SAN PEDRO, Calif. — Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary crews throughout the Los Angeles/Long Beach will increase boating safety patrols during the July 4th holiday weekend in support of Operation Dry Water, a nationwide effort to enforce boating under the influence laws.
Operation Dry Water, a year-round initiative launched in 2009, aims to reduce alcohol and drug-related accidents and fatalities on the water by fostering increased awareness among recreational boaters and providing a stronger deterrent to alcohol use on the water.
Since its inception, there has been a decrease in the number of boating fatalities with alcohol as a contributing factor in the United States, a testament to the ongoing efforts of the campaign and participating agencies.
The 2022 campaign involved 630 agencies nationwide, with 7,865 officers making contact with 126,832 vessels and 350,472 boaters. These engagements resulted in 11,869 citations and 794 BUIs.
“As we approach the July 4th weekend, we’re urging all boaters to stay safe, stay sober, and help us ensure our waters are enjoyable for everyone,” said Capt. Ryan Manning, commander of Sector Los Angeles/Long Beach.
For more information about Operation Dry Water and the dangers of boating under the influence, visit Operation Dry Water (nasbla.org).
The Coast Guard offers the following tips to help you enjoy a safe time on the water:
- Wear a life jacket. Make sure that there is at least one properly-fitted and serviceable life jacket for every passenger and that the life jackets are readily accessible if not worn. All children under 13 must wear a life jacket at all times.
- Don’t drink and boat. Aside from wearing a life jacket, not drinking and boating is one of the easiest ways to prevent accidental deaths on the water. People operating vessels under the influence of alcohol, drugs or impairing medication pose a serious threat to you and anyone else aboard.
- File a float plan. Before you get underway, leave information about your trip with a family member or a friend on shore. Include information that would help rescuers in case of an emergency—how many people are on board, where you are going, how long you will be out, and a description of your boat.
- Inspect your boat and equipment. Make sure your navigation equipment—particularly your navigational lights, if you plan to be out at night—is in good working order. Carry fire extinguishers, a first aid kit, charts of the area and an anchor. Get a free safety inspection from the Coast Guard Auxiliary to make sure you have all the gear and safety equipment required by your state and federal laws.
- Equip your boat with an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). An EPIRB is a safety device that automatically transmits a distress signal when it is placed or floating in an upright position. The signal allows the Coast Guard and other agencies to pinpoint your location in the event of an emergency.
- Carry a portable weatherproof marine band radio. Cell phones may go out of range or lose battery power when needed most. The Coast Guard, other agencies, and other boaters monitor marine band radios, increasing the number of people who can respond if you’re in trouble.
- Take a boating safety course. Approximately 80 percent of boating deaths occur on boats where the operator had no formal boating safety instruction. The Coast Guard recommends that all boaters take a safety class and a refresher every five years. The Coast Guard Auxiliary offers low-cost boating safety courses.
- Check the weather. Check daily weather reports, or listen to a marine band radio for sudden changes in weather conditions.
- Download the Coast Guard Boating Safety app. You can file a float plan, request assistance, request a vessel safety check, and report pollution and hazards to navigation.
Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles/Long Beach conducts a variety of missions, including search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, port security, environmental protection, and aids to navigation maintenance. The Sector works tirelessly to ensure the safety, security, and stewardship of the waters in and around Los Angeles and Long Beach.