The U.S. Coast Guard, recreational boating safety advocates, local and state marine law enforcement and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators are teaming to highlight the dangers of boating under the influence.
The Operation Dry Water campaign — a year-round awareness and enforcement mission — is set to kick off on July 3-5 over Independence Day weekend. The July 4celebration typically brings larger crowds to the water as well as a big uptick in accidents that are a direct result of boating under the influence.
“The decision on whether or not to boat under the influence is a choice each boater is faced with,” said NASBLA chair Cody Jones in a statement. “The mission of the Operation Dry Water campaign and the agencies who participate is to reduce the number of alcohol- and drug-related deaths on the water.
According to USCG stats, alcohol is the top contributing factor in recreational boater fatalities and a top cause for accidents among recreational boaters.
“Incidents and fatalities that are a result of boating under the influence are 100 percent preventable. Those involved in Operation Dry Water, including participating law enforcement agencies and our boating safety partners, urge every boater keep themselves and others safe by choosing to stay sober while boating,” said Jones.
Organizers have reported that since the campaign’s 2009 launch, 4,095 impaired operators have been removed from our nation’s waterways. Last year, NASBLA says 736 local and national agencies participated in the year-long campaign.
Click here for more information on Operation Dry Water.