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Campfire Collective Jul 7th, 2017

South Carolina Boating Laws and Regulations

SOUTH CAROLINA BOATER EDUCATION CARD

Your South Carolina Boater Education Card, more commonly known as a ‘South Carolina Boating License’ proves that you have taken an approved Boating Safety Course and have obtained the knowledge to operate a boat safely. In South Carolina, a Boater Education Card is required for person under 16 years of age who is unsupervised and is operating a motorized boat or PWC, which an engine or 15hp or more.

OBTAINING YOUR SOUTH CAROLINA BOATING LICENSE

Get your South Carolina Boating License today by signing up for the online BOATsmart! Course. Register for the BOATsmart! South Carolina Course, pass the test and you’ll be enjoying South Carolina’s waterways in just a few hours.

BOATsmart! docking course content on tablet with South Carolina Boater Education card.
BOATsmart! South Carolina Boater Education card.

Get your Official South Carolina
Boating License

The Official NASBLA and South Carolina State-Approved Boating Course, Test & License.

Get your Official South Carolina
Boating License

The Official NASBLA and South Carolina State-Approved Boating Course, Test & License.

LIFE JACKET REQUIREMENTS IN SOUTH CAROLINA

All of South Carolina boaters are required to carry at least one, Coast Guard approved, Type I, II, III, or V life jacket, for each passenger on board the boat. If your boat is 16 feet in length or greater, you are also required to carry a Type IV (throwable) flotation device on board. Adults are not required to wear life jackets at all times while boating, however you should always WEAR IT South Carolina!

Children under 12 years of age in South Carolina are required to wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket when underway on any boat that is under 16 feet in length. It’s a South Carolina law for kids to WEAR IT! Set a good example by wearing yours too!

USE OF PERSONAL WATERCRAFTS IN SOUTH CAROLINA

It depends on your age. PWC operators who are under 16 years of age are required to have taken an approved South Carolina Boating Safety Course and have obtained a Boater Education Card in order to legally operate a PWC of more than 15hp, unless they are under the supervision of an adult who is 18 years of age or older.

BOATING AND ALCOHOL IN SOUTH CAROLINA

In South Carolina, it’s illegal to operate any boat while under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or any combination thereof.

In South Carolina a person is considered to be under the influence if they are under the influence of alcohol, drugs, controlled substances, or any combination thereof to the extent that their faculties to operate are materially and appreciably impaired.

Learn more about the risks of boating with alcohol by taking the BOATsmart! Boating Safety Course.

In South Carolina, convicted boaters will be subject to a minimum fine of to $200 and up to 30 days imprisonment for a first offence. Subsequent convictions will result in more severe penalties and steeper fines. Why would you ever take the risk? Stay safe and stay sober, boat operators.

BOAT ACCIDENT REPORTING REQUIREMENTS IN SOUTH CAROLINA

Operators involved in a boating accident in South Carolina are required to:

  • Stop their boat at the scene
  • Render assistance to any person who has been injured or who is in danger, so long as they can do so without risking their safety or the safety of their passengers
  • Provide their name, address and boat information in writing to any person who was injured, and to the owner of any property that was damaged as a result of the accident.

Additionally, operators of vessels involved in a boating accident must call the SCDNR immediately at 1-800-922-5431.

SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES CONTACT INFORMATION

The BOATsmart! Course has been approved by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. For more information about safe boating in South Carolina, contact the Department at:

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
803-737-8483
P.O. BOX 167
Columbia, SC
29202
http://www.dnr.sc.gov/

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