OUR VIEW: Booze and boats don’t mix

We say: Forty per cent of boating fatalities are alcohol related

As temperatures pick up on central Vancouver Island, staying cool is important.

However, the Canadian Safe Boating Council is reminding all boat owners that drinking and boating is illegal and unwise.

According to CSBC, about 40 per cent of all boating-related fatalities are alcohol-related.

The CSBC, along with law enforcement agencies across the country are using the August long weekend to remind all boaters, including sailboats, canoes and kayaks to raise awareness about boating and drinking with Operation Dry Water. In the second year of the campaign, Operation Dry Water aims to reduce the number of alcohol-related fatalities on Canadian waterways as well as provide a visible deterrent to drinking and boating.

With several gorgeous lakes and miles of ocean to choose from, Island boaters and visitors have plenty of opportunities to cool off without having to resort to alcohol. According to the Criminal Code of Canada, a boater can be charged with impaired operation of a vessel if their blood alcohol concentration exceeds the 0.08 threshold while operating a vessel.

A first offence can see the boater liable for a fine of $600.  A second offence carries a 14-day prison sentence, and a third offence extends that to 90 days.

With the number of vessels plying the waters off Campbell River, especially during the fishing season, it is imperative that all vessel operators be alert to their surroundings.

Be dry, be safe.