After a deadly start to the Fourth of July Boating, incidents decrease

Natural Resources Police Vigilance and Education Yields Results

News Release, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Maryland Natural Resources Police stayed busy with heightened vigilance during the holiday weekend July 4-7, and are pleased to report a significant reduction of serious boating incidents.

During one of Maryland’s busiest times on the waterways, officers were out to prevent unsafe boating, conducting 1,860 boat safety inspections. Officers made nine arrests for boating under the influence, plus one for driving under the influence. Additionally, officers conducted 4,434 recreational fishing checks and 184 commercial fishing checks.

Statewide, police issued 668 citations and 825 warnings over the Fourth of July weekend.

Immediately prior to the holiday, Natural Resources Police and first responder partners stressed the stakes of adhering to the rules and guidelines of water recreation, following an unfortunate string of deadly accidents.

“I believe Marylanders understand we are serious about enforcing safe boating as well as the protection and conservation of our aquatic natural resources,” Maryland Natural Resources Police Superintendent Col Robert “Ken,” Ziegler said. “While we did have 11 accidents on our waterways during the holiday timeframe, we had no fatalities, which gives me hope the public is getting the message about responsible and safe boating.”

In addition to taking part in the national Operation DryWater sober boating initiative, Maryland Natural Resources Police continue to promote and enforce safe boating campaigns such as youth education for life jacket use and the department’s Ride Inside the effort to stop illegal bow riding.

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