SEBAGO LAKE, Maine (NEWS CENTER)--Maine police agencies stepped up enforcement in a big way this week as part of Operation Dry Water. Operation Dry Water is a national effort to educate the public that drinking and boating don't mix. Nationally, hundreds of boaters learned a hard lesson. They received tickets and some were arrested.
John Fetterman of Manchester, Maine is the Director of Law Enforcement for the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). This is the second year of the program and Fetterman told News Center that they are seeing evidence that their efforts are working.
"Last year, they were saying we're out here ruining their fun. This year we're seeing a shift. This year, we're seeing people be supportive of our efforts because I think the recognition of our educational outreach says this is about safety. This is about family. This is about the time I spend on my water with my family and boating and driving do not mix," Fetterman told News Center.
All available officers from the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the Maine Marine Patrol and the Coast Guard focused on Opertion Dry Water over the weekend. Lt. Adam Gormely of the Maine Warden Service summed it up succinctly, "No one wants to be around a bunch of drunks."
Maine has had a number of serious alcohol fatalities among boaters in the last year.