Boat Club hopes to "Light up the Lake" with giveaway - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Boat Club hopes to "Light up the Lake" with giveaway

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Fourth of July celebrations will light up the sky over Lake Murray this Saturday, but when the bright lights go out one boat club is hoping you'll still light up the lake.

For the third year in a row, the Lake Murray Boat Club is handing out free Light up the Lake safety kits filled with glow sticks that serve as back-up navigational lights.

Boat Club Owner Jon Dukes says while he hopes boat owners check their lights before they head out, if one of your green, red and white navigational lights should fail the glow sticks serve as a substitute.

Boat club owner Jon Dukes says the giveaway was originally inspired after two fatal nighttime accidents on the same night in 2010.

Dukes says he was on the water last July 4th and saw the lights in action. "I took my family out on the boat and sure enough after the fireworks… a boat went by us with a glow stick," said Dukes. "People are beginning to understand the importance of carrying a back-up safety device with them."

In addition to the glow sticks, the kit includes a whistle, a first aid kit and a Department of Natural Resources lake guide.

This year the boat club has also teamed up with Sea Tow's loaner children's life jacket program to make sure no one heads out on the lake without one. "Unfortunately people die on this lake every year and it's a sad thing," said Sea Tow's Captain John Altenberg. "All the people that I'm aware of that have drowned in this lake were not wearing a life jacket. If you wear your life jacket chances are you're not going to get in trouble."

Sea tow officials say you can pick up the life jackets at the Lake Murray Marina near the boat club, and return them in the same spot the night of the celebration, June 29.

The annual "Light up the Lake" kit giveaway begins today, June 25. The boat club says they'll hand out the free kits while supplies last until the day of the celebration this Saturday, June 29. The Lake Murray Boat Club is open from 10am-5pm.

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