HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – Authorities have filed charges against a boat operator following a crash along the Intracoastal Waterway.
The crash happened around 7 p.m. Tuesday in the area of 3300 Waccamaw Boulevard.
RELATED COVERAGE | Boat crashes into tree along Intracoastal Waterway; 1 taken to hospital
“Officers determined the driver of the boat lost control of the vessel and hit a tree,” said Kaley Lawrimore, spokesperson for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
Lawrimore added the boat operator was charged with negligent operation.
Two people were on the boat at the time of the crash.
Dylan Lane said he and his friends saw the crash Tuesday evening. He said the boat was just inches away from hitting him and his friends.
“I mean it was less than a second away,” Lane said. “One second, one move, one thing that didn’t go exactly how it went, not only would our boat have gotten hit, it would’ve went on top of us.”
Lane and his friend Arbri Kuqo said they were riding down the Intracoastal Waterway when a boat sped past them.
Lane said the driver turned the steering wheel, lost control and rammed into a wooded area.
Kuqo was in the tube on the back of Lane’s boat.
“I would have saw all their lives got taken, if it wasn’t mine. It was just an eye-opening experience. It was crazy,” he said.
According to authorities, one was taken to the hospital with a leg injury, while the other signed a medical waiver and was not transported.
“It’s the worst thing I’ve ever seen as far as an injury,” Lane said.
Lance Corporal Garret Hering with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources explained the likelihood of losing control of a boat depends on speed and weather.
“The speed and momentum plays a lot,” Hering said. “There’s no brakes on a boat. There’s a lot of momentum that comes into play so you can’t stop on a dime.”
Hering said a boat driving course isn’t required in South Carolina, but he does recommend it.