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It's the Law


In addition to the laws mentioned previously, here are some other South Carolina regulations that apply when vessel operators are on the water.

Negligent, Reckless, and Other Illegal Operation


The failure to exercise the care necessary to protect the safety of persons or property is illegal. Examples of negligent, reckless, and other illegal operation are:

  • Weaving your boat or PWC through congested traffic
  • Crossing the path or wake of another boat unnecessarily close to the other boat or when visibility around the other boat is restricted
  • Causing your boat or PWC to leave the water completely while crossing the wake of another boat within 200 feet of the other boat
  • Swerving at the last moment to avoid a collision
  • Boating in restricted areas without regard for other boaters or persons, posted speed and wake restrictions, diver-down flags, etc.
  • Failing to maintain a proper lookout for other boats or persons
  • Towing a person on water skis, a surfboard, or similar device behind your boat or PWC in such a way that it causes the towed person to collide with another person or object or to pass through a swimming area
  • Allowing passengers to ride on the bow, gunwale, transom, seat backs, seats on raised decks, or any other place where there may be a chance of falling overboard
  • Allowing passengers to swim within 50 feet of a public boat landing or ramp
  • Chasing, harassing, or disturbing wildlife
Passengers riding on the gunwale of a moving vessel.
Do not allow passengers to ride where there may be a chance of the person falling over the side or out of the vessel.