Great Lakes Coast Guard, partner agencies launch Operation Dry Water

Operation Dry Water will include increased patrols, breathalyzer tests, and boater education. Boaters found to be impaired can expect penalties to be severe. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Eggers

Operation Dry Water will include increased patrols, breathalyzer tests, and boater education. Boaters found to be impaired can expect penalties to be severe. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Eggers

CLEVELAND — Coast Guard units and partner law enforcement agencies across the Great Lakes will conduct boardings in support of Operation Dry Water beginning Friday.

The June 30 through July 2 operation is a national awareness and enforcement campaign focused on reducing the number of maritime alcohol-and drug-related accidents and fatalities.

“Much like operating a motor vehicle, the operator of a vessel shoulders the responsibility for the safe operation of their vessel, including the safety of their passengers, said Michael Baron, recreational boating and water safety specialist for the Ninth Coast Guard District. “When an operator is boating under the influence (BUI), it’s often not the impaired operator, but their loved ones, passengers and other waterway users who suffer.”

Alcohol use continues to be the leading known contributing factor in recreational boating deaths; it was listed as the leading contributing factor in 15% of all recreational boating fatalities. Boating under the influence is just as, if not more, dangerous than driving a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and just as illegal.

For more information on boating under the influence, visit the Coast Guard BUI page.

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