Department of Natural Resources reinforces boat safety - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Department of Natural Resources reinforces boat safety

While you may think it is a safe way to spend the holiday, officers with the Department of Natural Resources explain how you may be at risk while out on the water. (Source: Stephanie Robusto). While you may think it is a safe way to spend the holiday, officers with the Department of Natural Resources explain how you may be at risk while out on the water. (Source: Stephanie Robusto).

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - On days like Memorial Day, you will see dozens of boats floating down the Intracoastal Waterway. While you may think it is a safe way to spend the holiday, officers with the Department of Natural Resources explain how you may be at risk while out on the water.

Most boating accidents the DNR responds to involve people renting the watercraft with little experience of driving a boat. There are also small mistakes every boat owner could be making.

One mistake includes not wearing your life-jacket. While you need them in the boat, it isn't required for an adult to wear one while on board. DNR urges you to reconsider that practice.

"It's like having your seat-belt on. Not having your seat-belt on while you're parked, that's understandable but have it on while moving from place to place," explained Sgt. Nate Hutson with the Department of Natural Resources. On Monday, DNR conducted courtesy boat inspections to inform people what equipment they may be missing before they hit the water, possibly preventing that boater from getting a ticket and a hefty fine.

In addition, a boating safety action force is out patrolling busy areas. This is to make sure you have the right number of life jackets among other emergency supplies on your boat. Lack of equipment could cost you hundreds of dollars in fines. If an officer believes you are boating under the influence, you could face a field sobriety test and a breathalyzer. "The message is to get them home safe to get to school and work tomorrow, and not worry about a missing family member or someone in jail," Sgt. Hutson said.

Another concern officers have is your ability to drive once you get back into land. DNR urges you to bring a Designated Drive; both for your time on the boat, and for once you get back into your car to drive home.

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