NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - For a couple hours Sunday morning, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources officers provided free boat safety inspections to anyone at the boat landing off Highways 17 and Highway 22.
It's just one of the many locations all over the state, where DNR is offering the free service this Labor Day weekend.
In each inspection, DNR looks for several things. They make sure the boat has enough life jackets for each passenger, check the fire extinguisher, and make sure the boat has some kind of whistle, bell, or other sound making device.
Each item on the checklist is to make sure the boat won't have any problems on the water.
"It opened my eyes to things that they look for, things that I need, and it just makes me feel safer on the water to know that I'm in compliance with law enforcement," said Grady Elliott, a boater from Effingham.
"They learn a lot," explained Sergeant Nate Hutson of SCDNR. "We try to educate them a lot about what they've got to have so when they do hit the water, when they see us, they are prepared for what we're going to look for."
On top of the free boat safety inspections, DNR will be on the water throughout the three day weekend. They will look to make sure all the waterways are safe and they will pull over any boater who is being unsafe or may be unfit to drive.
"The boater could have been negligent and we're going to stop and talk to you and pull you over," Hutson said.
Hutson said one thing officers will be extra alert for is people boating under the influence. So far this summer DNR has pulled over more than 25 people in the coastal region of the state. Hutson added that more than half were eventually arrested for DUIs.