Richland County, SC (WLTX) - Hotter weather means more boats out on the water.

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department is gearing up to make sure you’re safe.

The marine patrol unit has purchased two new boats.

“It’ll help you as far as response time, in those older boats when it’s real rough out it takes us a little longer to get to you,” Master Deputy Derek Wilson explained. “We’ll be able to get to you in a more efficient time.”
Wilson says they have a total of 4 boats and about 10 officers will be working 12 hour shifts to make sure you are safe.

Eight of the deputies assigned to these boats are school resource officers.

When it is not an emergency, the deputies do safety checks. They make sure folks are not drinking and boating, have life jackets and have the proper lights on their vessel.

The department has several partnerships with surrounding agencies in case of an emergency.