Florida is often recognized as the boating capital of the country and its no surprise why. With thousands of miles of coastline and great weather, the Florida ocean waters call out to mariners and non-mariners alike. Especially during the summer time. But sometimes that fun in the sun can go too far when boaters consume alcohol and operate their vessels, often causing tragic and avoidable boat accidents, and resulting in personal injury and/or wrongful death. Last year's boating fatality rate increased 14.8% from the year before. Tragically, alcohol was a primary contributing factor to 16% of all fatal boating accidents last year, according to the Coast Guard. While there is no excuse for the irresponsible act of drinking and operating a marine vessel, it is likely that lack of information and education on the issue also plays a role in this. For example, many individuals do not realize that alcohol on the water has a compounding effect and it is estimated that the same level of intoxication on the water as on the shore has a three times more detrimental effect. That is why law enforcement agencies are hitting South Florida waters this weekend in a national effort against drunk boating called Operation Dry Water, an educational and law enforcement campaign seeking to enforce boating under the influence laws and educate boaters about the dangers of doing so in advance of the July 4th holiday weekend, often the busiest boating holiday of the summer. So, if you plan on operating a boat this summer, do it the right way: Stay Dry in the Water.