LAKE WYLIE MARINE COMMISSION
Contact: Hunter Wilson, Commissioner
In advance of the upcoming July 4th holiday weekend, the Lake Wylie Marine Commission (LWMC) offers a series of safety messages for everyone heading out to area lakes and waterways.
#1 PRESERVE YOUR LIFE — WEAR A LIFE JACKET!
According to the U.S. Coast Guard’s 2017 Recreational Boating Safety Statistics (the latest records reported), wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket is the simplest life-saving strategy for recreational boaters. They have the data to back up this advice:
- 76% of boating deaths are due to drowning
- 85% of these victims were not wearing a life jacket
- Two-thirds of drowning victims were good swimmers
Don’t think drowning can never happen to you or a member of your family. IT CAN! Be safe while you’re out boating. Whether you are an experienced swimmer or new to being on the water, a life jacket can save your life – but only if you wear it!
Local law enforcement confirms they have never recovered a drowning victim wearing a life jacket on Lake Wylie.
Please be aware – Boaters are required to have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD – Type I, II, III or V) for every person on board or being towed.
- In North Carolina, children under 13 years must wear life jackets on board boats
- In South Carolina, children under 12 years must wear life jackets on board boats
- Note that paddleboarders are required to have a PFD and a whistle with them.
#2 BOATING SAFETY COURSES
If you are operating a boat, here are some more Boating Safety Statistics for you:
- 81% of deaths occurred on boats where the operator had no boating safety instruction
- 2 in 3 of all boating injuries occurred in boats with operators under the age of 35
Take a boating safety course – IT’S REQUIRED: Any person born on or after January 1, 1988 must complete an approved boating education course before operating any vessel propelled by a motor of 10 HP or greater.
Links to safety course schedules:
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website: ncwildlife.org/Boating/BoatingEducationCourses
SC DNR website: dnr.sc.gov/ Boating / Boater Education
If you are renting a boat, ask to have the safety briefing provided by the business.
#3 REQUIRED EQUIPMENT
The LWMC reminds boaters there are safety items that must be on board:
- A life jacket for every person aboard
- A throwable flotation device (U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFD Type IV)
- A whistle, horn, or bell
- Fire extinguisher for boats with enclosed engine compartments or internal gas tanks
- Boat registration
#4 RUNNING LIGHTS
If you are boating after sunset, check your running lights before you leave the dock. Remember these requirements:
- Only the red port light, green starboard light and all around white light configurations are allowed while underway.
- Blue lighting around the waterline is pretty, but that lighting is not to be lit while underway.
- Dock lights found on some pontoon boats are for docking only, not while underway.
#5 OTHER SAFETY TIPS
The LWMC reminds boaters –
- Observe all “no-wake” zones.
- Steer well clear of danger buoys.
- Please report any missing or damage buoys to law enforcement: contact info can be found on www. lakewyliemarinecommission.com
Boaters on Lake Wylie as well as Lake Norman and Mountain Island Lake will see law enforcement agencies on patrol throughout the holiday weekend.
On Lake Wylie, boaters may receive a courtesy safety check from Mecklenburg Police Department, Gaston County Police Department, York County Sheriff’s Department, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, or the U.S. Coast Guard.
Safety check lists and information can be found on the web sites of North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
#6 SILENT KILLERS
Electrocution – from improper or frayed electrical wiring around marinas
DON’T SWIM AROUND MARINA DOCKS!
Carbon Monoxide – from leaky exhaust hoses in the boat or build up at slow speeds around the stern: