Maryland Natural Resources Police Remind Boaters, Hunters To Be Safe This Holiday Weekend
ANNAPOLIS — The Labor Day Holiday marks the traditional end of the summer boating season and the beginning of Maryland’s hunting seasons. It’s a good time of year for family and friends to gather and enjoy our forestlands and waterways. Unfortunately, it’s also a good time for boating and hunting accidents. To keep Marylanders safe, Natural Resources Police will be conducting an extensive, 24-hour enforcement effort spanning across the state, called Operation Sunset.
Operation Sunset is designed to remind people of the need for safety in both the boating and hunting environment. Natural Resources Police will conduct patrols to detect and apprehend boaters operating in an unsafe manner. Patrols will use vessels, aircraft and surveillance units to keep unsafe operators off the waterways. Roving land patrols will 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.
“Ensuring public safety, along with environmental conservation, are high priorities with NRP,” said NRP Col. Mark S. Chaney. “We hope all Marylanders enjoy a fun, but safe holiday.”
During the 2003 Labor Day Holiday, 50% of all boating accidents in Maryland were the result of collisions. The greatest contributing factors in these accidents were excessive speed and improper lookout. During that same 2003 Labor Day Holiday, 25% of all the hunting violations involved hunting without permission and loaded weapons in vehicles.
The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) is an enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources. With an authorized strength of 214 officers and a dedicated staff of civilian and volunteer personnel, the Natural Resources Police provide a variety of services in addition to conservation and boating law enforcement duties throughout the State of Maryland. These services include search and rescue, emergency medical services, education, information and communications services on a round the clock basis. NRP is the only police force aside from the Maryland State Police that has statewide jurisdiction.