Safety on the LakeMatthew Rings
Within 20 minutes on the night of May 1, 2010, two boating accidents occurred approximately 200 yards apart on Lake Murray and four people were tragically killed. These fatalities became the catalyst for change in the Lake Murray community. As a result, the Lake Murray Safety Consortium met for the first time in June 2010. This Consortium consists of local organizations including The Lake Murray Association, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Lake Murray Power Squadron, Lake Murray Tours, SCE&G and the law enforcement agencies that patrol and enforce state laws on Lake Murray, including the SC Department of Natural Resources and the Richland, Lexington, Newberry and Saluda County Sheriff’s Departments. These core members have since been supported at different times by additional parties who have a vested interest in boating safety on Lake Murray.
Since that time, the Lake Murray Safety Consortium has worked through our partners to increase awareness and the need for boater education and laws that increase boater safety on Lake Murray and all of our state’s waterways. The consortium also knows that not one entity can do it alone. That it takes agencies and organizations with a vested interest to instill boating safety to everyone.
In 2014, to raise awareness of safe boating in all of South Carolina, the Lake Murray Safety Consortium hosted its first annual South Carolina Boating Fatalities Memorial Service. This memorial service was created to honor the 83 people who died in boating related incidents in South Carolina. This service and the services held every year will remind everyone of these tragic deaths and the importance of boating safety.
The Lake Murray Safety Consortium
Organizations involved in safety on Lake Murray met several years ago on an informal basis to share information. Unfortunately, the meetings were discontinued due to funding and resource limitations.
In 2010 the LMA Safety Committee recommended to LMA board of directors that the group be reconstituted and sponsored by the Association. The concept was approved for the organization, which was to be called the Lake Murray Safety Consortium (LMSC).
Invitations were extended to DNR, the four county sheriff’s offices, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Lake Murray Power Squadron, Lake Murray Tours, and SCE&G. These core members have since then been joined by other interested lake users and agencies such as Lexington and Richland Drug & Alcohol Council (LRADAC) in contributing to LMSC lake safety projects.
The first LMSC meeting took place June 22, 2010 on board the Southern Patriot tour boat, offered by Lake Murray Tours. The consortium has met regularly to facilitate, encourage and coordinate the promotion of boating safety on Lake Murray.
Unquestionably, the most outstanding aspect of these gatherings is the spirit of cooperation that exists among the participants as they work as a team to improve safety on the Lake.