Porterville, CA – This Fourth of July weekend, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will participate in Operation Dry Water, a coordinated three-day effort to heighten awareness of the dangers of boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The Corps’ Richard L. Schafer Dam, Success Lake will join the U.S. Coast Guard, National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and others in the annual campaign on July 3-5, 2020. Boaters will see an increase in outreach, education and enforcement related to boating under the influence.
Alcohol use continues to be the leading known contributing factor in recreational boater deaths and a leading contributor in boating accidents, according to U.S. Coast Guard recreational boating statistics.
The mission of Operation Dry Water is to reduce the number of alcohol- and drug-related incidents and fatalities on the water. Success Lake park rangers will be out educating boaters on ways to stay safe while on the water, which includes always boating sober and avoiding any alcohol- or drug-use prior to and while boating.
“Getting out on the water over the 4th of July weekend is an enjoyable and relaxing activity for many. We have partnered with Operation Dry Water to help keep boaters safe by educating operators and passengers on the dangers of boating under the influence,” said Charlie Mauldin, Deputy Operations Project Manager for Success Lake. “Staying sober while boating is a critical part of boating safely. Boaters should also take a boating safety education course prior to getting on the water and everyone on board should always wear a life jacket while on or near the water. We want all boaters to enjoy their time on the water in a way that allows everyone to return home safely.”
Park rangers will be out on the water and at boat ramps, working collaboratively with law enforcement to educate boaters about safe boating practices. Law enforcement will also be detecting and removing impaired operators from the water. No matter where you are boating, it is illegal to operate a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
In 2019, law enforcement officers across the nation issued a total of 9,524 citations and removed 563 impaired operators from our nation’s waterways. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Success Lake staff is urging boaters to enjoy this boating season and help keep everyone safe by not drinking alcohol while on the water, or operating a boat after you have consumed alcohol. Use of both legal and illegal drugs also impairs judgment and reaction time and makes it dangerous to operate any vessel.
Boaters can learn more about boating under the influence by visiting www.spk.usace.army.mil or https://www.nasbla.org/operationdrywater/. Operation Dry Water is coordinated nationally by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard.