The weather is getting warmer, and it couldn’t come at a better time. As the province starts to reopen and we all start to expand our social bubbles, we’re getting out the kayaks and taking the boat out of storage.

With all of this excitement, we might forget a few things. Specifically, our attitudes around staying safe on the water.

Before you go out on the lake or ocean, Preventable wants to remind you that drinking and boating doesn’t mix. At all.

We get it. We’ve all stayed at home, listening to Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice of “few faces in big spaces.” It’s nice to think about spending a day on the water—either solo or with family and friends. Things might be a lot more stressful right now, and a nice cold one sounds tempting.

You may not know that when you’re on the water, you can become impaired twice as fast as someone on land—due to the motion of the waves, the intensity of the sun, and the effect of wind and glare. Actually, every year in BC, approximately 16 people drown in a lake, river, or ocean—33% of these deaths are related to boating activity. In fact, one-third of boating-related fatalities in BC are alcohol-related.1,2

We’re reminding BC boaters to get out on the water and enjoy our beautiful province, but save the drinks for once your trip is over and you’re docked.



1 Data Source: BC Vital Statistics, Ministry of Health. Data accessed from Chronic Disease and Injury Data Mart, BCCDC (as of April 24, 2019). Average deaths from 2013 to 2017.

2 BC Drowning Report 2019 Edition. Prepared for the Lifesaving Society Canada by the Drowning Prevention Research Centre. Available from: