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The original item was published from 7/1/2021 8:22:47 AM to 7/7/2021 12:00:07 AM.

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Police Department

Posted on: July 1, 2021

[ARCHIVED] PRESS RELEASE: Increased Lake Patrols over 4th of July Holiday Weekend

The Shrewsbury Police Department will be taking part in Operation Dry Water on Lake Quinsigamond. Operation Dry Water is a Nationwide Campaign that Targets Boating under the influence to Protect Public Safety, and raise awareness.

The Shrewsbury Police Department will be taking part in Operation Dry Water on Lake Quinsigamond. Operation Dry Water is a Nationwide Campaign that Targets Boating under the influence to Protect Public Safety, and raise awareness.

The Shrewsbury Police Department will have increased patrols on Lake Quinsigamond over Independence Day Weekend. The holiday is known not only for the increased numbers of recreational boaters on the water, but for an increase in the number of injuries and deadly accidents related to boating under the influence. State and local law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Coast Guard, and recreational boating safety advocates and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) are participating in the campaign to help raise awareness and prevent tragedies related to boating under the influence.

Massachusetts has seen a dramatic increase in tragic boating accidents this year. According to the United States Coast Guard, there were 4,168 recreational boating accidents nationally in 2019 leading to 613 deaths, 2,559 injuries and approximately $55 million dollars of damage to property. Of the fatalities, 77% were due to drowning. Of those who drowned, 84% of the victims were not wearing a lifejacket.

In Massachusetts, operating any vessel under the influence of drugs or alcohol is strictly prohibited. Boaters are also prohibited from operating within 150 feet of public or private swimming areas. All boaters are urged to operate their vessels at reasonable speeds based upon existing conditions, including traffic density, weather, and visibility. For inland waters, operating at a speed greater than 45 mph is considered excessive. Boaters are reminded that all boats are required to carry personal floatation devices and all passengers less than 12 years of age must be in a lifejacket whenever above decks while underway.

This year, to help ensure residents and visitors are able to enjoy land and maritime activities, the Shrewsbury Police, Worcester Police, Massachusetts Environmental Police, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and United States Coast Guard have convened a Lake Quinsigamond Task Force. On the water, the groups collaborate to enforce boating and watercraft violations, ensure the legal and safe operation of watercraft. On land, the Task Forces enforce parking rules and regulations, and deter general criminal activity, with a focus on boat ramps. All boating accidents must be reported to the Massachusetts Environmental Police at (800) 632-8075.

We wish everyone a happy and safe 4th of July and look forward to ensuring that Lake Quinsigamond is a place for all to enjoy!

The Press Release can be viewed HERE.

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