A number of local organizations are teaming up with the Canadian Safe Boating Council for Operation Dry Water. 

The goal of the campaign, which is entering its sixth year, is to lessen the number of fatal boating accidents across the country that involve alcohol. 

"Canada-wide we see that about 40 per cent of boating fatalities have alcohol as a contributing factor," Lifesaving Society Manitoba Branch acting CEO Kevin Tordiffe said today. "In Manitoba the numbers are even worse at over 60 per cent." 

The Lifesaving Society, Manitoba RCMP and Winnipeg Police are all teaming up on this campaign locally. Both police agencies will be out on the waterways conducting water vessel safety checks this long weekend. 

Tordiffe says they are hoping to educate people on the dangers of impaired boating, with the hopes they will bring that message to their friends and family. 

"We've been bringing the messages forward for 20 years but the statistics haven't changed in Manitoba," he said. "We need people to take the initiative and call that practice out if you see it. If you see someone consuming alcohol and operating a boat, call them on it." 

"And of course you always have the option to call the police or RCMP to enforce those rules." 

Tordiffe says with legalization coming up in October, they also want to warn people that consuming marijuana can impair your ability to safely operate a boat, and the penalties - if you're caught - will be the same.  

He hopes legalization won't lead to an increase in impaired boating charges. 

"Given Manitoba has the highest boating fatality rates in the country, we don't really have room for an uptick." 

Tordiffe says you can learn more about boating safety at csbc.ca.