Muskoka To-DAILY

‘Operation Dry Water’ focuses on safe alcohol-free summer boating

MUSKOKA — Drinking and boating accounts for approximately 40 percent of boating-related fatalities on Canadian waterways.

Police are on the lakes promoting 'Operation Dry Water' this summer.

Police are on the lakes promoting ‘Operation Dry Water’ this summer.

To raise awareness and reduce alcohol- related deaths, the OPP is partnering with the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) to launch year five of an initiative called “Operation Dry Water.”

Its goal is to discourage the dangerous practice of boating while impaired by alcohol.

With the summer boating season in high gear, the August long weekend was the perfect time to remind Canadian boaters about the risks of impaired boating.

Final numbers are not in yet on the number of stops last weekend.

Combined with sun, wind, waves and the rocking motion of the boat, the effects of alcohol on the water can be greatly increased, they said in a release launching the annual blitz.

Through this initiative, the CSBC and the OPP would like to raise attention to the issue of boating under the influence. While the responsibility of law enforcement on the water falls on police, the responsibility to ensure our waterways are a safe place to work and play is shared by all boaters. Alcohol and drug impairment continue to be a factor in boating deaths and injuries and, similar to the efforts on our roadways, we all have a role to play.

Operation Dry Water focuses on the potential risks of impaired boating and opportunities to discourage it.

They say being charged with Impaired Operation of a Vessel carries the same consequences as Impaired Operation of a Motor Vehicle and in Ontario that includes a suspension of your vehicle driving privileges. Upon conviction, a judge may prohibit operating a boat for a period of time and the repercussions of a criminal impairment conviction can go far beyond the initial incident.

In Ontario, no alcohol can be consumed by anyone on board while a boat is underway. Only boats with permanent sleeping, cooking and washroom facilities onboard may permit consumption but only when docked or at anchor.

They say never boat under the influence.

Operation Dry Water’s target is to reduce the number of alcohol-related incidents and fatalities on the water while fostering education and discussions that promote and create a visible deterrent to alcohol use while boating. The end goal…a safer and more enjoyable experience on the water for everyone.

For more information, visit the CSBC website at under CSBC Safety Campaigns.

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

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Posted by on Aug 11 2017. Filed under Headlines, OPP. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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