The SC River Rangers are a student based
group created to help protect the river and
waterways of South Carolina.
Our goal is to educate the community about potential
environmental problems regarding abandoned boats and
also provide a warning system to alert boaters of
possible navigation hazzards.
We are headquartered in the Myrtle Beach/Horry
County area of South Carolina.
Please note: Our website is being redesigned so some
of the links may not work at this time. Thank you
for your patience.
The Myrtle Beach Area can essentially
be described as an island. It is surrounded by the Atlantic
Ocean, The Intracoastal Waterway and the Waccamaw River. The
water is a source of food, transportation and enjoyment for
both residence and visitors to the area.
Abandoned boats that have been run aground or anchored in
navigation channels have become an increasing issue in our
state. The bad economy is causing boat owners to abandon
their ships. The waters in the area have become dumping
grounds. If this issue is not addressed we could lose use of
the water. The water would be too polluted to swim in. Fish
and wildlife could die and boating would not be enjoyable
Often, owners that can no longer pay for the boats will
sandpaper over the names and file off the registry numbers,
doing their best to render the boats, and make themselves
untraceable. Then they casually ditch the vessels in the
middle of busy harbors, beach them at low tide on the banks
of creeks or occasionally sink them outright. Abandoned
boats are environmental and navigational hazards, leaking
toxins and posing obstacles for other watercraft, especially
Derelict, neglected or abandoned boats, can cause problems
for a number of different reasons. The water is one of the
area’s biggest draws. If the waters that surround Myrtle
Beach continue to be cluttered with neglected boats it could
become a major eye sore and in turn may deter some visitors
to come to the area.
Recreational boaters and professional fishermen also suffer
the consequences of the abandoned boats littering the water.
Boaters often use charts to navigate their vessels through
the water. The charts show the depth of the water and if
there are any natural obstacles. When individuals
intentionally sink their boats and not tell anyone, they
have created a potential disaster. If another boat would
happen to hit the sunken boat it could cause damage and cost
a significant amount of money to repair. If a professional
fishing boat is damaged by an abandoned boat it could cost
them their business and livelihood.
The abandoned boats can also have a great impact on the
environment. Sunken boats can pose environmental and safety
risks by leaking oil and fuel in a concentrated area.
Leaking fuel is composed of petroleum products. When present
at high concentrations, these materials can be harmful to
aquatic life. The abandoned boat structures can pose
environmental issues since they are constructed with
materials that can be toxic if released to the marine
environment. For example, old boats can have electrical
components that contain PCB’s, which are an example of a
persistent bio-accumulative toxin.