DNR stepping up patrols for holiday weekend

News 12 @ 6 o'clock / Friday, July 4, 2014

(WRDW) --

South Carolina DNR says they see more boats out on July 4th than any other holiday. So, if you're out on Lake Thurmond or the Savannah River this weekend, you won't be out there alone. DNR says they've got all hands on deck to make sure that you stay safe.

Brent Emerson has been boating on Lake Thurmond for around fifteen years now, but this year, he's noticed a lot more people out there with him. "Seems like there is a lot more people out here this year than last year, seems like a lot more boat activity," he said.

It's not just other boaters on the water, it's law enforcement too. DNR is out on the water inspecting boats and trying to keep everyone safe. They're mainly looking for three things, life jackets, fire extinguishers, and your boating registration.

First Sergeant Daniel Baker with South Carolina DNR says, it's not just for you. Sometimes that equipment will be used to help out other boaters.

And on a busy weekend like this, when an accident is more likely to happen, DNR is hoping their presence makes an impact.

"I feel like our job is that those who are out there that want to have a good time that are doing everything right and being safe, our job is to ensure that no one comes in and interferes with that," said Baker.

Folks like Emerson are happy about that. "It's good for them to be out there and just keep everyone safe," Emerson said.

But while DNR looks out for you, they ask you look out for everyone else. "Don't just look out for yourself this weekend, look out for others, because you never know when you're gonna cross that person who just bought a boat and it's their first time on the water," said Baker.

DNR plans to be busy on the lake through Sunday. The main thing they say for you to do is just to be aware. Tomorrow from 10:00 AM til 2:00 PM they will have boat checks at Scotts Ferry to help ensure that.

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