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August 28, 2008

DNR courtesy boating inspections set during Labor Day weekend

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division will again be conducting courtesy safety inspections at some public boat landings in an effort to keep state waterways safe during the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend. As of late-August, 19 boating fatalities have been recorded in South Carolina in 2008, compared to a total of 16 boating fatalities in 2007.

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) boating safety and enforcement officers will perform a quick, but thorough, inspection for items such as required safety equipment and proper boat and motor registration. Those who are not in compliance with safety regulations or registration requirements will not be ticketed during the complimentary inspections. Boaters will be given an opportunity to correct the problem before they launch. DNR officers will also be available to answer questions and give boaters tips on how to stay safe on the water.

"The majority of boating fatalities so far this year were preventable because people were not wearing a personal flotation device (PFD)," says Col. Alvin Taylor, head of DNR Law Enforcement. "The bottom line is PFDs save lives, so put on your life jacket before you board your boat and don't take it off until the voyage is over."

To report boating violations such as reckless operation or an intoxicated boat operator, call the DNR toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-922-5431. For a copy of South Carolina's boating regulations, to find out about local boating safety courses or to obtain a free float plan form contact the DNR Boating Safety Office at 1-800-277-4301.

Courtesy safety inspections at the following locations and times:

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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