SOUTHWEST HARBOR – Summer is in full swing, and people are taking to the waters of northern Maine for recreational activities.
“We see an uptick in boating,” Maine Marine Patrol Officer Tom Reardon said.
Reardon said boating can be dangerous.
“The water environment is dynamic in itself, the waves and wind and tide and sun,” Reardon said. “There’s so many external factors already being a stresser on the human body.”
July 3 to July 5 is national Operation Dry Water weekend.
“We’re looking at bringing awareness and enforcement efforts towards boating and principally towards alcohol and drugs, prescription drugs or otherwise,” Reardon said.
According to Reardon, the goal of the campaign is to enforce boating under the influence laws.
“We want to encourage folks to stay dry this weekend,” Reardon said. “We would like to encourage them to save their drinking for at home or in an establishment opposed to on the water or in a vehicle.”
He said people should look at their safety gear, specifically life jackets.
“Not anybody plans on really being ejected overboard, but you could find yourself with a fall overboard very quickly,” Reardon said. “That life jacket, when you hit this water, it’s still 50 degrees or better.”
Reardon hopes the campaign reaches a lot of boaters.
“Hopefully enjoy them with a smile and a wave and check their safety gear and see that they’re following the rules,” Reardon said.
The Maine Marine Patrol is reminding everyone out on the water to exercise safety precautions this holiday weekend.