Portage Co., Wis. (WAOW) -- The Portage County Sheriff's Office is joining the annual Operation Dry Water campaign. The campaign's purpose is to educate boaters about the dangers of boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
According to Operation Dry Water, alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in recreational boater deaths and a leading contributor in boating accidents. The campaign seeks to reduce the numbers of incidents and fatalities.
Operation Dry Water's enforcement weekend is July 3-5. Boaters can expect to see an increase in outreach, education and enforcement surrounding boating under the influence.
“Getting out on the water over the 4th of July weekend is an enjoyable and relaxing activity for many. We have partnered with Operation Dry Water to help keep boaters safe by educating operators and passengers on the dangers of boating under the influence,” said Sheriff Mike Lukas. “Staying sober while boating is a critical part of boating safely. Boaters should also take a boating safety education course prior to getting on the water and
everyone on board should always wear a life jacket while near or on the water. We want all boaters to enjoy their time on the water in a way that allows everyone to return home safely.”
Outreach partners and volunteers will be working with law enforcement while out on the water and at marinas educating on safe boating practices. Law enforcement will be detecting and removing impaired operators from the water.