FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office joins Operation Dry Water to raise awareness about dangers of boating under the influence
Spokane County, WA (June 20, 2017) – The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Marine Enforcement Unit will be participating in Operation Dry Water as part of a nationally coordinated effort to increase knowledge about the dangers of boating under the influence (BUI). The goal is to reduce the number of accidents and deaths associated with alcohol and drug use on our waterways.
Operation Dry Water weekend, June 30-July 2, is the national weekend of amplified enforcement of boating under the influence laws and recreational boater outreach. Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is reaching out to our community and to the entire recreational boating community as part of the yearlong Operation Dry Water campaign to inform and educate boaters about the hazards and negative outcomes associated with boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
"Recreational boating is a fun and enjoyable activity. Consuming alcohol while on the water can hinder that experience and create a dangerous scenario for you, your friends and family, and others on the water,” says Marine Enforcement Deputy Jim Ebel. “Alcohol impairs judgment and reaction time on the water just as is does when driving a car, even more so because of the added stressors of sun, heat, wind, noise and the vibrations of the boat. The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office wants everyone to have a great summer on the water, and to do that you’ve got to stay safe and stay sober while underway.”
As Operation Dry Water weekend and the July 4th holiday approaches, law enforcement and recreational boating safety volunteers will be out on the water educating boaters about safe boating practices and removing impaired operators from the water. The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office supports these efforts as they go a long way in ensuring the safety of recreational boaters and water sport enthusiasts.
Tips to staying safe on the water:
- Boat sober. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths*. Alcohol and drugs use impairs a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.
- Wear your life jacket. 83% of drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket*.
- Take a boating safety education course. 77% of deaths occurred on boats where the operator did not receive boating safety instruction, where instruction was known*.
Boaters can take the pledge to boat safe and boat sober, and find more information about boating under the influence at operationdrywater.org.
*2016 U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics.
The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators is a national nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories. NASBLA offers a variety of resources, including training, model acts, education standards and publications. Through a national network of thousands of professional educators, law enforcement officers and volunteers, NASBLA affects the lives of over 76 million American boaters.
The United States Coast Guard is a military, multi-mission, maritime service within the Department of Homeland Security and one of the nation’s five armed services. Its core roles are to protect the public, the environment, and U.S. economic and security interests in any maritime region in which those interests may be at risk, including international waters and America’s coasts, ports, and inland waterways.