They're called life jackets for a reason

Horry County police say the two men whose catamaran capsized off the coast near Apache Pier Thursday night are OK.

Police say the two boaters drifted 2 to 4 miles in the water before they got back on shore. It's their life vests, DNR's Joe Chanaca says, that made all the difference.

"All it takes is one breath to get your lungs filled with water and then you're drowning. It could take just a teacup size," he said.

Last year, there were 17 boat-related deaths in South Carolina. DNR says 70 percent of people who drown would still be alive if they had worn life jackets.

Chanaca adds now, smaller and thinner vests are being made.

"They don't get you as hot as something like this that is really insulating you and you can be comfortable and after you wear it for the first few times you don't even realize you have it on."

The ticket for not wearing a life vest in South Carolina is 250 dollars.