Friday, May 28, 2010

Watch Out for Lightning at Lake Murray

Safety Reminder from Mel Coker...
Watch out for Spring and Summer Lightning Storms

Summer is the peak season for one of the nation's deadliest weather phenomena - lightning.  Lightning is a serious danger.  In a ranking study of cloud-to-ground flash densities by state for 1996-2004, South Carolina ranks #5.

CLICK HERE: Mel Coker's Lightning Safety eBook

Lightning Casualties In The U.S. By Location Or Activity - Top 4:
1.) Open areas (including sports fields); 2.) Under trees; 3.) Water related activities (swimming, boating, fishing); 4.) Golfing

Most Dangerous: Month: July; Time of Day: 2:00 - 6:00 p.m.; Day of week: Sundays (more people outdoors); Sex: Male (higher rates of outdoor exposure)

Top 5 Most Dangerous States (NOAA Storm Data 1999-2008)
Absolute (based on deaths): Florida, Colorado, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina. South Carolina is #8.

Per Capita (based on deaths): Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Montana, Florida. South Carolina is #9.

Of the victims who were killed by lightning in 2009:
  • 100% were outside
  • 82% were male
  • 71% were males between the ages of 10-50
  • 21% were doing yard work
Florida is the lightning capital of the United States. South Carolina is high on the list... BE CAREFUL when lightning is around! Remember, When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!
Safe(r) Places: home, permanent building, automobile
Unsafe places: near metal or water, under trees; on hills, near electrical/electronics equipment

NEW: Mel's South Carolina Lightning Awareness eBook

COOL Lightning Links:
National Weather Service - Lightning Safety & Awareness
Lightning Safety for You and Your Family
Personal Lightning Safety
StrikeStar - U.S. Lightning Activity Last 60 minutes
Michael Bath's Lightning Photography website
Lightning Strike Densities by State (SC is #5)

Used with permission by Michael Bath

Monday, May 17, 2010

Purple Martins at Lake Murray

Coming Soon: Purple Martins at Lake Murray!
North America's first officially designated Purple Martin sanctuary is at Lake Murray! It's also one of the largest roosting sites in America.

Late each afternoon from June through late August or early September, hundreds of thousands of purple martins make their way to Doolittle Island (also called either Lunch Island or Bomb Island) to nest for the night. The number has been placed in the range of 750,000 purple martins returning to roost each late afternoon. Is is believed that the Lake Murray purple martin roost is the largest in North America (and possibly the world).

CLICK HERE to visit the Lake Murray Purple Martins Website

Mel Coker

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Boating on Lake Murray

Boating Season has started on Lake Murray!

Warm weather brings an increased level of boating traffic on Lake Murray. Are you ready for fun? Is your boat equipped for safety? Do you know boating basics and laws for operating a boat safely?

Unfortunately, the boating season on Lake Murray has started tragically.  Last weekend, in TWO separate accidents on Lake Murray, FOUR boaters were killed.  These two accidents happened happened within 30 minutes and one mile of each other.  The accident investigation results have not been released as of this date.
Boating accident news report (#1)  |  Boating accident news report (#2)

Nationally, 72% of all fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of those who drowned, 90% of the victims were not wearing a life jacket. Over 80% of the boaters who drowned were using boats less than 26 feet in length. Consistent with previous years, 75% of reported fatalities occurred on boats where the operator had not received boating safety instruction.

In 2008, South Carolina has one of the highest boater registration rates in the USA.  In fact, South Carolina is #3 in the South (behind only Florida and Texas).   In 2008, South Carolina had 3.4% of all boat registations in the United States.  Unfortunately, South Carolina also had 4.1% of boating accident deaths (#6 in the USA).   Nationally, the #1 contributing factor to boating accident deaths is excessive alcohol consumption.
Links for more South Carolina Boating information:
The Handbook of South Carolina Boating Laws and Responsibilities
South Carolina Online Boating Safety Course and Exam
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Boating in South Carolina
Check a Watercraft/Motor Status

Check the weather:
Lake Murray Weather Station
Mel Coker's Columbia Weather Page

Boating Safety:
Lake Murray Power Squadron Boat Smart Course
National Safe Boating Council
Safe Boating Campaign
Boating Safety - U.S. Coast Guard
FloatPlan Central
Boating Accident Statistics

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Breakfast on the Lake

Enjoy Breakfast On The Lake At Buffalo Creek Marina!
We headed out this morning for breakfast on Lake Murray.  We had a delicious all-you-can-eat breakfast at Buffalo Creek Grill.  The food was great: grits, bacon, eggs, sausage, hash browns, biscuits and more.

The breakfast buffet is available on Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.  The Grill is open everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Check the website for operating hours.

Click for BUFFALO CREEK MARINA website

Buffalo Creek Grill on Urbanspoon

Mel Coker
Lake Murray's Realtor
RE/MAX Metro Associates
Mel's Lake Murray Website
Call (803) 388-8011