WINNIPEG – Heading into the Civic Holiday weekend, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are asking people to take extra care on the water.
Drinking and boating accounts for approximately 40% of boating-related fatalities on Canadian waterways. To raise awareness and reduce alcohol-related deaths, RCMP officers are joining the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) to launch year 5 of an initiative called “Operation Dry Water.” Its goal is to educate boaters about the dangers and potentially fatal consequences of impaired boating.
With the summer boating season in high gear, the August long weekend is the perfect time to remind Canadian boaters about the risks of impaired boating. Combined with sun, wind, waves and the rocking motion of the boat, the effects of alcohol on the water can be greatly increased.
Operation Dry Water is aimed at reducing the number of alcohol-related incidents and fatalities on the water while fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol use while boating. The end goal? To keep people safe on the water.
“While fear of getting caught drinking and boating may not be a sufficient deterrent, people should think how they would live with themselves were they to injure or kill a loved one due to their impairment while boating” suggests Ian Gilson – Director with the Canadian Safe Boating Council.
RCMP officers across the province will be out on the water talking to boaters, educating about the risks involved with impaired driving and ensuring proper safety equipment is on board, including a personal floatation device for every person on board.
“Ultimately, this is about being safe on the water,” said Sgt. Ben Sewell of the Thompson RCMP Detachment. “We don’t want to see anybody hurt, so we take Operation Drywater very seriously and will be visible on the water and interacting with boaters.”