CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Public boat ramps and landings have reopened across the state as of 12 o’clock Friday as part of the latest executive order from Governor Henry McMaster.
The move is seen as a first step towards reopening South Carolina. Many believe it’s a good idea and were taking advantage of the open waters Friday ahead of what is expected to be a busy weekend.
“Yeah, I think it was a good call,” says boater Rhett Warren. “There’s nothing more socially distant that I can think of other than being out on a boat, it’s good for everybody, it’s good for the kids.”
“And these people that already went up, we all was waiting on a 12 o’clock shot,” says boater Albert Deacon. “But I came this morning at 11 just to check and I saw a few cars and I said thank you lord.”
Albert Deacon says opening the boat landings will bring a much needed boost for people looking to get out of the house.
“It means a whole lot to all of us, the fisherman, the guys who have people coming from out of town,” says Nelson. “There’s some that can’t get here. We are so proud for McMaster to open up these landings.”
Charleston City Police Chief Luther Reynolds says local enforcement agencies will be actively making sure social distancing is being still being practiced.
“We support that,” says Chief Reynolds. “We’re going to have a presence with the county sheriffs, with Mount Pleasant, with North Charleston, the city, police and fire. We’re going to have boats out all over the place”
Chief Reynolds says it’s crucial to continue following Coronavirus guidelines while on the water.
“Adhere to these social distancing expectations and requirements,” says Reynolds. “Do not ruin a good thing, this is a good thing ramps are being opened back up.”
Meanwhile back on the waters, the boaters say this is a sign of hope.
“I mean the experts are going to tell us when but I think it’s a step closer to where we all want to be,” says Warren. “I still think we have a long way to go.”
Law enforcement agencies across the Lowcountry including the Mount Pleasant Police Department say they will be increasing water patrols especially over the weekend to make sure Coronavirus guidelines are continuing to be followed.