Large increase in drownings reported so far this year, Berkeley County officials urge safety

Berkeley County News

BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – There has been a significant increase in the number of drownings across Berkeley County this year.

Zero drownings were reported in Berkeley County in all of 2019; we’re close to half a dozen so far in 2020.

The most recent drowning took place over weekend on Lake Moultrie.

“An unfortunate boating incident where there were four individuals in a boat and one ended up passing by drowning,” said Maj. David Brabham with the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office.

With COVID-19, more people have been spending time outdoors, and out on the waterways.

“I think you’re seeing a lot more people getting out on the water and getting to enjoy our waterways,” said Maj. Brabham.

Labor Day weekend is right around the corner.

“The sheriff’s office is working with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the local fire department, who have boat capable operators and getting together to where we’re out there in the waterways to help anybody that may need it.”

There are simple things you can do to greatly reduce your chance of drowning, even if you do end up in an emergency situation.

“First is for most wearing their life preservers and lifejackets, second would be checking the weather reports- severe weather can impact the operation of the boat and definitely make it to where it’s very unsafe on that water. And then third is establish a float plan.”

That way somebody will know where to look if you end up missing.

“If you see or start to see storm clouds or any type of weather starting to pick up, that’s probably time, especially on this lake, to start heading toward the landing or where you put in.”

The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol, DNR, and other departments will be out on the lakes and the rivers through Labor Day weekend.

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