SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - This weekend, the Department of Marine Resources will team up with several agencies to keep Mississippi's waterways safe.
Operation Dry Water is a national campaign aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of boating under the influence before the busy Fourth of July weekend.
"We want residents and tourists to enjoy the waterways along the Mississippi Coast," said Keith Davis, Chief of DMR's Marine Patrol Office. "But we want them to do so responsibly, and we want them to know the dangers of boating under the influence."
Last year during Operation Dry Water, 582 state, federal and local agencies across the country made 278 BUI arrests and wrote 17,942 citations and safety warnings over the three-day campaign.
The DMR said authorities in South Mississippi made no BUI arrests in 2015, but they did stop 114 vessels and issue 12 safety citations.
"Every year, there are accidents, injuries and sometimes deaths because someone made the decision to operate a boat after drinking alcohol or taking drugs," Davis said. "We want to educate people about these dangers, and this campaign helps us do that."