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(Rathbun Lake)— With the long 4th of July holiday weekend just around the corner, the Kansas City District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Rathbun Lake is taking part in Operation Dry Water.

The mission of Operation Dry Water is to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities related to boating under the influence.

Jonathan Carlisle of the Kansas City District of the U.S. Army Crops of Engineers says “we are dedicated to keeping boaters safe on our waters.  Boating is a safe and enjoyable past time when people stay alert and follow the rules.  He says boaters will see our park rangers out on the water and at the boat ramps looking for boaters who are operating a vessel under the influence and making efforts to increase boater education.

Carlisle says boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol continues to be a major problem across the country.  In addition he says the U.S. Coast Guard data indicates that alcohol is the primary contributing factor in recreational boating fatalities.  Intoxicated boat operators and passengers run a significant increased risk of being involved in a fatal boating accident.