Before the Ink Dries on the Last Post Concerning South Carolina Boat Accidents, There are Two More to Discuss
It was just last week when your Mt. Pleasant auto accident lawyers commented on a couple of boat accidents in South Carolina, and between the time that that entry was being thoroughly thought through and written and now, there were two more boat accidents reported across our wonderful State. But, unlike like the last entry concerning boat accidents, the ones discussed today do not feature uplifting accounts of successful rescues, rather they deal with the consequences one could face if deciding to boat under the influence of alcohol (BUI).
The accidents will be discussed in the order that they occurred. Late last Friday, a Batesburg-Leesville couple crashed their boat into a dock on the south shore of Lake Murray, southwest of Dreher Island State Recreation Area. The collision killed both the operator and the passenger of the boat. But, it was determined by authorities, and reported by The State, that both the operator and passenger had drank enough to be well over the limit considered legally impaired when operating a boat (blood-alcohol content (BAC) above 0.08). According to the Lexington County Coroner, preliminary tests show the driver's BAC was at 0.357 and the passenger's at 0.187.
The second incident, unlike the first, happened along South Carolina's coast when the Coast Guard responded to a distress call alerting them that three people had gone overboard and into Charleston Harbor early Sunday morning. Responding rescuers discovered that a 21-foot recreational boat had hit a channel marker in the Harbor and sent its three occupants into the water. Two of the three boaters sustained injuries, including a broken arm and a head injury, and after being pulled from the water were taken to Medical University Hospital. Also on scene was the Charleston County Sheriff's Office and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. These agencies conducted interviews and determined the operator was in excess of the legal blood-alcohol level. The operator of the boat was arrested for BUI. Incidentally, the allegedly intoxicated operator did not suffer any injuries as a result of his collision with the channel marker.
As we have seen over the last week South Carolina boating accidents are an unfortunate yet fairly common occurrence, but the operation of watercraft after sunset greatly increases the chances of a potential incident. A United States Coast Guard report states that boat on boat collisions are the largest cause of injury on the water. In case it was unclear, both of the above mentioned accidents occurred in the dark of night.