During the last three summers, Lake Tapps hasn’t had a single drowning incident.
And the Bonney Lake Police Department, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), and the Washington State Parks Boating Program are aiming to continue this pattern by bringing Operation Dry Water back to the lake.
From June 30 through July 2, as well as July 4, the BLPD will be patrolling Lake Tapps for impaired and unsafe boaters
“As a part of the community ourselves, we want to ensure that recreational boaters, paddlers, and anyone enjoying our waters have a safe place to spend their time on the water,” Sgt. Ryan Boyle said in a press release. “Alcohol and drugs impair judgment and reaction time on the water just as is does when driving a car, even more so because of the added stressors of sun, heat, wind, and noise on a boat. Choosing to operate a boat under the influence puts everyone at risk, including passengers and people in the water. Our goal is to remove anyone choosing to operate a vessel impaired and to keep everyone else safe.”
According to a 2016 U.S. Coast Guard report on boating statistics, alcohol and drug use are one of the leading contributing factors in boating accidents last year, and is the leading factor in 15 percent of boating deaths.
Operator inattention or inexperience are the number one and two contributing factors to accidents and collisions — 77 percent of deaths occurred on boats where the operator did not receive safety instruction.
Drowning is the No 1. cause of death, capping at 80 percent of all boating-related deaths. Of all the people who drowned last year, 83 percent of them were not wearing a life jacket.