Drowning Shows Danger of Lake Moultrie Storms

Berkeley Rescue chief: "Watch the weather."

The Sunday is a tragic reminder of the dangers boaters face on the waters of Lake Moultrie when a storm arrives.

There's a variety of things that a boater has to do to safely prepare for a day on the water. "One of the biggest things is watching the weather," said Bill Salisbury, Berkeley Rescue Squad chief and Berkeley County coroner.

Robert Daniels, 19, of Ladson, died Sunday when an afternoon storm capsized his pontoon boat. Daniels death was ruled an accidental drowning. He would have turned 20 Tuesday.

Five others on the boat, including a double amputee, were able to make it to a rocky bank. "They're very fortunate only one lost his life," Salisbury said.

Once boaters are out on the water, they need to be aware of the weather at all times. 

"People don't realize how quickly those storms can come up," he said. "It can look like glass and then, five minutes later, it can be like an ocean."

With a storm approaching, Salisbury said boaters need to seek the nearest safe environment.

"And it doesn't have to be where you sat the boat in," he said. "Go where you can get up on land and wait for the storm to pass."

Gretchen August 21, 2012 at 03:03 PM
As quickly as some of these summer storms blow up .. it would be a good idea if people would simply wear a life preserver when out on that lake, especially if they see CLOUDS. Better to be uncomfortable, than DEAD !
Lisamh August 21, 2012 at 11:20 PM
I was thinking the same thing as Gretchen, wearing a life jacket, even if you are a strong swimmer, will give you a better chance at surviving these situations. There seems to be quite a few drownings in the news this summer.
Sassy Blonde August 22, 2012 at 01:56 AM
People need to heed the warnings from the National Weather Service. There are free radars for our phones, free text messages for warnings. When the Weather says 60% chance of storms, its pretty stupid to be out on the lake. I live on the cooper river, and I will not even go out on days like that knowing, all hells going to break loose later on in the day. Its the ignorance of people themselves that put them and there loved ones in harms way. Not to mention the Berkeley County Rescue Squad and the local Volunteer Fire Departments. That storm was brewing a long time on that lake. They had plenty of time to get to safe harbor. So many don't heed mother natures warnings, and end up in these situations. Bottom line, have the proper marine radios with the NOAA alerts on it and simply try looking at the weather before you head out. Its all out there free of charge. I am sorry for the anger, but as a wife of a firemen and medic I see peoples ignorance all the time. If people would use their heads, these things can be prevented and they don't have to risk others lives for there idiotic choices.


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