Chatham Marine Patrol issues warning for boaters - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Chatham Marine Patrol issues warning for boaters

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

Ahead of the storm, boat owners are being asked to pull their craft out of the water if possible, or at the very least, make sure it's tied up in a secure place. 

Chatham Marine Patrol officers say there were too many instances last year during Hurricane Matthew where boats drifted away and causing damage - something they say is very preventable. 

The staff at one Chatham County marina has been pulling boat after boat out of the water this week, all in preparation of Hurricane Irma. 

"Lost a lot of boats last year, so people are taking it seriously now, said Allen Lanier, who is getting his boat out of the water. 

The boat lift at Hogan's Marina on Wilmington Island has been busy all week, raising boats out of the river and setting them on trailers as their owners drive them off to a safer place. Chatham Marine Patrol says if you are keeping your craft in the water, make sure it's secure. 

"Your rope is only as strong as your weakest link, so if you're tying it to a dock that's got a bad cleat to it, or your rope is bad, or your boat's got a bad cleat to it, if the water rises up and the dock comes over the piling...we had that happen in Matthew," said Sgt. Danny Walker, Chatham County Marine Patrol. 

Also, if your boat gets loose and causes damage, that's on you. 

"You are always responsible for any damage that your boat may cause, whether it be damage caused by your wake, or you're mooring it up and it breaking it loose and running into someone else's property, you're responsible for any damage that your boat may cause," Sgt. Walker said. 

Chatham Marine Patrol is actually keeping just one boat in the water, tied up and ready to go. All the others are kept on trailers so they can be hauled around the county if needed. 

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