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

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