Purple martins 8

Boats positoned around Bomb Island on Lake Murray to watch the purple martins fly in. Cola Daily file photo.

Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial kickoff to summer, and many Midlands residents will be spending lots of time on the lake.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division will be holding courtesy boat inspections at two public boat landings in Lexington County (and at additional landings across the state) over the weekend to help make sure boats are safely and properly equipped.

SCDNR officers will be positioned at the Lake Murray Dam Saturday and at Dreher Island Landing Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon. The boat inspections will make sure boaters have the required safety equipment and proper boat and motor registration for the watercraft before launching.

Any boater who takes advantage of the inspection and is found to not be in compliance with safety regulations or registration requirements will not be ticketed. Instead, boaters will be given an opportunity to correct the problem before they launch their boat, according to DNR officials.

The officers will also be available to answer questions and give boaters tips on how to stay safe while on the water.

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