Boating License Issue Raised in South Carolina
Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer
According to a news report, a lake association has raised the idea of establishing a mandatory operator’s license for boaters in order to improve safety conditions. Herb Burnham, executive director of the Lake Hartwell Association, indicated that boater education is the only good answer and that mandatory licensing requirements are the best means of enforcing that. South Carolina has 485,000 boat owners, and a total of 108 boating accidents were reported in 2014, resulting in 58 injuries and 28 deaths. However, several Republican legislators have indicated that they are skeptical about the merits of a boating license requirement and that a firm link must be established between licensure and saving lives before they consider a new tax to be imposed.
Only a few states require boaters to have an operator’s license. Alabama requires boaters to acquire a license since 1997, and in Indiana, only those with driver’s licenses are allowed to operate boats. In neighboring Georgia, anyone born on or after January 1, 1998 must complete a boating safety court to lawfully operate a motor boat on state waters.
Boating Requirements in South Carolina
In South Carolina, boat operators under the age of 16 must complete a boating safety course approved by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to operate a boat with a 15-horsepower motor or greater, unless he or she is accompanied by an adult 18 years or older. additionally, vessels are prohibited from operating in excess of idle speed within 50 feet of an anchored vessel, wharf, pier, dock, or a person in the water, and may not operate in excess of idle speed within 100 yards of the Atlantic coastline. Additionally, operators involved in boating accidents have to report the accident to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources if it involves loss of life, loss of consciousness, medical treatment, disability in excess of 24 hours, or property damage.
General Boating Rules
While operating on a boat on South Carolina waterways, there are certain basic rules of navigation that operators must abide by when encountering other vessels even if there is no “right of way” over other vessels.
If you are operating a powered vessel, you must give way to anchored or disabled vessels, vessels that are restricted in their ability to maneuver, such as a vessel laying cable or towing another boat, or a large ship in a channel, commercial shipping boats, and a sailboat under sail. Additionally, jumping the wake of a passing boat, or riding too close to another boat, creates the risk of an accident.
Thousands of vessels operate on South Carolina waterways, and boating accidents occur with too much frequency. They can be extremely dangerous accidents, with the potential for serious and even fatal injuries. Those injured in boating accidents may hold operators liable for injuries if they were negligent in the operation of their vessels. You should contact the attorneys at Bice Law, LLC if you or a loved has been injured in a boating accident to help you seek compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.
Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law:
The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability. We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly. Call 877-BICE-877 today or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.