Posted: June 20, 2013WASHINGTON, DC – Boating under the influence (BUI) continues to be the leading factor in boating accidents and deaths, with alcohol use involved in 17 percent of all recreational boating fatalities, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The North American Safe Boating Campaign is teaming up with Operation Dry Water to remind boaters to stay safe on the water.
“Many factors contribute to staying safe while boating, such as wearing a life jacket, boating sober, knowing navigational rules and having a proper lookout,” said Virgil Chambers, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council, a lead organization for the North American Safe Boating Campaign. “Have fun while boating, but always make wise and safe decisions — you may save a life.”
The campaign — simply known as “Wear It!” — is a yearlong effort in the U.S. and Canada focused on spreading the message of boating safety and consistent life jacket wear.
Operation Dry Water, which runs June 28-30, 2013, is a nationwide BUI education and enforcement initiative launched in 2009 by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators in partnership with the United States Coast Guard. During the event, thousands of local, state and federal law enforcement officers will be on the water, providing heightened enforcement and awareness about the dangers of boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“Thank you to Wear It! for supporting Operation Dry Water,” said Toby Velasquez, president of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. “I encourage every boater to always boat safely, including never drinking while boating and always wearing a life jacket.”
From 2009 to 2012, Operation Dry Water led to more than 1,200 BUI operators being removed from the water and more than 313,500 boaters being contacted by a law enforcement officer. Officers from all U.S. states, trusts and territories are expected to participate in this annual event.
For more information, visit OperationDryWater.org.
The North American Safe Boating Campaign is produced under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. Follow the campaign on Twitter at twitter.com/boatingcampaign and Like on Facebook at facebook.com/SafeBoatCampaign. Share your boating story at SafeBoatingCampaign.com.