Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Operation Dry Water

Excerpt from U.S. Coast Guard Proceedings of the Marine Safety & Security Council magazine by Mr. Mike Baron, Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Division, Program Operations Branch

From June 26-29, 2009, “Operation Dry Water,” served to illustrate that BUI (boating under the influence) is a nationwide problem, and that law enforcement is taking it seriously. Coordinated activities occurred in 52 of 56 U.S. states and territories where federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies worked side by side to make the weekend a success.

One Sector’s Statistics
U.S. Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads in Portsmouth, Va., has an area of responsibility that covers a large portion of the Chesapeake Bay and its adjacent coastal and state waters. Sector Hampton Roads’ Operation Dry Water stats:
  • 1,079 dedicated hours
  • 372 U.S. Coast Guard boardings
  • 1,635 boardings by other government agencies
  • 7 arrests for BUI
  • 5 arrests for other crimes discovered during the boarding process
  • 13 recreational vessel voyages terminated
Future Plans
Plans are in place to make Operation Dry Water an annual event. It’s imperative, however, that boaters are aware that law enforcement professionals are serious about BUI, and that the weekend of Operation Dry Water isn’t the only time the laws will be enforced.

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A boater’s blood alcohol content (BAC) registers above the .08 legal limit. Photo courtesy of the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

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