14-60-CWS | June 30, 2014
BILOXI, Miss. – Law enforcement agencies on the Coast issued 24 citations this weekend during Operation Dry Water, officials with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources said.
Lt. Col. Rusty Pittman, assistant chief of MDMR’s Marine Patrol, said that 184 boats and 626 people were checked between June 27-29. Besides the 24 boat and water citations, officers issued 1 ticket for boating under the influence, and there was one boating accident. A boat capsized south of Pass Christian, but there were no injuries.
“With the number of people and vessels we checked, we were pleased with the compliance,” Pittman said. “A campaign like Operation Dry Water is beneficial because it educates people about the importance of following safety regulations, as well as the consequences of boating under the influence.”
Along with MDMR, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and the D’Iberville Police Department participated.
In 2013, officers across the nation checked 144,044 recreational boaters and made 290 BUI arrests during the three-day weekend. Along the Coast, officers checked 1,299 boaters and issued 46 citations.
Operation Dry Water was launched in 2009 by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the U.S. Coast Guard to help draw public attention to the dangers of boating under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
From 2009 to 2013 there was a 37 percent decrease in the number of recreational boater deaths where alcohol use was listed as the known primary contributing factor, according to the U.S. Coast Guard recreational boating statistics. From 2012 to 2013, there was a 31 percent decrease in the number of alcohol-related recreational boater deaths – the most significant decrease in the past five years.
The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to enhancing, protecting and conserving marine interests of the state by managing all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas to provide for the optimal commercial, recreational, educational and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes. Visit the DMR online at www.dmr.ms.gov.