As the impact of Hurricane Irma on Lake Wylie still remains to be seen, state boating and wildlife experts are urging caution to boaters statewide.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is warning against high winds, urging boat owners to secure their vessels. Removing them from the water is best, but otherwise, adding extra ropes and tying boats to multiple points on a dock or fixed surface is advised. Ropes should be inspected for strength.
Owners are responsible for boats or docks swept away in a storm. The wildlife department doesn’t remove un-moored boats and detached docks. Owners should secure boats and docks well in advance of severe weather, officials warn.
If you do have to retrieve a boat or dock, exercise sound judgment.
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“It is not worth risking your life or a first responder's life over a boat or dock,” SCDNR 1st Sgt. Hunter Robinson said in a statement. “Wait until the storm has passed and the winds and waves have calmed down before venturing out on the water.”
Any boater going out onto water following a severe storm should use caution, watching for trees, floating debris and power lines.