SC boat ramps back open, authorities enforcing social distancing rules on the water


SENECA, S.C. (WSPA) – Boats ramps have just reopened in South Carolina, but law enforcement officials told 7 News they’re hunting for people violating social distancing guidelines.

Laurie McGuinness has been waiting for the day she can get back on the lake.

“As soon as it’s a nice day we all want to be out on the water like everyone,” said Seneca Resident, Laurie McGuinness.

Boat ramps are much busier than she’s used to seeing.

The ramps are back open after South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster ordered them to briefly close to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But even though they’re back open, those social distancing rules are still in place.

“No more than two individuals per boat with the exception that family members from the same household. You still cannot stop your boat at any beach, island, sand bar or riverbank. You cannot tie or raft your boats together while on the water,” said Lance Cpl. Shawn Hanna with South Carolina DNR.

Officials with the DNR say they have teamed up with the Highway Patrol and SLED to watch the waves across the entire state and make sure people are obeying the rules.

That’s something the Cousins said they’re doing. There’s a handful of them, but Caleb Cousins said they’re minding their distance, not only from other boaters but also each other.

“Its been really nice to just get out and enjoy the sun. It’s fun to keep our distance but also enjoy each other’s company,” said Greenville resident Caleb Cousins.

Statewide, there are 70 different teams from Highway Patrol, SLED and the DNR that are monitoring the water. 14 of those teams are here in the upstate.

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