Don’t drink while boating, warns police; same penalties as impaired driving

boatingAs part of Safe Boating Awareness Week, members of the York Regional Police Marine Unit has reminded boaters and anyone planning to have fun on the water to be safe and not to mix alcohol with boating.

With the return of warmer weather, members of the Marine Unit, working in conjunction with South Simcoe Police, will be conducting vessel checks during the Victoria Day long weekend and throughout the summer to ensure all the necessary safety equipment is onboard and all operators have their mandatory Pleasure Craft Operators Card. The Ministry of Natural Resources officers will also be on the water enforcing the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.

All those who will be spending time in boat or near the water are encouraged to enjoy their long weekend celebrations, but do so responsibly.  If you drink or do drugs, don’t drive. When it comes to drinking and boating, the same rules apply when out on the water as when you’re operating a car on the road. The penalties for drinking and boating are also the same as drinking and driving.

For more information on the Canadian Safe Boating Council and Safe Boating Awareness Week, click on the following link:

York Regional Police reminds boaters that each year people die needlessly in accidents on Ontario waterways. Most fatalities on the water are preventable if smart choices are made before leaving shore.

York Regional Police reminds all boaters of the following safety tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable boating season:

  • Ensure everyone onboard wears an approved life-jacket
  • In cool weather, wear rain gear over and/or wool clothes under your life-jacket . Wool insulates even when wet. Wear layers of clothing and a hat
  • Carry all necessary equipment onboard in accordance with Small Vessel Regulations
  • Never drink alcohol or consume drugs before operating a vessel or personal water craft
  • Tell someone about your plans and carry a cell phone with a fully-charged battery
  • Always have enough fuel onboard to get you to your destination
  • Be aware of changing weather conditions
  • Keep in mind, this time of the year, open water is still very cold despite rising air temperatures

For more information on marine safety, please contact the York Regional Police Marine Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7321 or visit the Transport Canada website at – CINEWS

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