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Be careful boating on Madison waters this weekend

The Wisconsin DNR is urging boaters to be safe over the holiday.

A motorboat speeds left to right on a river with a cliff in the background.jpg

Operation Dry Water encourages sober boating. | Photo via Wisconsin DNR (Ben Pierson)

Be safe on local waterways this coming holiday weekend. The Wisconsin DNR and law enforcement agencies are making that suggestion clear during its Operation Dry Water campaign taking place Thursday, July 4-Saturday, July 6.

An increased presence of game wardens and law enforcement will be on the water patrolling and educating boaters about safe boating practices, including sober boating.


  • Alcohol use is a leading factor in recreational boating fatalities. In Wisconsin, it is illegal to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher.
  • Last year, 85% of those who drowned in a recreational boating incident were not wearing life jackets.

How to stay safe

  • Take a Wisconsin DNR boat safety education course ($10-$50).
  • Always wear a properly fitted and fastened life jacket when on or near the water.
  • Keep an eye on the weather and always tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.
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