Safety on the Water

June 2017
Written By: 
Harold Rohrback

The Long Bay Power Squadron has been serving the Grand Strand since 1960.

On any given weekend along the Grand Strand, thousands of boats converge on the Intracoastal Waterway operated by persons with varying degrees of nautical knowledge and expertise. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources’ statistics show a steady increase in recreational boating accidents over the past five years. So, anyone who has experienced what can sometimes be described as “maritime mayhem” will be relieved to know that there exists a local organization dedicated to making boating safer and more enjoyable.

The United States Power Squadrons is a nationwide non-profit boating educational and social organization dedicated to safer boating through education. The USPS was founded in 1914 and is organized into 350 squadrons across the country with more than 35,000 members. The local chapter serving the Grand Strand is the Long Bay Power Squadron.

The LBPS was chartered in 1960 and, even though all of the members share a common interest in boating, not all members own boats. The members have fun together, learn together and boat together. Dave DuBarr has been a member for almost two years. “I came for the boating education and stayed for the friends,” he says. Members meet on the second Tuesday of every month at restaurants around the area for a program and dinner, while monthly boating excursions are done from March through November.

Larry Byrd has been a member of the Long Bay Power Squadron for almost 45 years. He is a Certified Vessel Examiner and is specially trained by the United States Coast Guard to conduct vessel safety checks, free of charge. These free services can save a boat owner substantial amounts of money on insurance premiums.

The LBPS offers an exhaustive list of classes in the classroom, on the water and even online from basic boating safety to advanced navigation. There is never a shortage of information and education, whether it is from the national monthly newsletter, the local monthly newsletter, Facebook or the group’s website (