Operation Dry Water
Drinking and boating make for a deadly mix, accounting for approximately 40 per cent of boating-related fatalities on Canadian waterways. To raise awareness and reduce alcohol-related deaths, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is partnering with the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) to launch year 5 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, this is the perfect time to remind boaters about the risks of impaired boating. Combined with sun, wind, waves and the rocking motion of the boat, the effects of alcohol on the water can be greatly increased. 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. Being charged with impaired operation of a vessel carries the same consequences as impaired operation of a motor vehicle. In Ontario that includes a suspension of your vehicle driving privileges. 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.