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Friday, July 29, 2016
News Release - Winnipeg Police Service
Operation Dry Water
Education and enforcement directed toward reducing alcohol related incidents on the waterways.
July 30 - August 1 (Long Weekend) By the middle of summer, boating is in full swing. With warmer water, hotter days and many enjoying fun in the sun on their boats, it is the perfect time to remind Canadian boaters about the risks of drinking and boating.
Alcohol is a factor in nearly 40% of boating incidents and many Canadians simply do not understand that there are intensifying factors, known as "stressors", such as sun, wind, waves and the rocking motion of the boat that can greatly increase the effects of alcohol on the water.
There are many vessels where drinking is simply not allowed. Open alcohol containers are only allowed on boats that are design to be 'residences', with sleeping facilities, a head (washroom facilities) and cooking facilities. And drinking is only allowed when that boat is at anchor, docked or hard aground; never while underway.
The laws surrounding when a boater is considered impaired mirror provincial driving laws. Some provinces have even put in place legislation that has impaired boating affecting the boaters' rights to drive their automobile; being charged on the water equals remedies on land. In provinces that have not enacted similar legislation, many boaters forget that "having a few too many" on the water, by extension, may lead to being impaired while driving home.
In 2013, the Canadian Safe Boating Council launched a campaign over the first weekend in August called Operation Dry Water. This campaign focuses on messaging about the potential risks of drinking and boating, the remedies that are currently in place to discourage the behavior and heightened police enforcement on the water.
During Operation Dry Water, marine enforcement will saturate high traffic areas on lakes and canals throughout the provinces, intensifying efforts to detect and apprehend boat operators who are operating under the influence of alcohol. As part of this initiative, the media will be provided with information from the Council to educate their audiences about the dangers of drinking and boating, its prevalence and the remedies that are in place to curb the problem.
For further information contact either: Constable Jason Michalyshen, Public Information Officer Constable Rob Carver, Public Information Officer Kelly Dehn, Manager of Public Affairs