Coast Guard Station Woods Hole nabs intoxicated boater near Martha’s Vineyard

Coast Guard Station Woods Hole, Mass., crew members prepare to get underway for a night patrol aboard the station's 45-foot Response Boat-Medium, near Falmouth, Mass., May 21, 2013. Crew members are required to spend a certain amount of hours underway at night to maintain qualification proficiency. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Rob Simpson.)

Coast Guard Station Woods Hole, Mass., crew members prepare to get underway for a night patrol aboard the station’s 45-foot Response Boat-Medium.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Rob Simpson.)

BOSTON — The Coast Guard responded to an intoxicated boat operator early Thursday near Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard.

The Dukes County Sheriff Department notified Coast Guard Station Woods Hole watchstanders shortly before midnight Wednesday that a passenger aboard the pleasure craft Dream Driven called and reported the operator was under the influence of alcohol.

A 45-foot Response Boat crew from Coast Guard Station Woods Hole launched at about 12:45 a.m, located the boat, and towed it to a marina in Falmouth.

There, the Coast Guard crew issued a field sobriety test to the boat operator. The operator failed the test and was taken into custody by Falmouth police.

“We took the necessary steps to ensure the passengers aboard the boat made it safely to shore, and the intoxicated boater was handled accordingly,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin J. Darling, the coxswain of the 45-foot response boat.

Alcohol is the number one contributor to fatal boating accidents. A boat operator with a blood alcohol concentration above .10 percent is ten times more likely to die in a boating accident than a sober boater.

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