The busiest boating time of the year, Independence Day, is only a week away, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is making boating while intoxicated a top enforcement priority in the time surrounding the holiday. DNR officers will have an increased presence on Iowa’s waterways during the Operation Dry Water campaign in an effort to decrease accidents. “We want to ensure that recreational boaters, paddlers, and anyone enjoying our waters have a safe place to recreate,” says Jeff Swearngin, DNR’s law enforcement bureau chief. “Choosing to consume alcohol while boating puts everyone at risk, including passengers and people in the water.” According to the agency, 25 percent of boating fatalities in 2017 involved alcohol. For the safest boating experience, the DNR recommends always wearing a life jacket. Anybody considering operating a boat should refrain from using alcohol and take a boating safety education course before heading out onto the waters.
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