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Sheriff requests boaters' pledge

The Island County Sheriff’s Office and Washington State Parks are asking for the public to pledge never to operate a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the Operation Dry Water campaign, June 27-29.

Operation Dry Water is a national boating under the influence (BUI) campaign developed by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the United States Coast Guard. Now in its sixth year, the operation partners with the recreational boaters, as well as local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to bring attention to the dangers of drinking and boating.

The campaign focuses on preventing accidents, injuries and deaths resulting from people abusing alcohol or drugs while operating boats. According to the 2013 Coast Guard recreational boating statistics, alcohol is the number one contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 16 percent of deaths. According to Washington State Parks, between 2007 and 2013, at least 36 people died in reportable boating accidents where alcohol use was a contributing factor.

As with drinking and driving, boating while intoxicated is illegal.

“Alcohol is as hazardous on water as it is on land,” said Island County Sheriff Mark Brown, in a recent news release. “Whether or not you are the driver of the boat, boating under the influence is a bad idea.”

Boaters that would like to show their support for the campaign can make their pledge by visiting www.operationdrywater.org under the “Boaters” section. For more information on boating regulations, visit www.boat.wa.gov

 

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