Booze and Boats Don't Mix

Coast Guard: "There will be arrests this weekend"

The U.S. Coast Guard will embark on "Operation Dry Water" this weekend in an attempt to discourage drunken boating.

The two-day operation starts Friday as part of a nationwide campaign. Locally, Coast Guard officers may be assisted in patrols on the ocean and inland waterways by sheriff's deputies and harbor patrol officers.

"The Coast Guard's participation in Operation Dry Water this weekend will be a surge operation to complement our daily on-the-water operations," said Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Boes of the Coast Guard's local office.

Anyone found to be boating under the influence will be taken into custody by the Coast Guard, then turned over to state authorities for prosecution. Boats could be impounded as part of the operation.

"There will be arrests this weekend," Boes said, adding that arrests were preferable to telling their "friends and family they're never coming back."

Alcohol played a role in 21 percent of recreational boating deaths in 2007, according to the Coast Guard.

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