Summer boating reminder from Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources
The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) and the National Association of Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) are reminding all boaters to stay safe and sober this summer, and always wear a life jacket while on the water. A good day on the water can turn tragic in seconds. No matter where you boat–from large lakes and rivers to small farm ponds—wearing a life jacket and staying sober are essential for safety!
U.S. Coast Guard 2019 data reveal that alcohol use remains is the primary contributing factor recreational boater deaths. Operation Dry Water 2022 is July 2-4. Operation Dry Water is a national awareness and enforcement campaign focused on reducing the number of alcohol- and drug related accidents and fatalities and fostering a stronger, more visible deterrent to alcohol and drug use on the water. It is coordinated by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard as well as local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
“Recreational boating and paddlesports activities are enjoyed by individuals and families across the country. To ensure that everyone is safe out on the water, we have partnered with Operation Dry Water to assist in educating operators and passengers on the dangers associated with boating while impaired,” said Paige Pearson, DWR Public Information Officer. “We also will be reminding them of other safe boating practices, such as wearing a life jacket and enrolling in a boater education course. DWR wants everyone to have a great summer on the water, and to do that boaters must remain sober and alert while underway.”
While getting ready for the boating season, boaters should make sure they have U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets in good condition that fit every occupant of the boat, including children.
No matter what time of year you go boating, always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return. Also, have a plan to reboard your boat in case the unexpected happens and you end up in the water.
Weather conditions and a marine forecast can be found on the National Weather Service website. The United States Geological Survey has water temperatures for some inland lakes and rivers.
To learn more about boating laws in Virginia and
information on boating, boating education and water safety, please visit: dwr.virginia.gov/boating. Remember, everyone wants to have a safe, enjoyable day on the water. Do your part by wearing your life jacket and taking a boating safety education course.