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Deaths spur lake safety push

Jul 2, 2010 2:32:00 PM - thestate.com

Concern over four deaths in a pair of boating accidents May 1 on Lake Murray is spurring a new emphasis on safety as the busy Fourth of July weekend on the water arrives.

Lake groups are pressing deputies and state Department of Natural Resources officers to patrol more amid urging boaters to learn navigation, slow down and wear lifejackets.

“If you’re going to boat, do it right,” said Joy Downs of Ballentine, executive director of the Lake Murray Association. “A safer lake is the bottom line.”

Shoreline organizations want police on the water more often despite a financial squeeze that officials say limits patrols outside of holidays and weekends when boating is busiest.