passengers, including children.
– Check the fuel and the battery charge.
– Make sure all lights are in good working order on both the boat and the boat trailer.
– Make sure that a fire extinguisher is easily accessible and in good working order.
– Connect the plug.
– Connect the safety chains of the trailer to the towing vehicle.
– Take a cell phone if possible.
Before setting off on the water:
– Know the navigation aids and the buoy system in your areas.
– Do not operate the boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
– When using sailboats, pay attention to overhead power lines and cables.
– If someone falls overboard, throw something that will float (for example, a personal floating device, life jacket, raft or cooler).
– All boats coming from the right have priority.
– Always anchor at the bow of the boat and pull the anchor before setting off.
– If your boat capsizes, stay with the boat.
– If you get caught in a storm, head into the wind, put on your personal floaters, and keep passengers low in the boat.
– Cold water boaters such as duck hunters, fishermen, sailors should beware that “cold water kills!”
– Call SCDNR Operation Game Thief at 1-800-922-5431 to report boating, fishing or hunting violations.