It’s “Operation Dry Water” weekend and Iowa authorities are planning extra patrols on the state’s lakes, rivers and reservoirs. Steve Reighard of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources is one the officers who patrols the Iowa Great Lakes region in northwest Iowa.
“We’ll be setting up some stop points, giving people information. We’ll be doing some boating safety checks at the same time,” Reighard says. “People can be expecting to be stopped out there.”
Reighard says the effects of alcohol can be intensified when combined with the wind and wave action on the lake, as well as extended time in the sun.
“The main focus, of course, is to reduce alcohol- and drug-related accidents out on the water,” Reighard says. “Every state in the nation is participating.”
Last year during Operation Dry Water, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and its partners made contact with more than 426 vessels containing 1,613 boaters — and 90 citations or warnings were issued. According to the “Operation Dry Water” organization, “alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths in the United States.”
(Reporting by Ryan Long, KICD, Spencer)