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Boater Education in South Carolina

Boater Education in South Carolina

If you love the outdoors, there’s lots to do in Columbia, South Carolina. While locals flock to Lake Murray, Lake Wateree, Lake Marion, and Lake Greenwood, the area is actually very popular for its rivers, such as the Broad, Congaree, and Saluda Rivers. So naturally, boating is a big draw, especially during the summer months.

In South Carolina, boater education is a legal requirement for all boaters under the age of 16, who wish to operate a boat or jet skis without adult supervision. When youth take an approved boater education course, they are not only complying with the law, but successful completion of the course can make them eligible for a discount on their boat or jet ski insurance, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR).

The SCDNR says that the preferred boater education method involves a 6-hour classroom course that is led by an instructor. These classes are free of charge and are taught in one day. To complete the course, the student must pass a test at the end of the training.

Boater Safety Tips

Here are some basic boater safety tips provided by the SCDNR:

Before You Leave for Your Trip

  • Be sure to check the weather for that day.
  • Tell someone where you’re going in case something happens to you.
  • Make sure you have all the life-saving devices you need, especially if children will be on the boat.
  • Make sure you have a good fire extinguisher on the boat and accessible.
  • Bring a cellphone.
  • Check the fuel.
  • Check the battery charge.
  • Make sure the plug is in.
  • Connect the trailer’s safety chains to the tow vehicle.

When You’re on the Water

  • Never operate a boat while you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including marijuana.
  • If you have a sailboat, stay away from overhead power lines and wires.
  • If anyone falls overboard, throw them a floatation device, a raft or cooler.
  • Remember, if a boat approaches you on the right, it has the right of way.
  • If your boat capsizes, stay with the boat.
  • If you’re caught in a storm, have everyone put on their personal floatation devices, send the passengers to the bottom of the boat, and head into the wind.

If you have been injured in a boating accident that was not your fault, contact our firm to discuss filing a claim with a Columbia, SC personal injury attorney.


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