COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WCIV) -- The state Department of Natural Resources is offering courtesy boat safety inspections during the Labor Day weekend at boat landings across South Carolina.
The department announced that boating and enforcement officers will perform quick inspections for required safety equipment and proper boat and motor registration. Boaters won't get a ticket if they are not in compliance, but they will be given a chance to correct the problem before launching a boat.
"Year to date we have 13 fatalities on the water and 80 reportable boating accidents. What we are trying to do is prevent those from happening," said Sgt. Angus MacBride with the Department of Natural Resources.
MacBride says Labor Day weekend draws one of the biggest boating crowds of the year.
"We have over 450,000 registered vessels in the state of South Carolina and a large percentage of those will be out in the water," said MacBride.
MacBride says with an increase of boaters out in the water, there will also be an increase in DNR officers on patrol.
"No one is on vacation. No one has the weekend off. Everyone is on patrol, we are doing heightened patrols, we are doing checkpoints for safety, and we're looking for those operators that are operating in a reckless manner," said MacBride.
MacBride says if you are stopped, you could very well get a citation, but "boating under the influence will send you straight to jail," said MacBride.
It's a warning from DNR to every boater on the water, to let safety guide their fun.
The first inspections were scheduled for Friday at Galivants Ferry Landing in Marion County.
There will be inspections on Saturday at boat landings in 11 other counties. They continue on Sunday with inspections in six counties statewide.
Courtesy safety inspections will be held at the following locations and times:
* August 29
Galivants Ferry Landing - Little Pee Dee - 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. - Marion Co.
* August 30
Alljoy Landing - May River - 10 a.m. to 12 noon - Beaufort Co.
Billy Dreher Island - Lake Murray - 10 a.m. to 12 noon - Newberry Co.
Bushy Park Salt - Cooper River - 10 a.m. to 12 noon - Berkeley Co.
Buster Boyd Landing - Lake Wylie - 10 a.m. to 12 noon - York Co.
Clearwater Cove Landing - Lake Wateree - 10 a.m. to 12 noon - Kershaw Co.
Conway Marina Landing - Waccamaw River - 10 a.m. to 12 noon - Horry Co.
Easterling Landing - Lake Robinson - 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Darlington Co.
Lake Murray Dam - Lake Murray - 10 a.m. to 12 noon - Lexington Co.
Leeds Avenue Landing (County Farm) - Ashley River - 10 a.m. to 12 noon - Charleston Co.
Paradise Island Boat Landing - Wando River - 10 a.m. to 12 noon - Charleston Co.
Riverfork Public Landing - Lake Greenwood - 10 a.m. to 12 noon - Greenwood Co.
South Cove Park - Lake Keowee - 10 a.m. to 12 noon - Oconee Co.
* August 31
Alex Harvin - Lake Marion - 12 noon to 2 p.m. - Clarendon Co.
Browns Ferry Landing - Black River - 10 a.m. to 12 noon - Georgetown Co.
Cross Island Landing - Broad River - 10 a.m. to 12 noon - Beaufort Co.
Herbert H. Jessen Landing - Ashley River - 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. - Dorchester Co.
Main Ramp - Lake Bowen - 10 a.m. to 12 noon - Spartanburg Co.
Remley's Point Boat Landing - Wando River - 10 a.m. to 12 noon - Charleston Co.
Wapoo Cut Landing - South of Chas. Harbor on ICW - 10 a.m. to 12 noon - Charleston Co.
More information is available on the Department of Natural Resources website.?