speedboat driver using boat safety

Rhode Island is nicknamed the “Ocean State” because it has over 400 miles of coastline and 35 islands within its borders. With such easy access to the ocean, the state has a lot of boat activity. Whether it’s a fishing boat bringing in the catch of the day or a sailboat sightseeing, operators should always maneuver their boats safely through the water.

One easy way to reduce the number of boating accidents and deaths is to avoid Boating Under the Influence (BUI). To reduce the number of BUI accidents, states across the country are taking part in Operation Dry Water.

This weekend (June 28-30) the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and the U.S. Coast Guard are participating in this program in order to educate boaters about safety and enforce the law. The program features increased law enforcement patrols that will contact local boaters and talk to them about safety. Last year, marine law enforcement across the United States contacted over 110,000 boaters during Operation Dry Water. Law enforcement also made 337 BUI arrests and issued 4,819 citations and 9,695 warnings (i).

Attorney Paul d’Oliveira stated, “Operation Dry Water is a great initiative because it gives the state an opportunity to talk to boaters about the dangers of BUI in an informal setting. It is important for people to take time to obey this law especially during this time of year because June and July are some of the busiest months for boaters.”

Statistics from the U.S. Coast Guard show that there are over 12 million recreational boats registered throughout the country. In 2012, there were 4,515 boat accidents causing 3,000 injuries and 651 deaths. The top five causes of these boat accidents were:

  1. Operator Inattention
  2. Operator Inexperience
  3. Improper Lookout
  4. Machinery Failure
  5. Excessive Speed

Boating Accident lawyerAdditionally, alcohol was a contributing factor in 17% of all boating deaths (ii). The new boating graphic from the law firm provides more statistics and emphasizes the importance of life jackets. Visit the boating webpage and view the boating infographic.

d’Oliveira & Associates has 15 locations throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The law firm has been providing clients with personal injury and Social Security Disability advice for over 24 years. Call 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form online for a free legal consultation.


  • (i) Rhode Island Government Press Release, June 18, 2013.
  • (ii) U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics 2012.