Lake Murray Members' Provide Aid and Support
for Annual Swim and Paddle Events
Lake Murray members celebrated Labor Day at our facility at Flotilla Island
before spending two weekends on the water in civic service, continuing our
annual support of swim and paddle events on the lake.
The 21st Annual Dam Swim for Drew went off without a hitch on 14 September
thanks to all involved. This year, approximately 315 swimmers participated. We
had 16 squadron boats, one Coast Guard Auxiliary boat, and one Sea Tow boat
helping line the course to keep the swimmers safe and on track.
The purpose of the annual swim across Lake Murray is to raise awareness of
boating and swimming safety in memory of 10-year old Drew Smith. On 19 July,
1997, Drew was killed in a boating accident when a group of boaters made the
decision to drink and drive on Lake Murray. They rammed into the boat Drew and
his dad, Randy, were fishing from in a Lake Murray cove. Randy Smith survived
the ordeal -- Drew did not. As a result of Drew's death, South Carolina State
Senators voted on legislation for "Boating Under the Influence (BUI)" shortly
after the accident. South Carolina now enforces the Boating Safety and Reform
Act of 1999, known as Drew's Law. This legislation raised the penalties for
boating violations to equal that of similar highway violations, most notably
that of death resulting from BUI (Boating Under the Influence). Since Drew's law
went into effect, boating fatalities statewide have dropped. The event also
raises funds to help finance an indoor swimming facility in Lexington, S.C., in
memory of Drew.
Thanks to the Lake Murray Power Squadron members who helped with the event
this year. The 22nd Annual Dam Swim for Drew is scheduled for 12 September 2020.
The following weekend, our members again came out to help provide aid and
security for those participating in the 2019 Paddle Classic on 21 September. The
Lake Murray Paddle Classic is the second-to-last race in the Southern Stoke Race
Series, a summer series of races throughout the Southeast.
As you may be aware this event showcases all skill levels — short- and
long-distance courses for beginners through elite paddlers, a first-timer's
challenge, kids' race, SUP pup race and most importantly a race featuring
Special Olympics. Over 100 paddlers participated this year.
All race proceeds benefit South Carolina Special Olympics and we are always
proud to participate in this worthwhile event.
Check out the photos below of our members sharing fellowship on and off the
lake, along with scenes of the Dam Swim for Drew and the 2019 Paddle Classic.