The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit is joining a nationally coordinated effort to educate boaters about the dangers of boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Operation Dry Water is a year-round national campaign focused on raising awareness about boating under the influence. Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in recreational boater deaths and a leading contributor in boating accidents.
“Our goal is to educate boaters not only about the laws regarding boating under the influence, but to help them understand the danger of boating while impaired,” HCSO Marine Unit Deputy Conan Moore said. “Certain factors on the water such as wind, sun, noise and the rocking of the boat all impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time on the water. At any given moment, there are individuals in the water, on paddleboards or in other boats that depend on boat operators to be alert and in control of their vessel. People’s lives depend on it.”
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit is asking boaters to help keep everyone safe this boating season 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, making it dangerous to operate a boat.
In addition to the year-round campaign, the annual Operation Dry Water heightened awareness and enforcement weekend will take place June 29-July 1. This three-day time period is a national weekend of increased enforcement and recreational boater outreach. In 2017, 518 impaired boat operators were removed by law enforcement across the country during Operation Dry Water Weekend. This year, law enforcement, recreational boating safety educators and volunteers will be out on the water informing boaters about safe boating practices and removing impaired operators from the water.
Learn more about the dangers of boating under the influence by visiting operationdrywater.org.