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Proposed legislation aims to increase boater safety in South Carolina

The proviso will be voted on in the state house at the start of the special session, June 15, 2022.

LAKE MURRAY SHORES, S.C. — In these hot summer months, boating safety should be at the front of your mind while out on the water.

To the Kiser family, boating safety means so much more. 

Morgan Kiser lost her dad in a boating accident nearly three years ago and her mom suffered a major leg injury. 

"It's a really horrible thing to have your parents in front of you and be so helpless, not being able to do anything. The first thing you think is I've got to save these people, I've got to save my parents, I love these people the most in the world," Morgan Kiser, boating safety advocate said.

She recalls, another boat drove over theirs.

Since that accident, she and her mother have been working with state lawmakers like Senator Tom Davis, to make sure more safety precautions are in place.

"What this proviso does is it tells boating rental companies that it has to give customers that come in that want to rent boats, has to give them certain baseline safety information, make sure that they're aware of basic boating safety rules, gives them access to resources on the Department of natural resources website about boating safety," said Tom Davis, South Carolina state senator for district 46. 

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Before you head out on the water, be sure you know where all your safety equipment is located. For the list of required safety equipment, visit: https://assets.kalkomey.com/boater/pdfs/handbook/southcarolina-handbook-entire.pdf SCDNR offers courtesy boat checks, for a list of upcoming checks visit: https://www.dnr.sc.gov/news/2022/apr/apr29-boat.php #NationalSafeBoatingWeek

Posted by South Carolina Department of Natural Resources on Monday, May 23, 2022

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This proviso within the senate's version of the budget will be voted on when state representatives return June 15, 2022.

Davis said this legislation would also require a boating safety course and certificate for those 16 and older.

"The best thing that you can do is not just depend on police to help you after the fact, the best thing that you can do on the waterways is to be proactive, to make sure you've got everything on your boat that you need to be safe," Kiser said.

Morgan also created a Facebook page called "Safe the Lake" to share boating safety information across the state.

If you have opinions to share about boating safety, be sure to tell your local lawmakers before June 15 when legislation could be passed.

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