Drinking accounts for approximately 40% of boating-related fatalities on Canadian waterways.

News 100 blueBy Staff

August 4th, 2018



Something seems to happen to some people when they are out on the water un a boat and some alcohol to get them through the day.

We get to see recklessness run amuck. It keeps the Halton Regional Police Marine Unit busy.

Some boaters feel that the laws of sensibility don’t apply when you are in a boat and on the water.

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

severe boat accident

Running at high speed with a pointed bow a boat can do a tremendous amount of damage in a collision.

In 2018, the Canadian Safe Boating Council along with the Halton Regional Police Service are also concerned about the potential impact of legalization of recreational marijuana and the increase in use and abuse of prescription narcotics on boating incidents and fatalities.

To raise awareness and reduce impairment-related deaths, the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) and the Halton Regional Police Service are launching year 6 of an initiative called “Operation Dry Water” It’s goal is to stress the importance of Boating Sober.


The Halton Regional police cover the waterfront in Oakville and Burlington and work with the Hamilton police who also have a marine unit.

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 and drugs on the water can be greatly increased.

“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 to boat sober,” stated John Gullick, Chair of the Canadian Safe Boating Council“. Operation Dry Water will focus on the potential risks of impaired boating, and remedies that are currently in place to discourage it.

Federal statutes dictate that boaters can be charged with Impaired Operation of a Vessel under the Criminal Code of Canada if they are found to be impaired. Under current and proposed legislation, human-powered craft are not excluded from the definition of a vessel and, so, are subject to the same penalties.

Boat accident

Boating accidents are not uncommon. Far to many are alcohol related – the legalization of marijuana is expected to increase the level of reckless behaviour.

A number of provinces have enacted legislation where impaired boating can affect your automobile driving privileges.

Operation Dry Water is aimed at reducing the number of impairment-related accidents and fatalities on the water while fostering a stronger and more visible deterrent to alcohol and drug use while boating.

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