A costly event occurred on Lake Keowee at High Falls Park public dock on the afternoon of the eclipse. Involved were the pontoon Big Easy and the cruiser Take Two. Damage to Big Easy was caused by a wake boat passing too close to a landing and public dock in a cove.
As the Big Easy crew was casting off Take Two’s lines so she could depart the dock, a very large wake from one of multiple wake boats churning up the cove struck the dock and the two boats. The wake was powerful enough to nearly put the 26-ft cruiser Take Two ON the dock. Instead, the wake placed the swim platform of the cruiser on top of the aft portion of the Big Easy. Only by boarding a number of people onto the stern of the pontoon to raise the bow could the cruiser be floated off. The wake caused significant damage to the steering linkage and cable on the Big Easy pontoon.
In my experience, wake boats are often being operated by inexperienced, untrained persons who show little or no regard for their responsibilities as captains or for the safety or enjoyment of other craft on the lake or property along the shore. I’m sure I am not alone in this observation.
- Would you agree that the only really acceptable place for wake boats’ loud music and oversized wakes is in the open water portions of lakes?
- Do you agree that their use in channels narrower than 500 yards should not be permitted?
- Would you encourage the Corps of Engineers and the SCDNR to recognize the problem and restrict wake boat use to appropriate, designated areas?
What is your experience with encounters between your lakeside property or boat and these large displacement craft with overgrown stereo systems? We’d like to know. No one is trying to deny anyone else their reasonable fun on our waterways. But there comes a point where one man’s fun becomes another man’s scourge. Something’s got to give.