JACKSONVILLE, Florida – The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is targeting boaters under the influence in a statewide initiative called Operation Dry Water.
The initiative takes place every year on the weekend of July 4th.
The FWC and other law enforcement agencies have come together to seek out boaters under the influence. News4Jax also saw the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit patrolling on Saturday afternoon.
FWC officer Nathaniel Cheshire said that during Memorial Day weekend this year in the North Central region, the FWC distributed 10 BUIs.
He said one of the ways he finds out people are under the influence is when he arrests people for other violations.
“One of the main reasons for our probable cause is that they’re blowing up a manatee speed zone or acting carelessly, or something like that,” Cheshire said.
News4Jax was there this Saturday afternoon when Cheshire stopped three different skippers.
“The objective of Operation Dry Water is public safety,” Cheshire said.
Cheshire said before going out on the water this July 4th weekend always make sure you wear your life jackets, have access to a disposable life jacket, sound device and have access to a fire extinguisher. . And the most important thing of all is to be careful.
“Water is inherently more dangerous than the road itself because you don’t have fixed lines, you don’t have stop signs telling you when to go, when to stop, you have boats coming. in all directions, ”Cheshire said.
Cheshire said if a boater comes in from the left side of another boat, give way and slow down. If a boater comes from the right side of another boat, continue.
Cheshire posted quotes that cost up to $ 90, so he said always make sure you are careful when on the water.
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