Wake boards causing problems for neighbors on Savannah River

Monday, June 2, 2014

debris along shoreline

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW) -- Boating season is underway but this year people are concerned about more than just rainy weather. Folks in the North Augusta area are battling wakes damaging their properties all along the Savannah River.

With summer just around the corner, all David Lamar wants to do is relax and enjoy some time on his dock. But he says wake boarders are making that hard.
Lamar said, "I mean, they seem, a lot of them, seem to come back and forth, continuously, like you're watching a tennis match."

Even though he says people aren't driving their boats past the buoys, the wakes they're making are causing major damage to people's docks, boats, and even furniture. He said, "Over time, the shoreline, along with the docks and boats, are going to get damaged, the other night I heard our neighbor, their dock had been damaged by a wake boarder."

And it's not just the wakes that have neighbors upset. Lamar said loud and sometimes profane music is also a problem with people on the water. He said, "Well, on a peaceful Sunday afternoon, a little noise, that's not so bad. But they tend to have some serious stereo equipment that they seem to want everyone to know that they have."

Sgt. Kevin Hayes with North Augusta Public Safety says there's a fine line with what they can do. Hayes said, "What we want the residents to understand is that people are going to go down and enjoy the river. What we want people on the river to understand is there are people who want to be in peace in their own home. So we are trying to find a happy medium."

For now, Public Safety wants to let folks in the area know they're on to the situation. Hayes said, "Just don't try to address this yourselves, give us a call and we'll assess the situation. And like I said, there's usually compliance."

So, for right now, Public Safety tells us they expect more problems like this in the summer and say they're ready to respond. The other problem several homeowners have run into is who do they contact when they have a problem? There are several agencies that patrol the river, North Augusta Public Safety, South Carolina DNR and the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

So, how do they decide which agency responds to a call? All three agencies say they basically eyeball where along the river an incident is happening, and then they work together to decide who will respond.

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