Operation Dry Water

Fourth of July Weekend is the biggest boating weekend of the year. Authorities suspect people out on the water who are enjoying the holiday may also be enjoying a little more booze than usual. That’s why a national campaign called Operation Dry Water is being launched.
News 25’s Gina Tomlinson has the details.
Seventeen percent of last year’s fatalities that happened on the water have one thing in common: alcohol, that’s according to the Department of Marine Services. “Affects your ability to be able to stand, your vision, that’s the leading contributing factor to boating accidents,” said Deputy Chief Rusty Pittman.
That’s why the Department of Marine Services say they’re participating in Operation Dry Water, a national campaign focusing on bringing awareness to the dangers of boating while under the influence.
Patrol officers from all 50 states will be ramping up monitoring the waters, looking for drunk drivers and making sure boats are taking the proper safety precautions.
News 25 asked a group of boaters what the most important thing is when having drinks aboard. “If you’re over the limit, make sure to have a designated driver who can safely drive the boat back in,” said Gulfport resident John Harris.
Just like driving a car, the legal limit for all captains is .08. If you do intend on having drinks while out on the water, the DMR has some advice for you. “Have a designated driver and always be on the lookout for other boaters. It’s just like with an automobile. When you’re out of the water, you need to be aware of all situations around you,” said Deputy Chief Pittman.
The Operation Dry Water campaign started today. Authorities are trying to get the word out before the big July 4th weekend and hoping Operation Dry Water will stay afloat with everyone. “This is an awareness to get out to the general boating public what we’re looking for, under the influence, but it’s every day you need to be aware of this,” said Deputy Chief Pittman.

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