Operation Dry Water: Reducing Alcohol & Drug- Related Boating Accidents

Miami, Fl. (Florida News Network)- The Coast Guard and local law enforcement agencies are teaming up to participate in Operation Dry Water, a boating under the influence awareness and enforcement national campaign, Friday through Sunday.

Operation Dry Water focuses on spreading awareness of the danger of boating under the influence to the recreational boating public. The mission of Operation Dry Water 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. Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.

Over the course of the three-day weekend, law enforcement officers will be on the water educating the boating public on the dangers associated with boating under the influence. Officers will also be on heightened alert for those in violation of boating under the influence laws and removing dangerous boaters from the waterways.

Since the launch of the Operation Dry Water campaign in 2009, 4,095 impaired operators have been removed from our nation’s waterways, preventing dangerous and potentially tragic consequences. Officers have also made contact with over 1.5 million boaters during the annual three-day weekend as part of the awareness campaign. In 2019, 736 agencies from every state and territory participated in Operation Dry Water.

Alcohol consumption while boating is not only dangerous for the operator of the vessel, but also for passengers. Impairment can lead to slips, falls overboard, injuries and deaths that could have been prevented if they had made the decision not to drink alcohol, or be otherwise impaired, while boating. When alcohol is involved, the risk of dying is the same for an impaired operator and an impaired passenger, and for men and women.

Operation Dry Water is a year-round boating under the influence awareness and enforcement campaign with the mission of reducing the number of alcohol and drug-related incidents and fatalities through increased recreational boater awareness and by fostering a stronger deterrent to alcohol and drug use on the water

Graphic credit: U.S. Coast Guard

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