--Don't just bring life jackets; wear them. About 90 percent of recreational boating drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket.

--Never drive a boat while drunk. If you're going to drink, pick an experienced boater to be the designated driver.

--Check to make sure your flares and fire extinguisher are up to date and in good condition.

--Take a boating safety course. The next U.S. Coast Guard Auxilliary course will be June 26 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Daniel Island Library. Online courses are also available at www.dnr.sc.gov.

--Get a free boat safety inspection from DNR.

--Keep up-to-date navigational charts onboard, and be aware of high-tide and low-tide times.

--Slow down when visibility is limited, especially at night.

--Leave a "float plan" with someone on shore. This should include when you're leaving, where you're going, when you're returning, who is on board and a description of your vessel.

--Be aware of weather conditions before and during your time on the water. Tune your VHF marine radio to channel 1, 2 or 3.

--Shut off your engine near swimmers or divers.