CHAPIN, S.C. — People living in Chapin on Lake Murray are voicing concern for their safety. This is following a boating accident on the lake earlier this month. The crash happened about two weeks ago on the water near Summerset Drive.
According to an incident report from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), one person was injured after he was thrown out of a boat as it crashed into a bridge.
Brian and his wife Ann live off of Summerset Drive in Chapin. They say they heard the boating accident late at night.
"You could hear it, but it was 11:30, 12 o'clock at night," Brian Hall a Chapin resident said.
Since then, they, along with other neighbors say safety needs to be a bigger priority on the lake.
For their part, the Halls explain they've added a buoy in front of their dock.
"I have a ball out there to keep them from being so fast coming into the wake. I've almost had people hit my dock at night," Hall said.
The Hall family tells us wakes have been taking a toll in their cove.
A wake is the wave created by a boat as it displaces water.
"There's just so much traffic on this lake, there's so many houses now, there's no restrictions on horse power, which I would love to see that, even if it's 300," Hall said.
Boating safety advocate Morgan Kiser is working with state lawmakers on legislation aimed at saving lives on the water.
In 2019 Kiser's dad died and her mom lost a leg in a boating accident.
"We could put legislation into place. We have all of the people out there. We have the fire department, we have sheriffs departments, we have DNR out there. Everybody's working together and there are laws in place, but unless you take your safety and other people in the waterways' safety into your own hands, all of those things are for nothing," Kiser said.
According to DNR, in 2021 there were 15 accidents reported on Lake Murray, with 17 injuries. That's compared to two accidents and one injury on Lake Wateree.
The state agency adds lake signage can be requested through Dominion Energy and requests for no-wake zones are handled on a case by case basis.
According to the incident report from DNR, driver inattention and excessive speed contributed to the accident two weeks ago involving the bridge in Chapin.