This weekend’s Operation Dry Water campaign that seeks out impaired boat operators will include several saturation details on lakes in east Tennessee.
Operation Dry Water is a national Boating Under the Influence (BUI) awareness and enforcement campaign directed toward reducing alcohol and drug-related accidents and fatalities. This year, the campaign will take place June 30-July 2.
Specific BUI saturation details in East Tennessee are planned for Douglas, Norris, and Ft. Loudoun reservoirs. On Friday, June 30 from 7 – 9:30 p.m., officers will be looking for impaired boat operators at the entrance to Flat Creek on Douglas Lake, and at the mouth of Cedar Creek on Norris Lake. BUI saturation details on Saturday, July 1 will focus on the lake around Lenoir City Park on Ft. Loudoun Lake for the “Rockin’ the Docks” festival, and around Sequoyah Marina on Norris Lake for the “Fire on the Water” fireworks show. Officers will also be on the lookout for impaired boat operators on other lakes across the region.
Boating Enforcement officers have been particularly busy in East Tennessee this year. Out of the 50 statewide BUI arrests made this boating season, 25 have come from East Tennessee waterways. The dangers of Boating Under the Influence have also become increasingly apparent following a boating accident on Ft. Loudoun Lake earlier this month. In the early morning hours of Sunday, June 11, Michael D. Shoffner (54) of Knoxville, was operating a boat on Ft. Loudoun Lake in Blount Co. when he crashed into a stationary boat dock sending his boat airborne and into another boat that was docked inside a boat lift. The impact caused his boat to become wedged inside the other boat and the dock to collapse. Miraculously, no one was seriously injured in the incident. Mr. Shoffner has been arrested and charged with BUI. A court date has not been set.