06/20/12 Indiana Conservation Officers will participate June 22-24 in the Operation Dry Water national campaign to heighten awareness of dangers related to boating while intoxicated.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources encourages boaters to visit state parks, reservoirs and lakes to pursue boating as an enjoyable recreational activity.

“We want to see everyone have a great time while boating,” said Lt. Bill Browne of DNR’s Division of Law Enforcement. “Being safe and sober is the first step to ensuring that your boating experience has the fun and relaxing result you are looking for.

“Thousands of people boat safely in Indiana waters every year without incident.”

When boating accidents do occur, alcohol is often involved. Alcohol was a contributing factor in 63 of 75 boating accidents recorded in Indiana in 2011, and in 60 of 64 boating accidents in 2010.

Indiana Conservation Officers arrested 178 individuals in 2011 for boating while intoxicated and 129 in 2010.

All boaters are encouraged to report suspected impaired boat operators to their nearest Indiana Conservation Officer by calling central dispatch at (812) 837-9536 or 9-1-1.