The OPP is reminding people to exercise caution on the water. Operation Dry Water launches tomorrow, which is an initiative to reduce impaired boating. Alcohol is a factor in nearly 40% of boating incidents, according to the Canadian Safe Boating Council. 

Constable Russ Beaton, with the SAVE (Snowmobile, All-terrain vehicle & Vessel Enforcement) Team, says consuming alcohol on a boat while it’s in operation is illegal in Ontario. 

He noted life jackets and PFDs are key. He says a lot of people don’t realize that in Ontario it isn’t the law that you have to wear one, but you do need to have it readily available. Beaton explained there should be a life jacket for everyone on board.

Last year, there were 17 drownings in Eastern Ontario. Beaton says there have been 8 deaths in the province already this year due to marine collisions. 

He says people need to check their boats every spring and make sure their safety equipment is in good working order. 

Officers will be out on the water this weekend making sure people are following the laws. For more information about Operation Dry Water, click here