Coast Guard to help enforce intoxicated boating laws with Operation Dry Water

by Tim Flanagan on June 23, 2011

Whidbey Island resident Russ Christianson’s new book ‘A History of Puget Sound Salmon Sportfishing’ relives derby life on the Sound

Wayne Kruse has the story in the Everett Herald:

Puget Sound salmon derbies came on the scene in the early 1930s and, doctor of course, continue today. But the culmination of the really big-time events came in 1981, ’82 and ’83 with the "Million Dollar" derbies sponsored during Seattle Seafair by Schucks Auto Supply and covered by national television.

In 1981 and ’82, a single tagged coho, worth a cool million if caught on derby day, was released somewhere in Puget Sound prior to the event. The first coho was caught two weeks after the derby, near Tacoma, and the fisherman was awarded a $10,000 consolation prize. The second tagged fish, 1982, evaded derby-day anglers as well, but was caught later, off Whidbey Island. That fisherman made a serious mistake, however. He kept the yellow-plastic-tagged coho’s body, but cut off and discarded the head — which contained a coded wire insert put there to insure the plastic tag wasn’t a phony.

That guy got zip for his million-dollar fish.

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SEATTLE – Coast Guard units in partnership with local and state marine law enforcement agencies will patrol waters throughout the Pacific Northwest June 24-26, ask
2011, tablets
for Operation Dry Water, an annual campaign focused on the education, detection and enforcement of boating under the influence (BUI).

Operation Dry Water is a national initiative coordinated by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) in partnership with state and local agencies and the U.S. Coast Guard, aimed at reducing alcohol and drug-related accidents and fatalities on the water.

The Coast Guard emphasizes that operating a recreational vessel with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher is against federal and state laws. Boaters caught operating under the influence will have their voyage terminated and their vessel impounded. Additional penalties can include arrest, fines, loss of boating privileges and potential loss of driving privileges.

The Coast Guard contends that operating a vessel while intoxicated is the same as driving drunk, and that BUI enforcement is just as important to public safety as the enforcement of drunk driving laws.

For more information on Operation Dry Water, visit

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