BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Authorities in Berkeley County are adding additional patrols on waterways to make sure people stay safe over the holiday weekend.
A man recently drowned at Lake Moultrie after jumping into the water and never resurfaced. That led to the increase in patrols as more people will be on the water during the Independence Day holiday weekend.
“Unfortunately, we did have a drowning last weekend, and with this being a holiday weekend, we’re really gonna gave a lot of boats out on the water Doing a lot of safety checks,” said Chief Deputy Jeremy Baker with the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office. “Life vests are very important. We’re encouraging everyone to wear their life vest when on the water.”
You could be thrown from your boat and go under before anyone has a chance to throw you a life vest. So, officials say wearing your safety vest while on the water is safer.
Deputies will be out covering an area from the lakes all the way to the Wando River.
“They will be on the rivers and on the lake and we will have a lot of personnel out. We will also have people out at boat landings to help with the crowds and any incidents that happen at the boat landings,” he said.
The marine patrols and local fire departments have recently been able to assist a number of people who found themselves in trouble on the water.
“We’ve had some rescues this year; they’ve had rescues where people were wearing their life vests. We were close by and able to safely get people out of the water,” said Baker. “We ask everyone to pay attention, you know, look out for the other boaters and other watercraft. Let’s please pay attention to that and watch your wakes.”
Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis is planning to be part of the patrols this weekend as well.
“He’s working this weekend on the river, so it’s all hands on deck.”
The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol will have four boats on the water between now and Monday.