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Operation Dry Water

Sarasota Police Department to Participate in Operation Dry Water

| Suncoast Post Staff |

The Sarasota Police Department will be taking part in the annual Operation Dry Water campaign to educate boaters about the dangers of boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  The mission of this program is to reduce the number of alcohol and drug-related incidents and fatalities on the water.

Operation Dry Water weekend, July 2-4, is the national weekend of amplified recreational boater outreach, education, and coordinated enforcement surrounding boating under the influence. Alcohol use continues to be the leading known contributing factor in recreational boater deaths and a leading contributor in boating accidents according to 2019 U.S. Coast Guard recreational boating statistics.

The men and women of the Sarasota Police Department are asking boaters to enjoy boating and help keep everyone safe by not drinking alcohol while on the water, or operating a boat after you have consumed alcohol.  The use of legal and illegal drugs also impairs judgment and reaction time and creates dangerous circumstances while boating.

“Recreational boating and paddlesports activities are enjoyed by individuals and families across the country.  To ensure that everyone is safe out on the water, we have partnered with Operation Dry Water to assist in educating operators and passengers on the dangers associated with boating while impaired,” said Michael Skinner, Sarasota Police Department Marine Patrol Unit.

“We also will be reminding them of other safe boating practices, such as wearing a life jacket and enrolling in a boater education course.  The Sarasota Police Department wants everyone to have a great summer on the water, and to do that boaters must remain sober and alert while underway,” said Ron Dixon, Sarasota Police Department Marine Patrol Unit.

As part of the Operation Dry Water weekend, recreational boating safety volunteers, in collaboration with law enforcement in every U.S. state and territory, will be at marinas and on the water educating boaters about safe boating practices.  Law enforcement will also be out on the water working to detect and remove dangerous and impaired operators.  In 2020, law enforcement officers across the nation removed 625 impaired operators from our nation’s waterways during the Operation Dry Water weekend.

The Sarasota Police Department reminds boaters to always boat sober and to wear a life jacket when on or around the water.  The risk of serious injury is the same for operators and passengers when drinking.  Additionally, alcohol use by passengers presents a danger regardless of whether the operator is consuming alcohol or not.

Boaters can learn more about boating under the influence and Operation Dry Water by visiting the website.  Operation Dry Water is coordinated nationally by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Photo from Sarasota Police Department

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