Search Santee Cooper

Make summer boating fun no accident


July 20, 2016   By Susan Mungo in Santee Cooper Lakes

Boats ply the Tailrace Canal near Moncks Corner, which connects to the west branch of the Cooper River and to Lake Moultrie, via the Pinopolis Lock at Santee Cooper’s Jefferies Hydroelectric Station.

I love certain things about every season of the year.  The cool mornings and vibrant colors of fall, flavored coffee and sitting by the fire in winter, and morning runs in the spring are all things I thoroughly enjoy. When it comes to summer, time spent on or near the water, is added to the list of my favorite things.

I am also a fan of the Santee Cooper Lakes, home to some of the best recreation and water sports fun available anywhere.  This time of year, the lakes are often crowded and full of activity, so a day on the water can create lifelong memories.  It can also result in tragedy.  One of the most important things you can do before going on any body of water is know the safety rules and procedures for the activities you plan to enjoy.

Our Santee Cooper web page and the SCDNR have lists of boating safety tips that you should be familiar with. Of course the list includes: Know how to operate your watercraft, wear your personal floatation device (PFD SCDNR Rules), be familiar with the navigation of the lake and understand marker and buoy information.

The unexpected can happen on any watercraft so it is very important that you have a way to signal or call for help. You should research the contact information for the area you plan to visit. Laws on the Santee Cooper Lakes are enforced by SCDNR.

In case of an emergency dial 911, or call Operation Game Thief at 1-800-922-5431 (*OGT or #OGT from a mobile phone) or use Channel 16 VHF-FM Marine Radio. Various agencies also monitor CB channel 9. You can also access a list of various county sheriff departments from the Lakes portion of our website.

You can call 1-800-92-LAKES for real-time information about the Santee Cooper Lakes system, such as lake levels and hydroelectric operations. The Pinopolis Lock operator can be reached at 843-899-LOCK.

No matter where you are enjoying your water sports this summer, it is important to know how to stay safe and practice water safety.  A convenient mobile app is offered by the US Coast Guard which includes an emergency assistance link.  This would be a useful tool on the lakes or when enjoying any body of water.

I hope your summer is full of fun in the sun and good memories. I also hope you will follow all of the safety requirements for your water sports and activities. Have a safe and happy summer.