“Operation Dry Water” Focuses on Boating Safety

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has reported results from its recent “Operation Dry Water” campaign to crack down on operating a boat while impaired (OWI).

A wildlife officer congratulates a young boater for wearing his life vest during an Operation Dry Water patrol at Holden Beach, June, 2013. (N.C. Wildlife photo)

A wildlife officer congratulates a young boater for wearing his life vest during an Operation Dry Water patrol at Holden Beach, June, 2013. (N.C. Wildlife photo)

171 wildlife officers conducted the statewide campaign last weekend, and they saw a reduction in the number of violations compared with similar operations in the past few years.

“Arrests for operating while impaired in North Carolina were down this year from previous campaigns,” said Maj. Chris Huebner, the state boating law administrator for the Wildlife Commission. “I think the majority of boaters understand the added risks and make the smart choices while on the water.”

During this year’s “Operation Dry Water”, 2,361 vessels were contacted, resulting in 153 citations and 326 warnings. 22 people were arrested for operating while impaired, down from 32 during last year’s campaign.

The Wildlife Commission says that the most recent data show alcohol as a contributing factor in about 8 percent of all boating accidents, but that figure rises to 17 percent when looking specifically at boating fatalities.

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