Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Episode 584 (7-5-21): Operation Dry Water Targets Boating Under the Influence

CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (4:18).

Sections below are the following:
Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.).

Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 7-2-21.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of July 5, 2021.  This revised episode from June 2015 highlights a nationwide boating safety initiative held over the July 4 weekend.

MUSIC – ~11 sec – instrumental

That’s part of “Dirty Sea,” by the Charlottesville and Nelson County, Va.-based band Chamomile and Whiskey.  This week, musical imagery from the song sets the stage for one of the most serious water subjects: boating under the influence of alcohol.  Have a listen for about 35 more seconds.

MUSIC - ~36 sec – Lyrics: “Real dirty sea, let me free; don’t wanna die underneath them waves; oh blue and white, unbreak the night, hiding well those sailors’ graves.”

According to U.S. Coast Guard, alcohol is the leading contributing factor in fatal recreational boating accidents where a cause is known, contributing to about 18 percent of such fatalities nationwide in 2020.  Alcohol’s bad for boating for many reasons: it can impair balance and coordination, slow reaction time, affect judgement, increase fatigue and the effects of cold-water immersion, and decrease one’s ability to swim.  Judgment, reaction, and coordination obviously important for boat operators, but they also help boat passengers, such as in making the crucial, good decision to wear a life jacket, and in reducing the chances of falling overboard.

For all of these reasons, Operation Dry Water exists.  Coordinated by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, Operation Dry Water is a year-round, nationwide effort of boater education and law enforcement to reduce Boating Under the Influence—or BUI.  Each summer on the weekend before July 4th, Operation Dry Water coordinates a special BUI focus by law-enforcement agencies.  So this year from July 2 through July 4, state, local, and Coast Guard officers increased patrolling for BUI, with a focus on “detecting impaired boaters and educating the public about the dangers of boating under the influence.”

Here’s to sober boating and to safety in other water activities, on July 4 and all year round.

Thanks to Chamomile and Whiskey for permission to use this week’s music, and we close with about 25 more seconds of “Dirty Sea.”

CLOSING MUSIC – ~25 sec – instrumental


Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  For more Virginia water sounds, music, or information, visit us online at, or call the Water Center at (540) 231-5624.  Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of Cripple Creek to open and close this show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


This Virginia Water Radio episode revises and replaces Episode 270, 6-15-15. 

“Dirty Sea,” from the 2013 album “Wandering Boots,” is copyright by Chamomile and Whiskey and by County Wide Records, used with permission of Chamomile and Whiskey.  More information about Chamomile and Whiskey is available online at, and information about Charlottesville-based County Wide Records is available online at  This music was used previously by Virginia Water Radio most recently in Episode 370, 5-29-17, on Safe Boating Week in 2017.

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (1 min./11 sec.) of the “Cripple Creek” arrangement/performance by Stewart Scales that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Scales and the group New Standard, with which Mr. Scales plays, is available online at


Promotional poster for Operation Dry Water provided by the National Association of State Boating Administrators, accessed online at


Used for Audio

National Association of State Boating Law Administrators:
“About BUI,” online at;
“Operation Dry Water,” online at;
“Operation Dry Water Newsletter,” online at (a June 17, 2021, national press release at this site is the source for the quote in the audio).
“Operation Dry Water Outreach Talking Points,” online at

National Safe Boating Council, “Boat Sober This Fourth of July—From the Safe Boating Campaign,” June 28, 2021, online at

U.S. Coast Guard/Boating Safety Division, online at  The Coast Guard’s “2020 Boating Recreational Statistics” report is online (as a PDF) at

For More Information about Boating Safety

National Safe Boating Council, online at

Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (formerly Department of Game and Inland Fisheries): “Boating,” online at;
“Boating Safety and Education,” online at

Virginia Marine Resources Commission, “Boating Safety,” online at


All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (  See particularly the “Recreation” subject category.

Following are links to other episodes on boating safety and dock safety.

Boating safety – Episode 370, 5-29-17 (Safe Boating Week in 2017; this episode also features “Dirty Sea” by Chamomile and Whiskey).

Dock safety – Episode 131, 10-8-12.


Following are some Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) that may be supported by this episode’s audio/transcript, sources, or other information included in this post.

2020 Music SOLs 

SOLs at various grade levels that call for “examining the relationship of music to the other fine arts and other fields of knowledge.”

2015 Social Studies SOLs 

Virginia Studies Course
VS.10 – Knowledge of government, geography, and economics in present-day Virginia.

Civics and Economics Course
CE.3 – Citizenship rights, duties, and responsibilities.
CE.7 – Government at the state level.
CE.8 – Government at the local level.
CE.10 – Public policy at local, state, and national levels.

World Geography Course
WG.18 – Cooperation among political jurisdictions to solve problems and settle disputes.

Government Course
GOVT.8 – State and local government organization and powers.
GOVT.9 – Public policy process at local, state, and national levels.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at

Following are links to Water Radio episodes (various topics) designed especially for certain K-12 grade levels.

Episode 250, 1-26-15 – on boiling, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.

Episode 255, 3-2-15 – on density, for 5th and 6th grade.

Episode 282, 9-21-15 – on living vs. non-living, for kindergarten.

Episode 309, 3-28-16 – on temperature regulation in animals, for kindergarten through 12th grade.

Episode 333, 9-12-16 – on dissolved gases, especially dissolved oxygen in aquatic habitats, for 5th grade.

Episode 403, 1-15-18 – on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.

Episode 404, 1-22-18 – on ice on ponds and lakes, for 4th through 8th grade.

Episode 406, 2-5-18 – on ice on rivers, for middle school.

Episode 407, 2-12-18 – on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.

Episode 483, 7-29-19 – on buoyancy and drag, for middle school and high school.

Episode 524, 5-11-20 – on sounds by water-related animals, for elementary school through high school.

Episode 531, 6-29-20 – on various ways that animals get water, for 3rd and 4th grade.

Episode 539, 8-24-20 – on basic numbers and facts about Virginia’s water resources, for 4th and 6th grade.