Summers in Alberta are a great time to hit the lakes and rivers; however, the increase in people using natural water ways also leads to increased risk of accidents and drowning.
This summer, whenever operating a boat, canoe, or other watercraft take every possible precaution to ensure a safe trip.
Alberta RCMP reminds boaters to always practice safe boating and not operate a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In 2017, drinking and boating accounted for about 40% of boating related fatalities in Canada.
Alberta RCMP recommends the following tips to be safe on the water this summer:
- Never operate a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as they can affect a person’s judgement and reaction time.
- Always make sure everyone on board, even experienced swimmers, are wearing life jackets.
- Always bring emergency supplies like extra food, clothes, and a cell phone.
- Always check the weather forecast before going on the water. Changing weather conditions can be extremely dangerous while on the water.
- Always know the area you will be operating in and share your itinerary with someone, so that if there is an emergency you can be found quickly.
Since 2016, 57 people have drowned in Alberta. Of those drownings, 67% occurred on lakes or rivers. Water safety is a shared responsibility. By practicing safe boating, Albertans can help reduce the number of fatalities caused by drowning this summer.
Staff Sergeant Scott Buchanan says “It’s a privilege to live in the Lakeland area where we have such a wide array of recreational activity related to water. I encourage folks to get out on the lakes as often as possible during our short open water season! At the same time, I encourage people to practice good etiquette at the boat launches and on the water. It is critical to implement good safety measures while enjoying the summertime fun, including compliance with rules and regulations associated to boating.”
For more tips view Alberta RCMP’s Water Safety Video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?