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Oakland Co. Sheriff's Marine Division Kicks Off 'Operation Dry Water,' July 2-4 Targeting Impaired Boaters

(CBS DETROIT)- The waterways in Southeast Michigan will be bustling with boaters this holiday weekend and to make sure everyone remains safe on the water the Oakland County Sheriff's Marine Division is beefing up patrols. The units has one focus in mind.

"We want everybody to have a safe enjoyable weekend," said Sergeant Brian Burwell, Sergeant in charge of the Marine Division with the Oakland County Sheriff's office.

The key word is safe says Sergeant Burwell. He says there will be an increase in boaters this weekend and his office will be in full force.

"The Sheriff's office is participating in "Operation Dry Water" which is a national campaign that's aimed to target impaired boating," Burwell said.

Sergeant Burwell says the campaign that kicks off Friday July 2 and goes till Sunday July 4 will focus on all 450 lakes in the county. We went out with deputies on day 1 as the patrolled Cass Lake.

"Will be putting about 40 deputies out onto the water and about 20 boats," said Burwell.

Burwell says they are cracking down on impaired drivers, but also making sure boaters are practicing safety. 13 members of the dive team will be on hand in case of an emergency.

"It helps us out with response times the divers basically carry their gear with them in their cars," Burwell said.

Burwell has this advice for anyone planning to hit the waterways this weekend or anytime.

"Checking your boat before you go on the water, making sure you have the proper life jackets, making sure you're using common sense, no difference than driver a vehicle on the road way," Burwell said.

Burwell says alcohol is the most common factor in boat collisions and drowning, so have fun but be safe this holiday weekend.

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