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The Perils Of Lake Swimming In South Carolina

Lake

South Carolina boasts some lovely destinations for beach vacations, but fun is to be had in equal measure on the lakes and rivers found throughout the state. If you are planning on swimming, boating, or fishing in South Carolina’s freshwater rivers and lakes, be sure to follow safety guidance and exercise caution. If you get injured in a water recreation accident on private property or in a park, the property owner or the state or county in charge of the park could be legally responsible for your medical bills and other accident-related expenses. Contact a South Carolina premises liability lawyer to find out more.

Swimming Risks

Public beaches and swimming pools must have lifeguards on duty whenever they are open for swimming. Some lake areas designated for swimming have lifeguards, too. The problem is that which areas of the lake are appropriate for swimming is less clear cut than it is with pools or beaches. You should not swim in areas where “no swimming” signs are posted, but if there are no signs, it is best to avoid swimming in areas with no lifeguards. Unless you are a very strong swimmer, the risk of drowning is considerable if you swim in a lake. Likewise, the fewer people and boats are in the area, the more likely alligators are to be present, not that swimming near boats is any safer than swimming near alligators.

Boating and Personal Watercraft Accidents

Boats and personal watercraft such as jet skis are only safe if you operate them properly, and failure to do so can result in death or severe injury. If the accident happens because the boat was not properly maintained, the owner of the boat is legally responsible for the accident. Alcohol is a factor in a disproportionate number of boating accidents.

Dangerous Microorganisms Found in Lakes

In the past several years, the number of N. fowleri infections has increased dramatically. N. fowleri is a species of amoeba that is widespread in warm bodies of freshwater, such as lakes in the southern United States. It only causes illness if it enters the nasal passages, from which it can reach the brain, causing encephalitis. More than 90 percent of documented cases of N. fowleri encephalitis have been fatal.

Algae blooms are another hazard in South Carolina lakes during the summer; the Department of Health and Environmental Control has warned against swimming in Lake Whelchel and Lake Waterlee this summer because of algae blooms. Swimming in algae-infested water can cause skin irritation, and accidentally swallowing the water can cause illness. Symptoms can include weakness, excessive saliva production, seizures, and difficulty breathing.

Let Us Help You Today

The Columbia premises liability lawyers at The Stanley Law Group wish you a safe and fun summer of outdoor recreation. If you have been injured on private property or at a public park, we can help you recover damages. Contact The Stanley Law Group for more information.

Resource:

scdhec.gov/environment/your-water-coast/harmful-algal-blooms

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