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Hillsborough Deputies, FWC Officers to Target Unsafe Boaters

Boat | Boating | Sports

The annual “Operation Dry Water” program is designed to educate people on safe boating.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY – The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, will participate in a three-day heightened awareness and enforcement this weekend called, “Operation Dry Water.”

“Operation Dry Water,” which will take place Friday (July 3) through Sunday (July 5), is an annual campaign. Last year, the HCSO Marine Unit and FWC issued 17 citations and a total of five people were arrested for BUI. A total of 51 vessel stops were also conducted to educate people on safe boating.

Two signboards will be placed at the Williams Park Boat Ramp and the Riverview Civic Center and Boat Ramp to remind boaters of safer boating operations.

Most recently, during a similar operation over the Memorial Day weekend, the HCSO Marine Unit and FWC issued 25 citations and 43 warnings to boaters stopped on the water. A total of seven people were arrested for BUI.

“I know the citizens of Hillsborough County and those in town visiting are excited to get out onto the water this Fourth of July holiday weekend,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “I want to remind people that alcohol impairs people’s judgment whether you’re behind the wheel of a car or a vessel. Just as drinking while driving is illegal, boating while under the influence is also illegal.”

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, alcohol is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths and a major factor in accidents on the water.

You can learn more about safe boating by viewing Sheriff Chad Chronister’s PSA at

Hillsborough Sheriff | Boating | Boating Under the Influence | Tampabay News | News Tampa

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