Deputies plan patrol on the water this weekend for Coonfest

File Photo (WCIV)

BERKELEY, S.C. (WCIV) -- Berkeley County Sheriff Wayne DeWitt says he's concerned about boating safety and will have deputies out on the water this weekend in full force. Officials will the BCSO said a record crowd is expected this year at the annual Coonfest Party which is located on Racoon Island near Bonneau Beach.According to a release form the department, deputies will be checking boats for required safety equipment, underage drinking and Boating under the Influence. The noise ordinance, in the Pinopolis Locks, will also be enforced. {}Officials said last year several arrests were made and citations issued, most were alcohol related. BCSO will team up with the Department of Natural Resources, Santee Cooper Law Enforcement, Berkeley County Rescue Squad and the Charleston County Sheriff's Office. {}The release says boaters should expect stronger than normal currents in the Diversion canal and Cooper River due to the recent amount of rainfall. {}"Have a plan," DeWitt said. "The weather on the lakes can change rapidly. We have had several tragic deaths on the water ways this year.{} We are working to make this a safe and enjoyable summer for everyone."

It's the fifth anniversary of Coonfest this weekend, an all-day music festival on Lake MoultrieThousands of boaters are expected to turn up for live music, food, and fun for the whole family.Musician Eddie Bush is one of the featured performers scheduled to appear.

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