More than 15,000 boats expected on lake Murray during the holiday weekend

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - The Lexington County Sheriff's Department is discussing ways to keep safe and have fun this summer while boating.

Memorial Day weekend brings a lot of traffic on Lake Murray, which means boaters need to be aware of their surroundings, always have their life jackets, and plan for a designated driver.

"We deal with a lot of environmental emergencies so heat stroke or hypothermia patients," said David Hudon, a Paramedic with  Lexington County. "We also deal with a lot of trauma from boat accidents."

According to the Department of Natural Resources, in 2017, there were 513,512 recreational motorboats registered in the South Carolina. There were 163 recreational boating accidents resulting in 88 injuries and 15 casualties.  The number of injuries increased from 2016, while the number of fatalities decreased.

2017 marked the most recreational boating accidents in the past ten years.

"I want everybody to be safe, main thing is don't remind the other person to react. I want you to react first, whether you're in the right or the wrong, react so we don't have an accident," Troy Livingston, a Master Deputy Marine Patrol officer with LCSD said.

While you're out soaking up the fun, deputies want you to be safe.

"Stay hydrated drink a lot of water, it's going to be hot even if the sun is not out," Hudon said.

"Wear your life jacket, where are your kill switches? If you're going out on the lake, do a float plan," Livingston said.

Deputies want to remind you to do a full safety check of your boat before you head out for a day of fun.

Copyright 2018 WIS. All rights reserved.