Stranded boaters gain new appreciation on Lake Wateree
Thu, 26 Jul 2012 22:27:29 GMT —
KERSHAW COUNTY, SC (WACH) - Summertime means going to the lake for fun, but one Midlands couple got more than they expected Thursday morning.
It was no ordinary fishing trip for retired Army sergeant Paul Collins, his wife and their dog.
The couple came to a military recreation boating dock at Lake Wateree early Thursday morning. The motor on the family's boat stopped working once they were in the water; leaving them stranded.
"We launched here this morning between the island and the peninsula around the corner, and that's when the boat gave up," said Collins.
Collins says he was stuck on the lake for about fifteen minutes before he finally got reception on his phone and called the Wateree Marina at Beaver Creek.
"The gentleman asked us where we were at. I told him we were pretty much in the middle of the lake near the lower dam. He then asked me for my credit card number, and I thought that was really strange. He says we normally charge $90 to come out and pull someone in, plus gas fees. I told him that was astronomical, we needed help now," said Collins.
The family decided to call their daughter, who contacted the Shaw Air Force Base Wateree Recreation Area.
"[The Shaw Air Force Base Wateree Recreation Area] called me and didn't ask any questions, but 'Where am I?,'" said Collins. "Within minutes, most, from when I made contact, they came out in a boat."
Staff member Christina Watson was one of the rescuers, and says it's a part of the job.
"I love it and I try to help out anytime I can. Cause I have a boat, and I've been broke down on the lake, and it sucks. Nobody wants to be in that position," said Watson.
The Wateree Marina did not return WACH Fox's messages, but Watson says charging stranded people is not uncommon.
"They're running a business. We have a business here, but our job is to support our customers. So if we can help you, we're going to anyway we can," said Watson.
Collins says he understands doing business, but wishes the price wasn't so high.
Regardless, it's help he and his family have a new appreciation for.