As temperatures rise, the temptation to cool down by the water follows suit. Unfortunately, the trend of grabbing a cold alcoholic beverage while boating is also on the rise.
Boating while under the influence is a factor in approximately 40 per cent of boating-related fatalities, according to an IPSOS-REID study commissioned by the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) last year.
Common misconceptions to drinking and boating are that it isn’t dangerous and that chances of being caught are remote.
Due to two initiatives this year, the latter misconception may prove false.
Operation Dry Water was created by the CSBC two years ago and will be introduced across the country this upcoming season. The program involves police agencies making increased vessel checks over the August long weekend, firstly to ensure that local laws against the practice are being enforced and also to educate boaters on the dangers of drinking and boating.
The second initiative, the aptly-titled “Help Us Catch Impaired Boaters – Dial 911”, urges residents to report impaired boaters that are suspected to be impaired.
The program bears similarities to signage on highways encouraging drivers to keep on eye on the roads and report impaired drivers to the proper authorities.