WEST ASHLEY, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) spent much of the Labor Day holiday weekend working to ensure local boaters stay safe while out on the waterways.

SCDNR hosted a series of free boat inspections across the state, including at six sites across the Lowcountry, over the long weekend. The most recent took place Monday at the Wappoo Cut Landing.

SCDNR officers run through a checklist to ensure boaters are in compliance before they head out on the water.

“So we try and make sure they have all of their safety equipment, and their registration is up to date,” said SCDNR officer Patrick Clarey. “Make sure they’ll have enough life jackets for everyone on board, make sure their fire extinguisher is still up to date and we’ll have a sound device check, bell horn whistle.”

Boaters who are found in violation of requirements did not receive a ticket during the inspection. Instead, they’re allowed to correct the issue before heading out.

“We give them the opportunity to at least go fix or address the items that they’re missing on the vessel before they make their stop on the water,” Clarey said.

And hoping to avoid a ticket later on, SCDNR says several boaters took advantage of the offer.

“I’ve got my fire extinguisher, and it’s on green. Very important,” one boater said.

It’s been especially helpful for those renting boats, who aren’t always aware they might be breaking a rule.

“If they have a rental boat, and they have these allotted amounts of life jackets, they don’t tell a rental company that they’re picking up more people, so when we stop them they don’t have enough life jackets,” Clarey said.

SCDNR says they know this weekend is about celebrating, but they want to make sure everyone enjoys the holiday safely.

If you missed the opportunity to get a boat inspection, SCDNR says you can always get the information you need on the proper boat equipment and safety on their website.