June 20th, 2016
If you were planning on getting drunk and crewing a marine vessel this weekend, I’ve got some bad news. Law enforcement agencies across the country are planning a massive crackdown on boozy boating between June 24th-26th. The weekend preceding the Fourth of July is notorious for its toxic mix of binge drinking and sailing. The nationwide effort to thwart drunk captaining has been named “Operation Dry Water” and involves 592 police departments. In past years, numerous citations for drunken boating have been issued and since the operation started back in 2009.
Although less publicized than alcohol-related car deaths, there are many recent examples of the deadly consequences of getting wasted and operating a boat. Earlier this year, 18-year-old Gregory G. Green and 51-year-old Timothy J. Wisniewski were charged with vehicular manslaughter for the 2015 death of 16-year-old Avery Gardener. In 2015 Missouri state trooper Anthony Piercy was charged with involuntary manslaughter after Brandon Ellington of Clive, Iowa was arrested for drinking while boating, cuffed and subsequently drowned. Alcohol-related boating deaths have dropped slightly in that time, according the WBAY.com: