Law enforcement agencies to conduct ‘Operation Dry Water’
Deputies with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit will join other local, state and federal law enforcement officers this weekend, June 25-27, for Operation Dry Water 2010, the second annual national crackdown on those boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Safety inspections will be conducted and violators of wake and speed zones, careless operation, BUI will be cited or charged accordingly. It’s hoped by publicizing the upcoming operation boaters become more alert and will obey the laws.
Vessel owners and operators are reminded to conduct their own safety in-spections to include checking navigation / anchor lights, fire extinguishers and assuring the proper number of USCG approved lifejackets before disembarking.
Citizens can help by letting the LCSO know if they observe aggressive or im-paired boat operators and by their compliance with the rules of the water.
To get in touch with marine deputies call (239) 477-1000. If you see reckless or drunk boat operators dial 9-1-1 or use VHF Channel 16.
Boaters are reminded to wear their personal flotation device and be courteous to one another.
Operation Dry Water, launched in 2009 by Na-tional Association of State Boating Law Administra-tors in partnership with the United States Coast Guard, has been a highly successful effort to draw public attention to the hazards of BUI. Operation Dry Water is a national weekend of BUI detection and enforcement aimed at reducing the number of alcohol and drug-related accidents and fatalities and fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol and drug use on the water.
According to the most recent U.S. Coast Guard statistics, BUI is still the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents, with 17 percent of boating fatalities a direct result of alcohol or drug use. In 2008, more than two-thirds of those who died in recreational boating accidents drowned; 90 percent of those who drowned were not wearing a life jacket.
For additional information on Operation Dry Water, visit operationdry-water.org.