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Coast Guard and police watching for drunk boaters over holiday weekend

The Coast Guard and police agencies will be on the lookout for drunk boaters on area waterways this weekend.

Authorities will be boarding watercraft as part of "Operation Dry Water" from Friday through Sunday, the Coast Guard said.

The effort is part of a national awareness and enforcement campaign aimed at reducing alcohol- and drug-related incidents on the water, the agency said.

Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor to recreational boating deaths.

"Much like operating a motor vehicle, the operator of a vessel shoulders the responsibility for the safe operation of their vessel, including the safety of their passengers," Michael Baron, recreational boating and water safety specialist for the Ninth Coast Guard District, said in a statement. "When an operator is boating under the influence (BUI), it's often not the impaired operator, but their loved ones, passengers and other waterway users who suffer."

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