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My Coast Guard
Commentary | May 16, 2023

Operation Dry Water: boost partnerships and reduce fatalities

By Jason Allred, MyCG Writer

The Coast Guard will participate in Operation Dry Water (ODW) from July 1-3.  

State, local and federal agencies will step up boating safety enforcement for one weekend, with the goal of decreasing alcohol and drug-related accidents through public awareness. 

“The data shows alcohol-related accidents after Operation Dry Water weekend are drastically reduced compared to those weeks before,” said Brian Moore, a recreational boating safety specialist in the Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Division (CG-BSX-2). “Our hope is Coast Guard units will see the long-term benefit of accident and fatality reduction and conduct their own boating under the influence campaigns.” 

Alcohol continued to be the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents in 2022, accounting for over 100 deaths, or 16 percent of total fatalities. 

The Boating Safety Division coordinates ODW in partnership with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and other members of the boating safety community.  

Coast Guard units are encouraged to participate by partnering with state boating law administrators and local law enforcement agencies. Each unit should participate in ways that are consistent with direction coming from their district and/or area leadership.  

Participation Requirements 

Here’s how to participate in ODW this year:  

  • Units planning to participate must register through the ODW website ( and report all persons aboard each vessel contacted.  
  • All participating units have 30 days after ODW ends to complete the online report form (  
  • Coast Guard blockades or other checkpoints designed to specifically detect intoxicated operators will not be conducted, but Coast Guard units may assist and participate alongside law enforcement partners in blockades or checkpoints.  
  • The Coast Guard will recognize units achieving high numbers of vessel and boater contacts, BUIs detected, and/or media contacts.  
  • Units with additional questions or wishing to participate in ODW should contact their District Recreational Boating Safety Specialist. 

2022 ODW Successes 

During the 2022 Operation Dry Water, over 7,800 maritime law enforcement officers contacted 350,472 boaters on 126,832 recreational vessels.  

Federal, state, and local maritime law enforcement officers made 794 BUI arrests, along with 11,869 citations and 33,198 warnings for other boating-related safety violations.