U.S. Coast Guard Prepares for Operation Dry Water During July 4 Weekend

U.S. Coast Guard: Alcohol and boating do not mix.

It will be a busy weekend out on the Great Lakes. 07 01 2020 Operation Dry Water Pkg 5

The U.S. Coast Guard will be out patrolling and wants to make sure everyone understands that alcohol and boating don’t mix.

Chief Tyler Benson will be one of the many members of the U.S. Coast Guard out patrolling the Great Lakes this holiday weekend as part of ‘Operation Dry Water’

“We have extra crews coming on this weekend, our ultimate goal is just to keep people safe,” Benson said.

One of the main things they’ll be looking for is drunk boaters.

“Alcohol is the main contributing factor for recreational boating deaths on the Great Lakes,” Benson said. “Tragedies happen out there every single day.”

The Coast Guard says operating a boat while drinking is just as dangerous as drinking and driving.

“Keep in mind, there’s not much difference between operating a motor vehicle on land and a boat out on the water,” Benson said. “Alcohol is allowed out on boats, but the big thing is people are staying in that limit.”

BMC Andrew Babione says this season has already been a busy one.

“The Great Lakes region has seen about a 10% increase over the 10 year average for Coast Guard calls for assistance,” Babione said. “We’ve documented about 224 lives saved this year.”

And to help prevent rescue missions, the Coast Guard will be conducting random safety checks.

“Just to make sure people are safe, having a fun time, but ultimately make sure everyone comes home and has a great weekend,” Benson said.