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#07-246 September 3, 2007

Lake Murray dam swim Sept. 22 to be held in memory of BUI victim

The Ninth Annual Dam Swim for Drew on Saturday, Sept. 22 at Lake Murray is sponsored by the Lexington High School varsity and junior varsity swim teams in memory of Joseph Drew Smith, who was killed in a boating under the influence accident while fishing. The event promotes water and boating safety and to finance an indoor swimming facility in memory of Drew Smith in Lexington.
           
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will again this year provide a boat patrol to insure the safety of the swimmers.
           
The Dam Swim for Drew is a two-mile open water swim for the teams and swimmers such as elite level triathletes. The event gets underway at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22 at the SCE&G North Parksite Ramp on SC Highway 6 at the Lake Murray Dam in Irmo and concludes about 10:30 a.m. at the beach/recreation area on the Lexington side of the dam. Ten to 14 swimmers will leave the Irmo side of the dam in 10-minute intervals with a kayaker in attendance for each group.
           
For more information on the Dam Swim for Drew, contact Lexington High School Swim Team volunteer coach Karen Campbell at (803) 996-0111.
           
Joseph Drew Smith was only 11 years old when he died on the waters of Lake Murray in the early morning hours of July 19, 1997. Drew had lived in Lexington all of his life, and that summer he had just completed the fifth grade at White Knoll Elementary, where he was described by one teacher as a student that "just seemed to light up the room."
           
The Boating Safety Act of 1999, known as Drew's Law, was passed through the combined efforts of Drew's parents, the General Assembly, DNR, and concerned citizens. It increased penalties for boating under the influence (BUI); allows testing of blood alcohol content with probable cause and added a section for reckless operation.

Lake Murray Marine Patrol Station on Bundrick Island was formally dedicated in 2001 in memory of Drew Smith. DNR Law Enforcement and officers of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department use the facility jointly.

DNR protects and manages South Carolina’s natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state’s natural resources and its people.


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