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National Safe Boating Week

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This week is National Safe Boating Week! The week devoted to boating safety education began on Saturday, May 22 and end this Friday, May 28. And, it couldn't have come sooner for residents of South Carolina. Fifteen people have died this year from boating accidents, which tops last year's total of 11.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) blames the early-season warm weather, which is causing more people to hit the water.

Typically the boating season starts to pick-up around Labor Day Weekend, which is one of Charleston's biggest boating weekends of the year. Over 210 DNR officers will be out this Memorial Day Weekend to help boaters in need and teach boaters about boating safety. The DNR is also teaming up with the South Carolina Highway Patrol by running public service announcements about drinking and driving on land and water.

Over the Memorial Day Weekend, the DNR will have various free boat inspection sites set up throughout Charleston and the state. Boaters can have there boats and safety equipment check for FREE. It is important that boaters check all their equipment at the start of the season to make sure everything is working properly.

Lt. Robert McCullough of DNR says, "Flotation devices will save people's lives...Kids need to always wear a life jacket." It is crucial that you have a proper life jacket for every person aboard your boat. Out of the 15 fatalities this year, 10 were caused by drowning. Life jackets can prevent drowning 80% of the time.

It looks as though 2010 is going to be like 2008, where 28 people died in boating accidents for the year. The DNR is "on alert earlier that usual."

McCullough says, "This is going to be a busy season."

Learn more about Boating Accidents & Safety!
Read our article "5 Tips For Boat Safety"
Read our article "More Boating Safety Tips"
Read last weeks blog "Boating Safety A Must"
Visit our S.C. Accident & Injury Library.

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