North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

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Wildlife Commission’s Brian Cookston Named State’s Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year

  • 31 July 2015
  • Number of views: 7215
Wildlife Commission’s Brian Cookston Named State’s Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year
Wildlife Officer Brian Cookston

BRYSON CITY, N.C. (July 31, 2015) — Master Officer Brian Cookston with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has been honored as North Carolina’s Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for 2015.

The prestigious award is presented annually by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and its regional partner, the Southern States Boating Law Administrators Association. The recipient must have demonstrably made outstanding contributions to the field of boating law enforcement.

Cookston was recognized for his immediate and resourceful response to an accident involving a commercial jet boat on Fontana Lake that resulted in injuries to numerous passengers. He was instrumental in getting medical attention and other assistance to the scene, and later in aiding the U.S. Coast Guard investigation into the accident. Also cited were the numerous hours he spent in the community providing safe boating instruction, including courses through the local community college and public school system. He conducted numerous pre-launch courtesy boat inspections at public access areas, spoke to civic groups and participated in regional boating conferences.

Cookston, a 17-year veteran with the Wildlife Commission, is stationed in Swain County. He is a leader in the annual “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign, a multi-agency safety initiative to reduce accidents on the state’s roadways and waterways. Participating agencies highlight the importance of having a designated driver, whether operating a vehicle or vessel.

“Through his actions, Master Officer Cookston has exemplified the mission and vision of the Wildlife Commission’s Law Enforcement Division,” said Maj. Chris Huebner, the state boating safety coordinator. “He has helped prevent boating accidents through education and enforcement, and ultimately saved lives by doing so. He deserves this recognition.”

North Carolina is a popular state for boating, with 5,000 miles of inland streams, rivers, lakes and coastal waterways. The Commission’s wildlife officers are responsible for enforcing boating regulations statewide. The public can assist wildlife officers by reporting boating violations to 1-800-662-7137.

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Media Contact:
Geoff Cantrell
919-707-0186
geoff.cantrell@ncwildlife.org
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