Coast Guard Asks Boaters to Stay Sober on the Water

Port Huron, MI — The Safe Boating Campaign and the U.S. Coast Guard are reminding boaters that drinking and boating can be a deadly combination. Getting out on the water and partaking of adult beverages may be a hallmark of the July 4th holiday for many, but both passengers and operators are asked to practice moderation.

Peg Phillips, Executive Director of the National Safe Boating Council, said, “Operating a boat – or even being a passenger – is incredibly risky while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drunken passengers can easily fall overboard, swim near the propeller, lean over the side, or stand up in small boats causing the boat to capsize.”

The Coast Guard is partnering with law enforcement for Operation Dry Water which includes both heightened enforcement and awareness of boating under the influence. Since the Operation’s inception in 2009, over 4,000 boaters under the influence of alcohol or drugs have been removed from the water. Consequences of getting cited for impaired boating range from a misdemeanor with a fine as low as $100 up to a felony with significant jail time and hefty fines if injury or death results or if minors are involved.

Reporting for WGRT – Jennie McClelland