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      Safety Tips for National Safe Boating Week

      Starting Saturday, the Coast Guard has scheduled a series of events for Safe Boating Week in South Carolina.

      Safe Boating week is a national effort to encourage people to be safe while boating and swimming in the nation's waters.

      The week will begin May 17th and end May 23rd. To kick off the week the Coast Guard Auxiliary will have booths and offer safety checks at Peachtree Landing in Socastee and the Blue Crab Festival in Little River.

      Sunday, the Coast Guard Auxiliary will provide vessel safety checks at Murrells Inlet Boat Landing.

      The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources gives some tips on how to stay safe before you take off and when you're on the water:

      1. Fill out a boating float plan and make sure you leave the plans with a responsible individual.

      2. Check the weather.

      3. Let someone know where you're going.

      4. Check all lifesaving devices and make sure they are functional.

      5. Check the fuel and battery charge.

      6. Know the aids to navigation and buoy system in your areas and obey all the rules of the water.

      7. Do not operate the boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

      8. When operating sailboats, be aware of overhead power lines and wires.

      9. Always anchor from the bow of the boat and pull the anchor before leaving.

      10. If caught in a storm, head into the wind, put on Personal Floatation Devices, and keep passengers low in the boat.