Law agencies step up patrols for Edisto Float events - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Law agencies step up patrols for Edisto Float events

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A big holiday weekend usually means a big turnout at "Edisto Float" gatherings. The massive floating events have become a concern on a stretch of the Edisto River that runs through Dorchester and Colleton counties.

Thousands take to the Edisto River making memories and sometimes making trouble.

"They usually drink along the way and by the time they get to the boat landing they are pretty lit up and that's when all the fights and the trouble starts," Randal Ferguson said.

Ferguson has owned the bait and tackle store near the float area since 2002. He has seen the events grow in popularity and violence.

"We had a shooting just a couple of years ago where we had to put pressure on a wound and get an ambulance to come pick a guy up," Ferguson said.

"It got so violent that they had to bring in a lot of police officers," he continued.

Ferguson is happy to see the extra patrols because the problems have come to his front door.

"Anybody who gets hurt... they seem like they come here for help," he said.

"People have drowned. People have been cut up with beer bottles. People have been hit in the head with sticks and put in the hospital and everything you can think of has happened down there," he continued.

"I pulled a man off who was beating a woman up in my parking lot. When I was dealing with him and wrestling with him, she hit me in the back of the head with a baseball bat... split my head wide open," Ferguson said.

We attempted to speak with the few "floaters" in the area Friday afternoon, they declined to comment.

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