Alcohol a Factor in Almost Half of Boating Deaths says OPP

Jul 29, 2014

OPP to Support Operation Dry Water Over Long Weekend

ORILLIA, ON, July 29, 2014 /CNW/ - Alcohol was a factor in 42 per cent of the 18 boating fatalities investigated by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) this season. Over the Civic Day Long Weekend (August 2-4), the OPP is partnering with the Canadian Safe Boating Council and enforcement agencies across Canada for Operation Dry Water, a national campaign aimed at decreasing incidents of injury and death related to operating a boat while impaired by drugs or alcohol.

The majority of boating tragedies are preventable and everyone on the water has a role to play to ensure it is a safe and enjoyable activity.  "We are all responsible for safety, as boaters, cottagers, guests as well as marina staff," said Chief Superintendent Chuck Cox, Commander of the Highway Safety Division. "Strongly encourage your family and friends to not mix drinking and boating before they head out and report impaired boaters to police," added Cox.

In Ontario, the consumption of alcohol by anyone on board any boat underway is unlawful.  Boaters are allowed to have open alcohol only on boats with permanent sleeping, cooking and washroom facilities built into the boat's design and only when those boats are docked or at anchor.

Whether operating a motorized boat, canoe or any other type of marine vessel, doing so while impaired by alcohol or drugs is investigated similarly to driving a land vehicle and has the same consequences. Impaired operators face criminal charges and immediate suspension of their driving privileges for motor vehicles.

OPP marine officers continue to patrol Ontario waterways, promoting safety through equipment checks, encouraging paddlers and small craft operators to wear their lifejackets and focusing on alcohol enforcement and deterring reckless behaviours.

Get on board...don't drink and boat!


Operation Dry Water

OPP Marine Safety

Hooked On Lifejackets

SOURCE Ontario Provincial Police

For further information:

Contacts by OPP Region:

Highway Safety Division:  
Sergeant Kerry Schmidt   
Phone: (416) 460-4701

Central Region: 
Sergeant Peter Leon 
Phone: (705) 330-3738

East Region:   
Sgt. Kristine Rae     
Phone: (613) 285-2750

Northwest Region:  
Sergeant Shelley Garr  
Phone: (807) 473-2734

North East Region:  
Sergeant Carolle Dionne         
Phone: (705) 845-2738

West Region:
A/Sergeant Chrystal Jones
Phone: (519) 652-4156