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      Law enforcement push holiday boating safety

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- With the Fourth of July weekend just around the corner, law enforcement and safety officials are teaming up to reinforce boating safety.

      Officials took the opportunity Thursday to warn citizens about the dangers that can be connected with boating and not wearing personal flotation devices, not being aware of the rules of the road or boating and not planning properly.

      "There are approximately 500,000 boats registered in the state of South Carolina and 50,000 of these specifically on Lake Murray," said Colonel Alvin Taylor, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. "Our goal is to have no boating fatalities or injuries this year. With there being no brakes on a boat, speed limits or lines on the water the risk is as great or greater than in a car for an accident to occur."

      All of the partners involved in enforcing the laws on the lake and in creating greater awareness to safety on the waterways are asking that everyone do their part toward boating safety.

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      "We're going to be out here hopefully we're going to be out here enjoying it just as much as everybody else and that we're not going to have to arrest people but if we have to we'll be here to do that," said Sheriff Leon Lott with the Richland County Sheriff's Department.

      This comes on the heels of news that a Batesburg-Leesville woman drowned Tuesday afternoon on Lake Murray.

      Forty-three-year-old Kathryn Michelle Greene's body was found in about 9 feet of water after she was swimming near a boat dock and disappeared below the surface.

      Do you plan to be on the water this holiday weekend? Leave a comment below and tell us your thoughts.