Marine Patrol To Crack Down On Boating While Intoxicated
The Maine Marine Patrol will be on the lookout for impaired boaters this weekend, the agency said in a news release on Wednesday.
Operation Dry Water, June 24-26, is a national awareness and enforcement campaign that focuses on deterring boaters from boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“Marine Patrol Officers will be conducting patrols on Maine's coastal waters from Kittery to the Canadian border, focused on boaters who may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” Maine Marine Patrol Major Rene Cloutier said in the release.
Nationally, alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. According to the US Coast Guard, alcohol use was the primary factor in nearly one-fifth of boater deaths in 2015.
“They will also be taking every opportunity possible to provide information on safe boating practices and the importance of wearing life jackets,” Major Cloutier said. According to US Coast Guard statistics, 85 percent of drowning victims in 2015 were not wearing a life jacket.
The Maine Marine Patrol participated in 11 Operation Drywater details in 2015. Patrols took place on the Penobscot River, Kennebec River, Southport Island, Matinicus Island, Boothbay Harbor, Portland, Harpswell, Bar Harbor, Rockland and Castine.
A total of 107 boats were checked with 329 persons on board. 30 warnings were issued for various safety equipment deficiencies.