Ohio to take part in Operation Dry Water
Columbus — There have been several drownings on Ohio waterways in the past week or so, and that is several too many.
Wearing a personal flotation device might have saved at least some of the victims. Far too many people go for no good reason.
And, according to published reports, the recent deaths don’t mention the use of alcohol while boating, but the danger is there and is all too common in Ohio and elsewhere across the country.
The Ohio DNR (ODNR) will participate in Operation Dry Water as part of a nationally coordinated effort to increase knowledge about the dangers of boating under the influence (BUI). Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in recreational boating deaths.
Operation Dry Water weekend, June 29-July 1, is the national weekend of amplified enforcement of boating under the influence laws and recreational boater outreach. The ODNR Division of Parks and Watercraft is reaching out to its constituents and to the entire recreational boating community as part of the yearlong Operation Dry Water campaign to inform and educate boaters about the hazards and negative outcomes associated with boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“Our goal is to educate boaters, not only about the laws regarding boating under the influence, but to help boaters understand the danger of boating impaired. Certain factors on the water such as wind, sun, noise, waves and chop against the boat all impair a boater’s judgement, balance, vision and reaction time on the water,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “At any given moment, there are individuals in the water, on paddleboards or in other boats that depend on boat operators to be alert and in control of their vessel. People’s lives depend on it.”
As Operation Dry Water weekend and the Fourth of July holiday approaches, law enforcement and recreational boating safety staff will be out on the water educating boaters about safe boating practices and removing impaired operators from the water. ODNR supports these efforts to improve boating for all water sport enthusiasts.