A flotilla of boats near "Junk of Pork" rock in Beech Hill Pond. Credit: John Holyoke

Maine game wardens and marine patrol officers will be conducting patrols over the weekend in conjunction with Operation Dry Water, a national outreach program designed to educate boaters about the dangers of boating under the influence.

The safety officers will patrol from Friday through Sunday across the state and in Maine’s coastal waters. They will focus on drinking and boating enforcement as well as strict enforcement of life jacket laws.

The program is coordinated by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, according to a Maine Warden Service news release.

In Maine, operating a watercraft with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher is against the law. That law includes operation of all vessels, including canoes, kayaks and rowboats, as well as motorized craft.

A year ago, 80 game wardens participated in the Operation Dry Water effort, spending more than 1,200 hours enforcing recreational boating activity. They inspected approximately 2,500 watercraft with 5,400 operators and passengers.

More than 100 summonses and 328 warnings were issued to boaters during the 2018 Operation Dry Water effort.

Nationally, more than 7,000 officers took part in the program a year ago, with 81,604 boats being checked.

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John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. He spent 28 years working for the BDN, including 19 years as the paper's outdoors columnist or outdoors editor. While...