North Dakota Outdoors: staying safe on the water over July 4th weekend

Published: Jun. 26, 2022 at 7:25 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The Fourth of July is a busy time on our state’s lakes and rivers. In this week’s segment of North Dakota Outdoors, Mike Anderson tells us about a national campaign to keep recreational boaters safer on the water.

North Dakota Game and Fish Department game wardens will once again participate in a national campaign called Operation Dry Water, which brings heightened awareness to the dangers of drinking and boating.

“Operation Dry Water is publicized and enhanced during the 4th of July weekend because this tends to be a high weekend where families and friends get together. And, you know, historically, there is a lot of alcohol consumption this weekend. So it’s even more important that we make sure people keep aware that they do need a sober operator,” said NDGF Game Warden Supervisor Jackie Lundstrom.

Wardens will patrol not only the busy waters, but lakes and rivers statewide, focusing efforts on safety related requirements.

“So we check safety equipment, such as a wearable life jacket on board for everyone, fire extinguisher, whether or not it’s serviceable, if it needs to be replaced, a throwable on board. And also, just to bring extra awareness that driving sober on the water is just as important as driving sober on the land,” said Lundstrom.

There are many law enforcement agencies in North Dakota that participate in Operation Dry Water.

“Our Game and Fish wardens are involved as well as some of our law enforcement partners, sheriff’s departments, PDs, that may come in contact with boaters during that weekend,” said Lundstrom.

Historically, most of the fatal boating accidents in North Dakota were alcohol related.

“Our key goal throughout the summer and especially this weekend is safety out on the water, making sure everyone gets home to their friends and family,” said Lundstrom.

This year’s national Operation Dry Water three-day weekend is July 2-4.

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