Coalition warns about drinking and boating

   WHARTON – As part of the annual Operation Dry Water campaign, the Tri-County Community Coalition (TCCC) will join in the nationally coordinated effort to educate boaters about the dangers of boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs July 5-7.
   The mission of Operation Dry Water is to reduce the number of alcohol- and drug-related accidents and fatalities on the water. 
Operation Dry Water weekend is the national weekend of amplified recreational boater outreach, education and coordinated enforcement surrounding boating under the influence. 
   Alcohol use continues to be the leading known contributing factor in recreational boater deaths and a leading contributor to boating accidents.
   TCCC is reaching out to our community to encourage those who will be spending time on the water to engage in safe boating practicing, which includes keeping alcohol off the boat for both operators and passengers.
   “Recreational boating is an activity enjoyed by people and families nationwide,” said TCCC Coordinator, Gloria Montoya in a press release. 
   “Our goal is to not only educate boaters on the dangers of drinking alcohol and boating, but also to remind them of other safe boating practices, such as enrolling in a boater education course and always wearing a life jacket.”
   “Alcohol impairs judgment and reaction time on the water even more so than it does in a car because of the added stressors of sun, heat, wind, noise and the vibrations of the boat. The Coalition wants everyone to have a great summer on the water, and to do that boaters must remain sober and alert while underway,” she added.
    As part of Operation Dry Water weekend recreational boating safety volunteers, in collaboration with law enforcement in every U.S. state and territory, will be out at marinas and on the water educating boaters about safe boating practices and removing impaired operators from our waterways. 
   The Coalition is asking boaters to enjoy this boating season and help keep everyone safe by not drinking alcohol while on the water, or operating a boat after you have consumed alcohol. Use of both legal and illegal drugs also impairs judgment and reaction time and makes it dangerous to operate a boat. 
   In 2018 alone, 494 impaired operators were removed by law enforcement across the country during the Operation Dry Water three-day weekend. 
   Boaters can learn more about boating under the influence by visiting operationdrywater.org. 
   If you are interested in advocating for healthy and sober youth, visit www.bacoda.org and join a coalition today.Water is coordinated nationally by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard. 

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