National Safe Boating Week: May 16-22

Operation Dry Water joins boating advocates in the United States and Canada who are teaming up to promote safe and responsible boating during National Safe Boating Week, May 16-22.

According to recently released U.S. Coast Guard statistics, alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths. Operation Dry Water, the national boating under the influence awareness and enforcement campaign, is spreading awareness of the dangers of boating under the influence of both drugs and alcohol and asking boaters to stay safe by staying sober while boating.

National Safe Boating Week kicks off just as recreational boaters and law enforcement personnel are preparing for the start of the boating season. This week serves as a reminder to boaters that there are easy steps you can take to greatly increase the safety and enjoyment of your summer boating experience. “We always ask boaters to remember The Big Three of recreational boating safety. This includes never consuming alcohol while boating, making sure everyone on the vessel is wearing a life jacket, and taking the time to participate in a boating safety course, either in person or online,” says John Fetterman, National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Deputy Executive Director. “If boaters follow these three rules and practices, their chances of being involved in a boating accident drastically decrease.”

Environmental “stressors” associated with boating, such as the rocking of the boat, sun, wind and noise, all intensify the effect of alcohol on a person while boating. Because of this, a boater is likely to become impaired more quickly on a boat than on land. Both operators and passengers increase their chances of slips, falls overboard or becoming involved in a serious boating accident by consuming alcohol while boating.

Operation Dry Water (ODW) is a national year-round boating under the influence (BUI) awareness and enforcement campaign. The ODW campaign coordinates an annual national weekend of heightened awareness and enforcement of BUI laws prior to the July 4th holiday. The 2015 ODW heightened awareness and enforcement weekend is June 26-28, 2015. Law enforcement agencies from every U.S. state and territory are expected to participate. To learn more about Operation Dry Water visit OperationDryWater.org.

For more information, contact:
Hannah Helsby, Project Manager
National Association of State Boating Law Administrators
 Hannah@nasbla.org; 859.225.9487