DEEP: Connecticut Environmental Conservation Police Join Operation Dry Water to Raise Awareness About Dangers of Boating Under the Influence

2017 Press Release
 
June 29, 2017
 
Connecticut Environmental Conservation Police Join Operation Dry Water to Raise Awareness About Dangers of Boating Under the Influence
 
Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police participate in Operation Dry Water as part of a nationally coordinated effort to increase knowledge about the dangers of Boating Under the Influence (BUI). The goal is to reduce the number of accidents and deaths associated with alcohol and drug use on our waterways.
 
Operation Dry Water weekend, June 30 - July 2, is the national weekend of amplified enforcement of boating under the influence laws and recreational boater outreach.  The Environmental Conservation Police will be patrolling state waters all weekend, with a focused enforcement on the lower Connecticut River on Saturday, July 1, 2017. 
 
“Recreational boating is a fun and enjoyable activity. Consuming alcohol while on the water can hinder that experience and create a dangerous scenario for you, your friends and family, and others on the water,” said Colonel Kyle Overturf. “Alcohol impairs judgment and reaction time on the water just as it does when driving a car, even more so because of the added stressors of sun, heat, wind, noise and the vibrations of the boat. Connecticut’s EnCon Police want everyone to have a great summer on the water, and to do that you’ve got to stay safe and stay sober while underway.”
 
As Operation Dry Water weekend and the July 4th holiday approaches, law enforcement and recreational boating safety volunteers will be out on the water educating boaters about safe boating practices and removing impaired operators from the water.  The EnCon Police and Boating Division support these efforts as they go a long way in ensuring the safety of recreational boaters and water sport enthusiasts.
 
Tips to staying safe on the water:
  • Boat sober. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths. Alcohol and drug use impairs a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.
  • Wear your life jacket. 83% of drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket.
  • Take a boating safety education course. 77% of deaths occurred on boats where the operator did not receive boating safety instruction, where instruction was known.
Boaters can take the pledge to boat safe and boat sober, and find more information about boating under the influence at operationdrywater.org.
 

ALL BOATING (REGISTERED & NON-REGISTERED VESSELS) ACCIDENTS 2008-2016
 
  2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Number of Vessels Registered 110,650  109,213 108,078 105,499 103,992 101,887 99,658 98,361 96,069
Accidents* 58 56 63 54 64 43 48 67 50 
Fatalities*  13 8 7  8 6  1 5 6
Accidents with at least 1 injury 23 25 21 14 21 13 20 31 25
Accidents with no injuries 33 33 35 32 39 29 26 30 22
 
 
The CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s State Environmental Conservation Police was established in 1895.  The mission of the agency is to provide natural resource protection and public safety through education, outreach and enforcement.  State EnCon Police officers are responsible for boating enforcement and accident investigation on all state waters, as well as recreational, hunting, fishing, and general law enforcement in all state parks, forests, management areas and other state properties, homeland security responsibilities, and many other duties.
 
The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators is a national nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories. NASBLA offers a variety of resources, including training, model acts, education standards and publications. Through a national network of thousands of professional educators, law enforcement officers and volunteers, NASBLA affects the lives of over 76 million American boaters. 
 
The United States Coast Guard is a military, multi-mission, maritime service within the Department of Homeland Security and one of the nation's five armed services. Its core roles are to protect the public, the environment, and U.S. economic and security interests in any maritime region in which those interests may be at risk, including international waters and America's coasts, ports, and inland waterways.