Jun 27, 2012 / 3:20 pm
Boating under the influence continues to be the leading contributing factor in boating fatalities.
Local marine law enforcement officers in the Okanagan-Shuswap will be hitting the water this summer to educate everyone on the risks of boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Officers will check for safe boating compliance and looking for boaters whose blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds the federal limit of 0.08 through the campaign Operation Dry Water 2012. The campaign will kick off this Canada Day weekend and continue through the summer season.
According to RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk boaters can expect to see boat ramp safety checkpoints and increased on-water patrols, including breathalyzer tests when required.
“We intend to take intoxicated boaters off the lake and to reach out to as many people as possible about the hazards of boating under the influence."
Molendyk warns that when impaired by alcohol, boating accidents are more probable and more deadly for both passengers and boat operators, many of whom capsize their vessel or simply fall overboard.
"Boating is a safe and enjoyable pastime when people stay alert and follow the rules, including having a proper and sober lookout at times to prevent collisions. We want boaters to understand the added risks associated with BUI and to avoid drinking and boating."
Boaters are also being warned to be cautious of high water levels, to be mindful of their boat wake and its effect on lake and river banks.
Sgt. Josh Lockwood of the Conservation Officer Service warns, “we will be actively enforcing the 10 km/hr speed restriction within 30 meters of shore on interior lakes during our vessel patrols this long weekend”.
It is an offence to cause damage to property along the shore line with a boat's wake.
- Operating power-driven vessel at a speed over 10 km/h within 30 m of shore in specified waters $230
- Operating vessel in an unsafe manner $575
- Operating vessel in a manner that interferes with an event or activiities $288
People are doing everything they can to protect their properties from water damage due to the extremely high water levels. The wake from boats or personal water craft can displace the water levels as much as two feet and could damage homes.
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