Monday, January 22, 2018

Letter to the Editor

April 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Dear Editor:

Operation Dry Water, the nation’s annual boating under the influence awareness and enforcement campaign, has shown a significant impact in addressing the issue of drunk boating. Across the country, 6,219 law enforcement officers from 513 local, state and federal agencies joined forces for this year’s Operation Dry Water Campaign.

Launched in 2009 by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) in partnership with the United States Coast Guard, Operation Dry Water is aimed at reducing the number of alcohol-related accidents and fatalities and to foster a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol use on the water. The campaign is having the desired effect, as law enforcement officers made 290 BUI arrests during the three-day boating under the influence (BUI) enforcement period, June 28-30, 2013. Officers from participating agencies made contact with more than 140,000 boaters as part of a national effort to heighten the public’s awareness of the dangers of drinking while boating.

“Drunk boating and boating under the influence is more than a careless choice made by a few isolated boaters. Adults and children are killed every year in accidents on the water caused by boaters who were operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” said John Fetterman, Operation Dry Water spokesperson and director of law enforcement for NASBLA. “Thank you to all the law enforcement personnel whose hard work and dedication continue to keep our nation’s boaters and waterways safe.”

Alcohol continues to be the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths in the United States. Since the launch of Operation Dry Water in 2009, the amount of boating fatalities with alcohol named as a contributing factor has decreased from 19 percent to 17 percent in the United States (2012 U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics).

For more information on this annual awareness and enforcement campaign, visit the Operation Dry Water Campaign website at

Hannah Helsby
Project Associate, NASBLA


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