The Canadian Safety Boating Council is stressing the importance of boating sober this long weekend.
Operation Dry Water, now in its 6th year, is looking to continue its mission to prevent impaired boating-related incidents.
Drinking and boating account for 40 per cent of boat-related deaths on a national level – while that number falls to 27 per cent in Alberta alone – which is a nationwide low.
With legalization around the corner, CSBC Director Ian Gilson tells Mix News this year’s campaign will also focus on cannabis and prescription drug use.
“Boating is such a fantastic, multi-faceted activity but it demands your complete attention and the rocking, wind-motion, the sun and everything that goes on with the boat really accelerate the intoxicating factors of alcohol and drugs.”
Gilson adds your best bet is to wait until your boat is docked before pouring any alcoholic refreshments.
This year, impaired boating laws will affect even human-powered crafts – meaning riders of those boats will be subject to the same penalties as a motorized boat.
“The laws around impaired boating didn’t apply to those type of crafts but they do this year. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a motorized vessel for you to be convicted of impaired boating. It can be a stand-up paddleboard, a canoe, a kayak or even a paddleboat.”
For more information on boating safety, head to csbc.ca.