Operation Dry Water

Published: Jun. 28, 2020 at 6:11 PM CDT
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The Fourth of July is a busy time on our state's lakes and rivers.

In this week's North Dakota Outdoors Mike Anderson tells us about a national campaign to keep recreational boaters SAFE.

There are thousands of watercraft registered in North Dakota and as the weather warms, more and more people will be getting on the water. Knowing this, the state Game and Fish Department will once again participate in a national program called Operation Dry Water.

"Operation Dry Water is a national campaign that is there to help raise awareness in the dangers of boating and drinking. Operation Dry Water for this summer is actually the Fourth of July weekend, July 3rd, 4th and 5th," said NDGF Game Warden Supervisor, Jackie Lundstrom.

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

"You can expect our officers to talk to boaters about the dangers of boating and drinking a little bit more maybe than they would on a regular weekend, along with checking for safety equipment during any of their stops," said Lundstrom.

There is a reason Operation Dry Water happens around Independence Day every year.

"Fourth of July is a big celebration weekend and we tend to get together with a lot of friends and family and some drinking obviously does occur, and Fourth of July historically has been considered a drinking weekend," said Lundstrom.

Game warden Lundstrom gives some good advice if you're heading out to your favorite lake or river this holiday.

"We always encourage a sober driver whether on water or on land. So, when you go out with your family over the Fourth of July weekend, we want to make sure that you have a plan in place to get your family home safely," said Lundstrom.

Historically, most of the fatal boating accidents that have occurred in North Dakota have been alcohol related.