Boaters reminded to stay safe and sober through Operation Dry Water

Boaters reminded to stay safe and sober through Operation Dry Water

RICHMOND, VA —The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) and the National Association of Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) are reminding all boaters to stay safe and sober this summer, and always wear a life jacket while on the water. A good day on the water can turn tragic in seconds. No matter where you boat–from large lakes and rivers to small farm ponds—wearing a life jacket and staying sober are essential for safety!

Operation Dry Water 2021 is July 2 – 4. Operation Dry Water is a national awareness and enforcement campaign focused on reducing the number of alcohol- and drug-related accidents and fatalities and fostering a stronger, more visible deterrent to alcohol and drug use on the water. It is coordinated by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard as well as local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. U.S. Coast Guard 2019 data reveal that alcohol use remains the primary contributing factor in recreational boater deaths.

While getting ready for the boating season, boaters should make sure they have U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets in good condition that fit every occupant of the boat, including children.

No matter what time of year you go boating, always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. Also, have a plan to reboard your boat in case the unexpected happens and you end up in the water.

Weather conditions and a marine forecast can be found on the National Weather Service website. The United States Geological Survey has water temperatures for some inland lakes and rivers.

To learn more about boating laws in Virginia and information on boating, boating education and water safety, please visit: www.dwr.virginia.gov/boating. Remember, everyone wants to have a safe, enjoyable day on the water. Do your part by wearing your life jacket and taking a boating safety education course.

ALWAYS WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKET. IT WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE.

PLEASE DO NOT DISREGARD SAFETY MESSAGES. THEY ARE THERE TO PROTECT YOU!