South Carolina is home to over 556,000 registered boats, including speed boats, sailboats, catamarans, and other vessels that our residents, guests, and tourists enjoy nearly year-round for sport, fishing, and pleasure.
While most of these watercraft get to and from their destinations without issue, a November 13, 2021 boating accident in South Carolina left two people seriously injured after the vessel collided with a semi-submerged dredge pipe and has our South Carolina boating community talking, sharing similar stories of close calls and accidents on social media.
The Dangers of Dredging Pipelines in Charleston are Leading to an Increase in Boat Accidents
Captain Anthony Noury, Sea Tow Charleston owner, said there has been a significant increase in the number of phone calls his water towing service has received especially in recent months requesting help from boaters to escape the dangers of colliding with dredge equipment.
While those calls come primarily after sunset, when the equipment is less easy to identify by captains and their lookouts, the inherent dangers remain with each passing boater. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, this summer there were up to ten dredgers working in the Charleston harbor to support the current project, but that number is currently down to six, which does not diminish the overall hazards associated with the equipment.
The dredging equipment includes an extensive pipeline that is designed to pump sand back to the beach and replace the significant erosion that occurs from the tide, placing obstacles throughout our waterways that are hard to spot any time of day, but especially at night.
Even With Required Lighting, Boating Accidents are Continuing to Occur in Charleston
Boating after sunset is common in Charleston and throughout South Carolina, as our residents, guests, and tourists are free to explore our beautiful waters any time of day.
The inherent dangers of large pipes running through the channels make for severely dangerous travel, even for veteran boaters.
The Army Corps of Engineers said in a statement, “Contractors are required to follow our safety regulation and Coast Guard requirements for marking and lighting, and that the conditions are inspected by USACE and the Coast Guard.”
The problem becomes, even though they are illuminated with lights, as required, they blend in with the lights of the Peninsula and are difficult to assess from the vessel, which can and has led to catastrophic boating accidents and significant injuries.
Have You Been Injured in a Boat Accident in South Carolina?
If you have been hurt in a boat accident caused by the dredging pipes in Charleston, Mount Pleasant, or another boater or company’s negligence anywhere in South Carolina, contact our experienced boat accident attorneys in South Carolina at David W. Martin Accident & Injury Lawyers today at 803-548-2468 to discuss your case.
We provide free consultations for all personal injury cases in Charleston, SC, and never charge any legal fees unless we deliver a positive outcome for your unique case.