TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas Department of Wildlife game wardens targeted impaired boaters over the Fourth of July weekend in Operation Dry Water, a nationwide law enforcement effort to prevent boating under the influence.

As a result, game wardens said they arrested two boat operators for boating under the influence, one vehicle operator for driving under the influence (DUI), and another individual who was the subject of a felony arrest warrant.

In total, game wardens issued 39 boating violation citations and 80 boating violation warnings. Numerous other warnings and citations were issued for fishing, boating, and other public land violations. 

Alcohol consumption is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; and, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Recreational Boating Statistics for 2021 lists it as the leading factor in 16 percent of all boating-related deaths. The last alcohol-related boating death in Kansas occurred in 2019, according to statistics.

KS Game Warden July 4th Holiday Activity2022
Total boat accidents-reportable1
Total boat accident fatalities0
Total accident injuries0
Drowning fatalities0
Search and rescues6
Stranded boat assists30
Boat under the influence arrests2
Boating violation citations39
Boating violation warnings80
Fishing violation citations9
Fishing violation warnings10
Other crime arrests1

If you suspect that someone is driving or boating under the influence on a publicly-managed property, contact a KDWP game warden.