Boaters urged to take safety precautions on the waters - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Boaters urged to take safety precautions on the waters

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Under a bright Carolina sun, citizens across the state enjoy going out and making a few waves on the lakes.

Some like Johnathan Crossland enjoy fishing as a method of recreation and relaxation for a while. Crossland says he's been fishing since he was a little boy. These days, Crossland doesn't leave a dock without a few key items.

"Make sure you got all your safety equipment," Crossland said. "Your fire extinguishers, life jackets..."

A checklist like this is one that first responders say is important to every boater and can prove fatal if not followed.

According to a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control, close to 90 percent of victims were not wearing a life jacket in cases of drowning caused by boating. Just days ago, a Charlotte man died on Lake Murray after the boat he was on went under in Prosperity. Officials say he couldn't swim and there were no life jackets on the boat.

'If people are going to go out, " DNR officer Trey Baker said, "and they know how many people are going to be on board, make sure you have enough."

Meanwhile, boaters like Gayle Wenzel says there are other things to keep in mind other than that checklist.

"If you're going to be out after dark," Wenzel said, "make sure that your lights work and that they're effective and that your horn works."

That's a tip that police also stress. Authorities also say boaters would carry plenty of bottled water on the boat to stay hydrated.

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