Volunteer boater rescuers treading through a busy summer

The tricky tides and swift currents of Beaufort-area waterways have proved problematic recently for some local boaters and kept Beaufort's all-volunteer water search and rescue squadron busy. With summer in full swing, boaters have hit the waters near Beaufort en masse -- but not all of them return safely to the Lowcountry's numerous public and private boat landings, or even in the boats they went out on. Around 5 p.m. every day, Dick Jennings has come to expect a phone call from county dispatchers requesting the assistance of the 45-member Beaufort Water Search and Rescue Squadron and Marine Rescue Sqaurdron 4B. The squadrons, with an office on Paris Avenue in Port Royal, has been helping boaters in Beaufort County since 1975.The group receives some grant funding, but also seeks donations and gladly accepts them -- but doesn't ask -- from those they help.