Local Water Sport Companies Will Offer Unbeatable Views of the Solar Eclipse

August 18, 2017, 11:05 am EST | Share:

CHARLESTON, SC (ALEX HEATON, WTAT-TV) — If you plan to watch Monday’s total solar eclipse from the water, there is something you need to do right now to make sure you are safe and properly sharing the waterways.

Agencies say they want boaters to know there are several safety and legal issues to consider before you head out on the water Monday.

Coast Guard Sector Charleston says boaters who haven’t done so yet should file float plans with the USCG smartphone app to make it easier and more efficient for the Coast Guard and local law enforcement to respond if they have an emergency.

Authorities plan to monitor and crack down on unlawful charter operations.

Back in the tidal salt marshes of Isle of Palms, you’ll find Tidal Wave Water Sports. It is where Michael Fiem makes his money and his own dreams come true.

“When I was in third grade I experienced an eclipse on a playground and I thought it was the coolest thing in the world,” said Fiem. “When I heard about this about a year ago I’ve been thinking about this ever since.”

Now he is using his water sports company to make sure people have the best view of Monday’s solar eclipse.

“We wanted to do this because we have the ability, on boats, to jump from island to island. So if there is a little rain we can be mobile,” he explained.

Tidal Waves will offer two-hour jet ski safari rides up to Caper’s Island, which will have a longer window during totality than Charleston harbor.

They will also offer 2-hour charter tours. “They’re going to get to enjoy both an on water experience and the eclipse all in one,” he said. “They’re going to get to go to unique barrier islands, some of which they’ve never seen before.”

Several other water sport companies throughout the Lowcountry are also offering charter boat rides, kayak rentals and much more. So, the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Border Patrol tells us they will work around the clock this weekend to make sure the companies are legitimate and safe with proper licenses.

“We’ve pre-staged assets and personnel to monitor all activity and make sure that it’s safe and we can respond in a timely manner,” said Lt. J.B. Zorn with USCG.

Most come with NASA approved eclipse glasses, including Tidal Wave, but Fiem says on the water you are guaranteed a pocket of sunshine despite the cloudy forecast.

“I want to make sure that it’s an unobstructed view, so if we see that we have something moving through we’re going to move,” he said. “We have the ability to go all the way up to Bulls Bay and all the way south to Dewees.”