Operation Dry Water Reminds Boaters to Stay Sober While Boating Ahead of Memorial Day Weekend

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The upcoming Memorial Day holiday is a time to remember all who lost their lives while serving our country, but it is also a major holiday in recreational boating. Unfortunately alcohol use while boating continues to create havoc on the water, leading to many injuries, accidents and fatalities that could have been avoided.

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Memorial Day weekend is a a major holiday in recreational boating, but a day on the water can turn tragic when alcohol is involved. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating fatalities.

Operation Dry Water and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) are proud to join boating safety advocates nationwide during National Safe Boating Week, May 19 – 25, 2018, to raise awareness about safe boating practices. National Safe Boating Week is observed to bring attention to important life-saving tips for recreational boaters so they can have a safe and enjoyable boating season.

The upcoming Memorial Day holiday is a time to remember all who lost their lives while serving our country, but it is also a major holiday in recreational boating. Millions of boaters will take to the water Memorial Day weekend to enjoy the warmer weather and kick-off the boating season. Unfortunately alcohol use while boating continues to create havoc on the water, leading to many injuries, accidents and fatalities that could have been avoided.

Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating fatalities according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Operation Dry Water campaign works year-round to raise awareness about the dangers of boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This year will be the 10th annual Operation Dry Water Heightened Awareness and Enforcement weekend, taking place June 29 – July 1 nationwide.

Operation Dry Water's heightened awareness and enforcement three-day weekend facilitates a nationwide outreach effort and crackdown on boating under the influence. Boating safety advocates and law enforcement in all states and territories will be on the water educating boaters about safe boating practices, which includes staying sober while boating and always wearing a life jacket. Law enforcement will also be on the look out for those violating boating under the influence laws.

Operation Dry Water provides a wide range of free resources for the both law enforcement as well as the public and boating safety advocates to use in educating boaters about the dangers of boating under the influence. A newly released video tells the story of a family who was torn apart by the decision of one person to operate a boat under the influence. Law enforcement agencies can register to participate in Operation Dry Water at operationdrywater.org.

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The mission of ODW is to reduce the number of alcohol- and drug-related accidents and fatalities through increased recreational boater awareness and by fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol use on the water. Operation Dry Water is produced under a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard and is a product of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.

2016 USCG Accident Statistics

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