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Operation Dry Water encourages sober boating ahead of Memorial Day Weekend

MAY 19, 2021: Operation Dry Water (ODW) and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Operation Dry Water are proud to join boating safety advocates nationwide during National Safe Boating Week, May 22 – 28, 2021, to raise awareness about safe boating practices. National Safe Boating Week takes place just prior to Memorial Day weekend and is the annual kick-off of the Safe Boating Campaign, a global awareness effort that encourages boaters to make the most of their boating adventure by being safe and responsible. As part of the holiday weekend, boaters from across the country will head to the water while honoring, celebrating and remembering all those who lost their lives while serving our country.

“National Safe Boating Week promotes safe boating practices among all boaters. Staying sober while boating, always wearing a life jacket when on or around the water, and taking a boating safety course prior to departure are three major ways boaters can help keep themselves safe while on the water,” says Timothy Dunleavy, NASBLA Chair. The Operation Dry Water campaign works year-round to increase public awareness of the risks associated with impaired boating and to facilitate heightened enforcement of boating under the influence laws.

Alcohol use continues to be the leading contributing factor in recreational boating fatalities.1 Alcohol consumption while boating is not only dangerous for the operator of the vessel, but also for passengers. Impairment can lead to slips, falls overboard, injuries and deaths that could have been prevented. When alcohol is involved, the risk of dying is the same for an impaired operator and an impaired passenger, and for men and women.2

Operation Dry Water, the national boating under the influence awareness and enforcement campaign, is spreading awareness of the dangers of boating under the influence of both drugs and alcohol, for both operators and passengers. This year will be the 13th annual Operation Dry Water heightened awareness and enforcement weekend, taking place July 2 – 4 nationwide. Operation Dry Water provides a variety of free resources for the both law enforcement and outreach partners to use in educating boaters about the dangers of boating under the influence. Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies can register to participate in Operation Dry Water at


The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) coordinates the Operation Dry Water campaign, in partnership with law enforcement agencies and outreach partners nationwide, through a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Operation Dry Water (ODW) is a year-round boating under the influence awareness and enforcement campaign with the mission of reducing the number of alcohol and drug-related accidents and fatalities through increased recreational boater awareness and by fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol use on the water.

12019 U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics.
22019 NASBLA Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Research Report.

Click here to view the official press release