The Avalon chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the RCMP, RNC and Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club are bringing the "Call 911" message to the waterways to highlight the dangers of impaired boating and encourage the boating community to help prevent it.
The "Call 911" campaign has been successful in catching impaired drivers. Now, new signs encouraging boaters to call 911 if they suspect someone is operating a boat impaired have been installed throughout the Northeast Avalon.
A total of six signs have been installed to date, two at the Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club, two at St. John's harbour and two at Petty Harbour. The aim is to eventually have signs throughout the whole province.
“Boating tragedies occur every year because operators are impaired,” said MADD CEO Andy Murie “We are reaching
out to remind people that impaired boating is not only dangerous, it’s a crime that should be reported to police for the
protection and safety of everyone who uses our waterways.”
The yacht club will unveil two recently installed signs on its premises in this week.
With alcohol being a factor in more than 40 per cent of recreational boating fatalities, police say there's a great need to educate
boaters about the dangers of operating their vessels while impaired.
A news release from the three organizations says 37 per cent of boaters in Canada admit to consuming alcohol every time they boat, and nearly two-thirds admit to consuming alcohol sometimes when boating.
“Operating a vessel while impaired can have the same devastating results on the operator and passengers as driving a
motor vehicle while impaired. We look to these partnerships and programs to help reduce and hopefully eliminate
such offences,” said RNC Deputy Chief Singleton.
In partnership with local and regional police, government, boat clubs and marinas, MADD Canada has produced and
installed more than 250 “Report Impaired Boating” signs across the country.