To raise awareness and reduce alcohol-related deaths, the Canadian Safe Boating Council is continuing “Operation Dry Water”. Its goal is to discourage this dangerous practice. (Contributed photo)

Drinking and boating can be a lethal combination

The Canadian Safe Boating Council is launching a new campaign to discourage this dangerous practice.

Did you know it’s illegal to even operate a canoe while drunk?

Drinking and boating accounts for approximately 40 per cent of boating-related fatalities on Canadian waterways.

To raise awareness and reduce alcohol related deaths, the Canadian Safe Boating Council is launching year five of “Operation Dry Water”. Its goal is to discourage this dangerous practice.

“Many boaters are unaware that when it comes to impaired driving, the rules are the same on the water as they are on the road,” said Sienna Joyce, coordinator of the Lifesaving Society’s Waterwise Team. Combined with sun, wind, waves and the rocking motion of the boat, the effects of alcohol on the water can be greatly increased. “We want to remind the public that alcohol consumption can result in a criminal charge, but it can also potentially lead to a highly preventable drowning death.”

“The CSBC, its partners and sponsors would like, through this and our other initiatives, to raise attention to the problem of boating under the influence and to remind boaters not to drink and boat,” stated John Gullick, chair of the Canadian Safe Boating Council.

Operation Dry Water will focus on the potential risks of drinking and boating, and remedies that are currently in place to discourage it.

Federal statutes dictate that, whether or not your craft is motorized, you can be charged with Impaired Operation of a Vessel under the Criminal Code of Canada if your blood alcohol level exceeds the .08 threshold. This means you can be charged even if you are impaired while operating a canoe and a judge is able to, upon conviction, suspend your boating privileges. But that’s not all; it can get worse.

Some provinces have enacted legislation where drinking and boating can affect your automobile driving privileges. In Ontario, for example, Bill 209 amended the Highway Traffic Act to also apply to “anyone operating or having the care or control of a vessel”. As such, anyone found boating with a blood alcohol level above .05, faces an on-the-spot automobile drivers’ licence suspension. Should the person’s blood alcohol concentration exceed .08, upon conviction, an additional suspension of up to one year can be applied.

Operation Dry Water is aimed at reducing the number of alcohol-related accidents and fatalities on the water while fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol use while boating. The end goal? To achieve safer and more enjoyable recreational boating.

This initiative is made possible through support of Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety.

More at: www.csbc.ca

Just Posted

Beauty Day spreads ‘brightness’ at Our Place

Volunteer hairdressers, estheticians, even a tarot card reader took part in the Victoria event

Victoria Guard Commander leads group of snowmen after ceremony cancelled

Lt.-Cmdr. Michael Irwin wasn’t going to let a bit of snow strip him of his duties

Number of adults living with parents has doubled since 1995

9 per cent of the adult population living with one or more parent

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Man in Vancouver Island hotel shooting pleads guilty to second-degree murder

Brandon Tyler Woody, from Victoria, to be sentenced in late March in B.C. Supreme Court

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Most Read