Maine Marine Patrol gears up for Operation Dry Water
Maine Marine Patrol Officers up and down the coast are gearing up for Operation Dry Water — the nation’s boating under the influence awareness and enforcement campaign.
The nationwide event will take place June 27 through June 29. Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in recreational boater deaths in the United States.
During the three-day Operation Dry Water weekend, Marine Patrol Officers will be on heightened alert for those violating boating under the influence laws. In 2013, officers nationwide contacted 144,044 recreational boaters and made 290 BUI arrests during the three-day weekend. In Maine, Marine Patrol Officers checked more than 70 boaters during the event and wrote more than 30 violations for boating safety issues.
“We did not issue any BUI violations during last year’s Operation Dry Water, which is a sign that our publicity prior to the weekend worked,” said Major Cornish in a news release.
Starting Friday, June 27, Marine Patrol Officers will be patrolling the Maine coast not only looking for violations but also educating boaters about the dangers of boating under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
"The mission of Operation Dry Water and the law enforcement officers who participate is to reduce the number of alcohol- and drug-related deaths on the water,” said Marine Patrol Major Jon Cornish. “Boating should be a fun and enjoyable time spent with friends and family; we are asking that boaters make sure their voyage remains enjoyable by boating sober. Too many accidents and deaths are caused by those who choose to boat under the influence.”
In 2009, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, in partnership with the United States Coast Guard, launched Operation Dry Water to help draw public attention to the dangers of boating under the influence of alcohol and drugs. According to the 2013 U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics, from 2009 to 2013 there has been a 37 percent decrease in the number of recreational boater deaths where alcohol use was listed as the known primary contributing factor. From 2012 to 2013, there was a 31 percent decrease in the number of alcohol-related recreational boater deaths — the most significant decrease in the past five years.
For more information on Operation Dry Water, please visit operationdrywater.org.