Dry Water

Boaters prepare to remove a boat from Smithville Lake. According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, it will be one of the most trafficked waterways in the area.

If you dip a boat into one of Northwest Missouri’s waterways for holiday weekend festivities, the Missouri State Highway Patrol recommend that at least one person stay dry.

Marine units with the patrol will be conducting specific operations from Friday, July 5, to Sunday, July 7 to target those who drink and boat in an event called Operation Dry Water.

“Operation Dry Water is an opportunity to remind boaters they need a designated captain on board their vessel,” said Highway Patrol Superintendent Eric Olson. “Intoxicated boat operators endanger those on board their vessel as well as other boaters in the area. Although designated captains are more common today than ever, it’s an important message to repeat.”

The operation is an annual and nationally coordinated effort organized by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.

Last year, patrol officers arrested seven individuals statewide and wrote tickets to more than 80 others as part of the operation, according to a press release.

Trooper Nicholas Greiner will be one of two officers in the area participating in enforcement this weekend.

Much like on the streets, Greiner said officers look for similar violations on the water.

“Boating is somewhat similar in that you’re looking for registration violations and you’re looking for hazardous moving violations,” Greiner said.

Recent flooding also may pose a risk, especially to novice boaters. Greiner said the Missouri River has been closed at times this year to boat traffic due to high water levels, and local lakes may have unknown debris lurking below the waterline.

He recommends people have a plan before they go out on the water, including designating someone as a “designated operator.”

Matt Hoffmann can be reached

at matt.hoffmann@newspressnow.com

Follow on Twitter at @NPNowHoffmann