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Coast Guard, local law enforcement to launch Operation Dry Water

June 24, 2015

NEW ORLEANS — Coast Guard, local and state law enforcement officers across the United States will be on heightened alert for those violating boating under the influence laws during the annual Operation Dry Water weekend, June 26 through 28. Operation Dry Water is a nationally coordinated heightened awareness and enforcement campaign, focused on deterring boaters from boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths, and a leading factor in recreational boating accidents. Law enforcement agencies from every U.S. state and territory will be participating in Operation Dry Water weekend, focusing their efforts on detecting impaired boaters and educating the public about the dangers of boating under the influence. In 2014, alcohol use was the primary factor in nearly one-fourth of boater deaths.

“The decision about whether to drink and boat under the influence is a choice every boater makes,” says Ed Huntsman, 8th Coast Guard District boating safety program manager. “Boating under the influence is a 100% preventable crime. Operation Dry Water, participating law enforcement agencies and our boating safety partners encourage boaters to stay safe by staying sober while boating.”

Since the inception of the Operation Dry Water Campaign in 2009, law enforcement officers have removed 1,875 boating under the influence operators from the nation’s waterways and made contact with over 604,250 boaters during the annual three-day weekend. In 2014, 585 local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and Coast Guard units from 56 state and territories participated in Operation Dry Water.

Environmental “stressors” such as wind, noise, and the movement of the boat while on the water intensify the effects of alcohol or drug use on an individual while boating. Boaters can become impaired more quickly on the water than on land.

Operation Dry Water is a year-round boating under the influence awareness and mpaign with the mission of reducing 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 and drug use on the water.

For more information on Operation Dry Water, please visit See a list of participating of agencies by state at

Media may contact Ed Huntsman, the 8th Coast Guard District boating safety program manager, for any inquiries at 504-671-2148.


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