America's Boating Club of Lake Murray

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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.

1LaborDay 2LaborDay2 3LaborDay3 4LaborDay4 5LaborDay5 6LaborDay6
7LaborDay7 DamSwim1 DamSwim2 DamSwim3 DamSwim4 Paddle1
Paddle2 Paddle3 Paddle4 Paddle5 Paddle6 Paddle7

Updated 28 October 2019
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