Operation Dry Water is back on Candlewood Lake this weekend. State Environmental Conservation Police and the Lake patrols will be out looking for drunken boaters and other unsafe operations. EnCon Police Captain Ryan Healy says the national enforcement effort is done around the same time each year, when most people will be on the water celebrating during the fireworks.
In Connecticut over the last five years, 47-percent of the boating accidents that resulted in fatalities were alcohol-related. 18-percent of accidents with injuries involved alcohol. Healy says impaired boaters can expect penalties to be severe. When impaired by alcohol, Healy says boating accidents are more likely-- and more deadly for both passengers and boat operators, many of whom capsize their vessel or simply fall overboard.
In Connecticut they include fines, jail and loss of boating privileges.
EnCon police will also be at the state boat launch to remind boaters about the need for adequate floatation devices on board.