The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit is joining a nationally coordinated effort this weekend to educate boaters about the dangers of boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
On July 5 through July 7, 2019, the Sheriff’s Marine Unit will be teaming up with the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay for the Operation Dry Water heightened awareness and enforcement weekend. This three-day time period is a weekend of amplified recreational boater outreach, education and coordinated enforcement surrounding boating under the influence.
“Our goal is to not only educate boaters on the dangers of drinking alcohol and boating, but also to remind them of other safe boating practices, such as enrolling in a boater education course and always wearing a life jacket,” HCSO Marine Unit Deputy Conan Moore said.
Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in recreational boater deaths and a leading contributor in boating accidents. Use of both legal and illegal drugs also impairs judgment and reaction time and makes it dangerous to operate a boat. In 2018, 494 impaired operators were removed by law enforcement across the country during the Operation Dry Water three-day weekend.
“Alcohol impairs judgment and reaction time on the water even more so than it does in a car because of the added stressors of sun, heat, wind, noise and the vibrations of the boat,” Moore said. “The Sheriff’s Office wants everyone to have a great summer on the water, and to do that boaters must remain sober and alert while underway.”
Operation Dry Water is a year-round national campaign focused on raising awareness about boating under the influence, coordinated nationally by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard.
Learn more about the dangers of boating under the influence by visiting operationdrywater.org