Boating Safety!

It’s that time of the year again and the Anderson County Fire Department wants to make sure you have a fun but safe time also! Here are a few things to remember before heading to the lake:

Before you Leave:

  • Check the weather.
  • Let someone know where you are going.
  • Gather all lifesaving devices. Make sure they are in good serviceable condition and are the correct size for all passengers (especially children).
  • Check the fuel and the battery charge.
  • Make sure lights are in good working condition on the boat and trailer.
  • Make sure fire extinguisher is readily accessible and in good serviceable condition.
  • Put the plug in.
  • Connect trailer safety chains to tow vehicle.
  • Carry a cell phone if possible.

On the Water:

  • Know the aids to navigation and buoy system in your areas.
  • Don’t operate the boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • When operating sailboats be aware of overhead power lines and wires.
  • If someone falls overboard, throw something that will float (Personal Floating Device (PFD), raft or cooler).
  • All boats approaching from the right have the right of way.
  • Always anchor from the bow of the boat and pull the anchor before leaving.
  • If boat capsizes, stay with the boat.
  • If caught in a storm, head into the wind, put on PFD’s and keep passengers low in the boat.
  • Cold water boaters such as duck hunters, fishermen, sailors beware! Cold water kills.

Equipment:

Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)
All boats must have a US Coast Guard approved wearable type PFD for each person on board or being towed. Each PFD must be in good condition, readily available and the proper size for the intended wearer. In addition, boats 16 feet in length or longer must carry a Type IV throwable device. In South Carolina, any person under twelve years of age must wear a US Coast Guard approved Type I, II, III, or V PFD when on board a class “A” (less than 16 ft. long) boat.

Fire Extinguisher
One Coast Guard approved hand-held portable fire extinguisher must be aboard each boat less than 26 ft. if the boat is carrying passengers for hire or if the construction permits the entrapment of flammable vapors or if it has a permanently installed gas tank, including gas tanks that use any type of fastener that would hamper the immediate removal of the tank from the boat. Additional extinguishers are required in boats larger than 26 ft. Contact the SCDNR for complete regulations.

Navigation Lights
Navigation Lights must be on between official sunset and sunrise.

Flares
Flares are required for vessels in coastal waters.

Bells, Whistle
All boats less than 39.4 feet must carry an efficient sound producing device. Every vessel from 39.4 to 65.6 feet must carry a whistle and a bell.

 

To see a full list of South Carolina Boating Laws please visit www.dnr.sc.gov for more information.