The S.C. Department of Natural Resources mobilizes most of its cadre of patrol boats to cover events like the Beaufort Water Festival and the Rockville Regatta. They also set up courtesy boat inspections at boat ramps to help educate mariners about possible violations. The landing at the Limehouse bridge on John's Island was the setting for today's boat inspections and about half the boats were heading towards Rockville and about half were heading the other way for some peaceful cruising. "We make sure boaters have a sufficient number of portable floatation devices, a fully charged fire extinguisher, a whistle or a horn, a current boat registration and even a fishing license if it looks applicable," said Sgt. Chisolm Frampton. On Saturday August 6, the SCDNR law enforcement team performed 50 courtesy boat inspections and issued ZERO tickets, and that's because the inspections are meant only to prevent violations by raising awareness about any deficiencies in equipment or paperwork. "This inspection gives the SCDNR a positive exchange of information with the public, and boaters can decline the free inspection without issue if they like," said Col. Alvin Taylor. Boats are presented with a takeaway inspection sheet for the day that will expedite any on-the-water stops that are made by law enforcement later that day, such as the BSAFe or Boating Safety Action Force. Boaters get a free Handbook of S.C. Boating laws and kids get a free t-shirt and a coupon for a Wendy's Frosty when they show that their PFD is a good fit for them. SCDNR tells me that you would not believe the number of these 'Caught wearing a PFD' shirts they see in use now, after four years into the program. Did you know that S.C. ranks number 8 in the U.S. for the total number of registered boats!?
VideoByJeffDennis: Sergeant Chisolm Frampton lays down the law about courtesy boating inspections
To view a past blog entry about the SCDNR courtesy boat inspections click here.
PhotosByJeffDennis: Sgt. Chisolm Frampton gives Mike Parker of Summerville his takeaway sheet after his 21-foot Tidewater Sports was deemed good to go; Kayla, William, Ethan and Bucky Copleston took a family cruise and the boys were outfitted with the popular SCDNR PFD t-shirts; The B.A.T. mobile is a mobile holding tank for those who blow over-the-limit on the Breathe Alcohol Testing device