Police will be out on the water looking for people drinking and boating. (Canadian Safe Boating Council video still)Police will be out on the water looking for people drinking and boating this long weekend. (Canadian Safe Boating Council video)

5 things to remember if hitting the water this long weekend

Alcohol has been a contributing factor in roughly 40 per cent of all boating fatalities across Canada

  • May. 17, 2018 12:00 a.m.

Did you know Canada sees more than 100 boating deaths each year on average?

North American Safe Boating Awareness Week begins May 19 and promotes safe and responsible boating practices to the estimated 15 million recreational boaters in Canada. It comes at an opportune time with the Victoria Day long weekend upon us, where many British Columbians may be thinking about getting out on the open water.

With much of the province expecting balmy temperatures, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  1. Wear a Lifejacket
  2. Boat Sober
  3. Take a Boating Course
  4. Be Prepared – Both You and Your Vessel
  5. Be Aware of the Risks of Cold Water Immersion

Despite the impending legalization of marijuana and a rise in prescription drug use, boating safety groups and law enforcement officials remain concerned with the abundance of alcohol found on boats. It’s been found to be a contributing factor in 40 per cent of boating fatalities across Canada, according to information provided by the Canadian Safe Boating Council.

The legalization of recreational cannabis has the potential to increase this statistic, which is why the boating council will be putting on conferences to emphasize the importance of not consuming any alcohol or drugs either before or while boating.


ragnar.haagen@bpdigital.caLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter