Hidden dangers of boating after a hurricane

Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 12:40 PM EDT
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EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - More people than ever are getting on boats and heading out on the water, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources was asked about the hidden dangers after a storm strikes.

“From your largest pleasure type crafts all the way down to your smallest fishing vessel, no vessel is immune to an accident or to an incident,” Georgia DNR Corp. Jordan Crawford

No matter what level of experience, rivers are just as dangerous as roadways.

“We saw people jumping back on the rivers and our waters after a couple of days after the hurricane. Course our waterways had changed drastically because of storm surge, and the amount of rainfall we got. Then with Matthew with all the trees and downed debris we had, and that same down debris was in our river system,” Corp. Crawford said.

With the Savannah River being just on the other side of this island from the Tuckasee King creek, people try to use this cut-through when the river rises, but that can prove catastrophic.

“The river when it gets up and high, there’s a very powerful current, if the boat loses power or becomes lodged against a submerged object or tree in the waterway, it can cause the other side of the boat to be then pressed down below the water line causing the boat to flood and then capsize, which then can lead to many other types of emergencies including drowning,” Corp. Crawford said.

Corp. Crawford checks for life vests as boaters dock and says before you go out. Always have a float plan with someone not going out on the water with you.

He said there is no such thing as being too cautious or overprepared.

“It’s one of those things where we might feel like we’re 10 foot tall and bullet proof, but we have to respect the water way,” he said.

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