Thousands of law enforcement officers and outreach partners across the country will be participating in Operation Dry Water June 29-July 1.The three-day heightened awareness and enforcement weekend publicizes the dangers of boating under the influence and facilitates heightened enforcement of boating under the influence laws.
Local, state and federal agencies from every U.S. state and territory will be participating. In 2017, 7,150 officers from 628 agencies participated in Operation Dry Water and made 518 arrests for boating under the influence.
Following Operation Dry Water is the 4th of July holiday, which is one of the top boating holidays of the year on many Oklahoma lakes and rivers, attracting thousands to the alluring banks and warmest water of the season.To keep things fun and safe, the Marine Enforcement Section of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol suggests the following as you plan your water getaway:
• Check local weather conditions before departure. If you notice darkening clouds, volatile or rough winds or sudden drops in temperatures, stay off the water.
• Create and follow a pre-departure checklist to ensure no boating safety rules or precautions have been forgotten or overlooked.
• Inform family or friends of your plans, including where you are going and how long you plan to be gone.
• Make sure everyone is assigned a properly-fitting life jacket. Oklahoma law requires children 12 and under to wear a life jacket at all times while boating.
• Know how to swim. If for any reason you are ejected from the boat, be prepared to swim to safety.
• Avoid alcohol while boating. It is illegal to operate or physically control a boat if the boat operator is under the influence of alcohol.
In order for summer to be both fun and safe, it is vital that all boaters remain attentive, wear proper personal flotation devices and take precautions to avoid major accidents.
Visit operationdrywater.org for more information.
To learn more about Oklahoma boating laws or find a free boating safety class, call the Marine Enforcement Section at 918-681-4959.