Courtesy boat inspections offered at Thurmond Lake

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will offer free boating safety inspections at Thurmond Lake this Saturday, beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Officials from the two groups will perform vessel safety checks at Scotts Ferry boat ramp, on the South Carolina side of the lake in McCormick, to ensure boaters are in compliance with safety requirements.

The vessel safety checks will include inspections of various items such as ropes, anchors, fire extinguishers and personal flotation devices. Vessels that pass inspection will be awarded a Coast Guard Auxiliary decal that informs boating law enforcement agencies that the vessel has met annual safety check requirements and is in compliance with federal and state boating laws for that year.

Owners of vessels that do not pass inspection will be provided a written report that identifies the steps to achieving full compliance with federal and state regulations; however, no citations will be issued during the courtesy check.

Passing the vessel safety inspection not only will increase safety on the lake but also might help boaters avoid substantial fines. It could also help boaters obtain a discount on their boat insurance.

Decals are issued annually and expire Dec. 31 of the year a boat is inspected.

For more details, contact Tyler McEnery at the Corps of Engineers, (864) 333-1156, or visit http://watersafety.usace.army.mil/; or contact Jim McMenamin of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, (706) 830-6966, or visit http://cgaux.org/vsc/.

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