NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBS 2) — Police throughout the Tri-State Area were warning Friday night that booze and water don’t mix.
Those words of wisdom were in reference to the water we swim in and sail on during holiday weekends, like the one fast approaching.
CBS 2’s Lou Young hit the waves Friday with a police marine patrol gearing up for a busy three days.
Getting a late start to summer, Jay Hvisic finally put his boat in the water Friday, just ahead of the holiday weekend. The safety check is the first and last thing he does before shoving off.
“That the bilge is secure, that my flares aren’t expired and up to date, the life jackets are on board,” Hvisic said. “Checked to make sure the radio works, so we should be ready to go.
Those checks keep boaters like Hvisic off the radar of officials like New Rochelle Police Officer Ed Coleman.
Officer Coleman and the New Rochelle harbormaster pulled over Alexis Lavion, of Mamaroneck, who brought an expired fire extinguisher out on the water and left boat paperwork at home.
“Just get a fire extinguisher, and the registration, carry it on board,” Officer Coleman told Lavion.
It’s literally a matter of life and death.
When the waters fill up with boats, the time for warnings will be over and the time for issuing tickets will begin. Police officers said they fully expect they’ll be making arrests between Friday and Tuesday morning.
Nationally, it’s part of a national sober boating program called Operation Dry Water. While on the land, police departments near beach areas in New York and the Jersey Shore will crack down on underage drinking, with undercover cops staking out liquor stores.
Police said more than one third of all fatal boating accidents can be traced back to excessive drinking.