Maine Marine Patrol taking part in Operation Dry Water
SOUTHWEST HARBOR, Maine (WABI) - As they do every summer, Maine Marine Patrol is taking part in Operation Dry Water, a national campaign with a focus on keeping people from boating under the influence.
”Up and down the coast of Maine, we’ll have officers stopping as many boats as possible,” said Jeff Turcotte, Maine Marine Patrol.
The Fourth of July is one of the busiest recreational boating weekends of the year in Maine.
With added boat traffic comes added Maine Marine Patrol for Operation Dry Water.
”We’re just looking for folks that are operating under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or even prescription medication that might cause you to be impaired,” Turcotte said.
Alcohol use continues to be the leading contributing factor in fatal recreational boating accidents in the United States, accounting for more than 15% of boater deaths last year, according to the US Coast Guard.
“We are going to focus on areas that we suspect hold folks that are boating while under the influence,” Turcotte said.
For Marine Patrol, the holiday weekend will also be about awareness.
“This is a great chance for us to be seen, talk to a lot of folks. Most folks are happy to see us out there. We get a chance to interact with the recreational boating community, and that’s great for everybody,” Turcotte said.
Ultimately, Maine Marine Patrol says they just want people to remember the boating basics.
“All we’re looking for is that folks think ahead, that they’re operating their vessels responsibly, that they’re thinking about other people on the water, including their passengers and operators of other vessels.” Turcotte said. “We absolutely want everyone to have a very safe and happy Fourth of July weekend.”
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