As the Fourth of July weekend rolls around, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is reminding boaters to stay safe with a year-round campaign.
A campaign initiative called Operation Dry Water will be underway this weekend as enforcement is on high alert for those violating boating laws.
DEEP officials will be on the lookout for those driving a vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs or those not wearing life jackets.
They are encouraging boaters to obtain a working Marine VHF radio and conduct safety checks before launching.
“Every year, we see boating accidents and tragedies that could have been avoided, had alcohol or drug use not been a factor,” DEEP EnCon Police Captain Keith Williams said in a press release.
The initiative was created by DEEP in partnership with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, local law enforcement, and the U.S. Coast Guard.
“Our job is to ensure that recreational boaters, paddlers and anyone on our waters has a safe place to enjoy time with their family and friends. Alcohol use can impair a boater’s judgement, balance, vision and reaction time," Williams continued.
According to DEEP, three people have died in Connecticut waterbodies this year while operating paddle crafts, all of which were not wearing life jackets.
You can visit Operation Dry Water for more information.