Sunday, May 22, 2005
Boating Accidents Down in South Carolina
Posted on Sun, May. 22, 2005 OUTDOORS Boating-accident fatalities down in South Carolina By PAT ROBERTSON Columnist OUR 2-YEAR-OLD granddaughter, Madeline, proudly wore her new “boat coat” last fall on her first boat ride. It’s a pity more adults don’t follow her lead. Drowning is the No. 1 cause of death in recreational boating accidents nationwide. In 2003, 86 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets. In 2003 in South Carolina, 33 people died in boating accidents. In 2004 the number dropped to 13. This year five have died. The decline, according to Col. Alvin Taylor, deputy director for law enforcement with the Department of Natural Resources, is attributed to increased boating safety awareness. There will be a hard push hard again this year; DNR officers will conduct boating safety inspections at public boat landings. The DNR will increase boating law enforcement efforts during Memorial Day weekend with “saturation patrols” on lakes, rivers, reservoirs and coastal waters. Everyone on board must have a wearable personal flotation device that fits properly and is serviceable without tears or other damage that could lessen its effectiveness in the water.You can obtain a copy of South Carolina's boating regulations by calling (803) 734-3995 or visiting the DNR Web site, www.dnr.state.sc.us/etc/boating.html. Kids don’t count. According to a survey conducted by The Progressive Group of Insurances Companies, a leading boat insurer, 22 percent of boat owners say it was harder to name their boat than their pet or child. Fourteen percent named their boat after their “significant other,” and 9 percent named their boat after their child. Also, 7 percent of boaters who spend less than an hour with their kids each week spend more than five hours with their boat.