UPDATE: 6/24/2012 11:49 PM
Operation Dry Water is a nationwide campaign to end drunken boating. That means strict enforcement of BUI laws and educating boaters about the risks of boating under the influence.
"In order to do that we increase our patrols to stop boating under the influence and also it's a big education process. Talking to boaters and letting them know whats going on with BUI's and safety on the boats and everything else. And it's just a flooding the water with officers and a proactive approach to preventing these accidents," says West Virginia Department of Natural Resources Sergeant Michael Lott.
The Coast Guard says recreational boating deaths jumped nationally last year to their highest levels since 1998. The leading contributing factor was boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
"We're making pretty active stops. Making suggestions. So far we've stopped people for expired registration and utilized that time to explain why we're out here and the dangers of drinking. If we key in on what people call those minor infractions we can educate people a lot more," says Sgt. Lott.
It's about making boating a safe way to unwind.
"Activities on the boat. It's a great recreational sport and a great way to have fun. A lot of families out there and we want to make people aware. It's a good family sport, it's good to get out there with friends and we want to make it safe so everybody can have fun," says Sgt. Lott.
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources officers are participating in operation dry water.
It's an annual nationwide campaign focused on enforcement of BUI laws and educating boaters about the risks of boating under the influence.
Officers will be patrolling the waters for boaters whose blood alcohol content exceeds the state limit of .08.
The Coast Guard says recreational boating deaths jumped nationally last year to their highest levels since 1998.
The leading contributing factor was boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
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