NRP Beefs Up Patrols This Holiday Weekend as Summer Ends & Hunting Season Begins

ANNAPOLIS - The Labor Day Holiday marks the traditional end of the summer boating season and the beginning of Maryland’s hunting seasons. Early September is the perfect time of year for family and friends to gather and enjoy the state’s forestlands and waterways. However, accidents can happen more frequently during the busy holiday weekends. To keep Marylanders safe, Natural Resources Police (NRP) will be conducting an extensive enforcement effort spanning the state called Operation Last Flight.

Operation Last Flight is designed to remind people of the need for safety in both the boating and hunting environment. NRP officers will conduct patrols to detect and apprehend boaters operating impaired and in a negligent or reckless manner. Patrols will use aircraft, vessels and surveillance units to keep unsafe operators off the waterways. Roving land patrols will also be used to monitor hunting activity, with a focus on safety-related violations and trespassing. Violations of this type often result in unsafe hunting conditions.

“These may be the “last flight” of the 2006 boating season but by no means are they the last flights of the year,” said NRP Superintendent Colonel Mark S. Chaney. “The Maryland Natural Resources Police will continue our never-ending mission of ensuring public safety and protecting our natural resources.”

Even though last year’s Labor Day holiday weekend saw less boating activity than normal due to poor weather conditions from Hurricane Katrina and high fuel prices, NRP still issued a total of 1,859 citations and warnings. NRP officers investigated seven boat accidents that involved six personal injuries and no fatalities. There were 46 alcohol-related arrests, three of which involved boating violations and 43 for underage drinking.

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