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CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION

Divisions of Boating and Waterways, Historic Preservation and Off-Highway Vehicles


News Release


For Immediate Release: 6/21/2016

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Boating Safety Patrols Increased This Weekend for “Operation Dry Water”

Contact:

Greg Imura

916-651-5691

 

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – This weekend, many law enforcement agencies across the nation and in California will be out in force on waterways looking for drunken boat operators. This heightened vigilance, known as Operation Dry Water, is part of a national effort to change the cultural acceptance of drinking and boating, and raise awareness that boaters can have safe and fun recreational boating experiences without the use of alcohol and/or drugs. California will also emphasize the dangers that drunken passengers face.

Since the launch of Operation Dry Water in 2009, the number of recreational boating fatalities with alcohol named as a contributing factor has decreased in the United States. As of 2015, the national alcohol-related boating fatality rate was 21 percent. In California, alcohol use remains a leading contributing factor in boating deaths. The state’s recreational boating accident statistics show that over the past five years (2011-2015), 33 percent of boating fatalities were alcohol-related (when tests were conducted).

“One quick way to end a weekend of fun with family and friends is mixing boating and alcohol,” said California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways Boating Law Administrator Ramona Fernandez. “It is a deadly cocktail that can lead to operator inattention and passengers falling overboard.”

Designating a driver is not enough on vessels. The concept works well in cars, but drunken passengers on boats can easily fall overboard, swim near the propeller or cause loading problems by leaning over the side or standing up in small vessels, causing vessels to capsize. The potential for drowning also goes up if life jackets are not worn.

Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time. It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effect of cold-water immersion. Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion – “stressors” common to the boating environment – intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications. 

In California, it is against the law to operate a boat or water ski with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more. A person with a BAC less than 0.08 percent may also be arrested if conditions are deemed to be unsafe. If convicted, a person may be sentenced to jail for up to six months and assessed fines of up to $1,000. Two convictions within seven years could add a jail term of up to one year. Boaters caught operating under the influence may also find their voyage terminated and their vessel impounded.

Twenty-seven law enforcement entities from California will be participating in this year’s Operation Dry Water campaign. Below is the list of participating entities and their contact information: 

California State Parks

Folsom Lake State Recreation Area

Rich Preston

Rich.Preston@parks.ca.gov

(916) 988-0205

 

Lake Oroville State Recreation Area

Aaron Wright, Superintendent

Aaron.Wright@parks.ca.gov

(530) 538-2200

 

County Sheriff’s Offices

Butte

Sgt. Jack Storme

jstorne@buttecounty.net

(530) 538-7543

 

Contra Costa

Lt. Jose Beltran

jbelt@so.cccounty.us

(925) 427-8507

 

Humboldt

Deputy Phil Daastol             

pdaastol@co.humboldt.ca.us

(707) 268-2532

 

Imperial

Sgt. Benevidez        

rbenavidez@icso.org

(760) 455-9635

 

Lake County - Marine Patrol

Don McPherson      

donald.mcpherson@lakecountyca.gov

(707) 263-2690

 

Los Angeles - Marina del Rey

Sgt. Frank Ruiz       

frruiz@lasd.org

(310) 823-2300

 

Mariposa

Capt. Byron Robles

brobles@mariposacounty.org

(209) 966-3615

 

Placer

Sgt. Michelle Baxter           

MBaxter@placer.ca.gov

(530) 392-0032

 

Plumas

Officer in Charge

dcanalia@pcso.net

(530) 283-6375

 

Sacramento

Sgt. Scott Maberry   

smaberry@sacsheriff.com

(916) 606-0980

 

San Joaquin

Sgt. Carey Pehl       

ctpehl@sjgov.org

(209) 953-3428

 

Solano

Sgt. Ray Dudley                  

RGDudley@SolanoCounty.com

(707) 580-4977

 

Sonoma

Lt. Ed Hoener          

Ed.Hoener@sonoma-county.org

(707) 565-2511

 

Stanislaus

Lt. Larry Sanders     

lseymour@stanislaussheriff.com

(209) 525-7015

 

Sutter

Charles Green

cgreen@co.sutter.ca.us

(530) 822-7307

 

Tehama

Sgt. Mike Paisley

mpaisley@tehamaso.org

(530) 529-7900

 

Tuolumne

Dave Vasquez         

DVasquez@co.tuolumne.ca.us

(209) 533-6300

 

Yuba

Dan Harrison           

dharris@co.yuba.ca.us

(530) 749-773

 

Salton Sea Marine Patrol

Officer in Charge

(760) 393-3052

 

South Lake Tahoe Police Department

Steve O'Brien

sobrien@cityofslt.us

(530) 542-6120

 

United States Coast Guard

San Francisco Maritime Safety/Security

Station Channel Islands Harbor

Station Golden Gate

Station Los Angeles- Long Beach

Station Monterey

 

For more information on this annual event and to confirm registered agencies, visit OperationDryWater.org. California-specific boating laws and safety tips may be found at BoatCalifornia.com

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Division of Boating and Waterways

DBW is a division within California State Parks. The division provides safe and convenient public access to California’s waterways and leadership in promoting safe, enjoyable and environmentally sound recreational boating.

California State Parks

To provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.

California’s Drought

Every Californian should take steps to conserve water at home, at work and even when recreating outdoors. Find out how at SaveOurWater.comand Drought.CA.Gov.




Subscribe to California State Parks News via e-mail at info@parks.ca.gov or via RSS feed.

California State Parks Mission

To provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.