it was a deadly weekend out there on our South Carolina coast. According to Independent Mail, authorities have found the body of a missing fisherman, but are still on the hunt for two more people after separate boating accidents in South Carolina Lowcountry.
The state of South Carolina has an abundance of water resources with 8,000 miles of river, 460,000 acres of lakes, and 3,000 miles of coastline.
Our Charleston boating accident lawyers understand that many residents and visitors look forward to hitting the open water and escaping the worries of life. Unfortunately, there are only more worried to be had on the water. According to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, there were close to 100 recreational boating accidents recorded in the state of South Carolina in 2011. Among these accidents, there were close to 20 fatalities.
It's important that boaters are up to speed with their boating safety before heading out on the water. Making a list, and check it twice, to help to prevent any boating mishaps.
On the Water:
-Check the weather before you head out.
-Make sure you've freshened up on your boating skills. Consider enrolling in a boater's safety course. You can never be too good of a captain. Operator errors account for 70 percent of boating accidents -- take a course.
-Make sure you understand how to navigate the waterways. It's critical for you to understand the buoy system.
-Never operate a vessel under the influence of drugs of alcohol.
-Check the fire extinguisher on your vehicle. Make sure it's working correctly before every time you venture out.
-Be on the lookout for overhead wires and power lines. This is especially important while traveling through canals and smaller bodies of water.
-Make sure that there are enough floatation devices in your vessel for every passenger on board.
-Make sure that all young children are wearing a life vest at all times.
-Before heading out, make sure that all of the lights on your vessel are working properly. You want to make sure you're seen out there at all times.
-Make sure you always carry a cell phone with you when hitting the water.
-Remember that state law says that vessels may not be operated in excess of idle speed within 50 feet of an anchored vessel, wharf, pier, dock, or a person in the water. Vessels may not operate in excess of idle speed within 100 yards of the Atlantic coastline.
-Make sure you designate a skipper. You don't want to be the only one on the boat who knows what they're doing. Every captain can use a little help.
-If you're going to be in and around the water, proper boating safety means knowing how to swim. Local organizations such as the American Red Cross and others offer training for all ages and abilities- check to see what classes are offered in your area.
-Get your boat checked. The United States Power Squadrons offer a free Vessel Safety Check (VSC). These boating safety equipment checks are meant to be educational and helpful, and are a good follow-up to any water safety course.