May 17, 2018 4:48 pm
Updated: May 17, 2018 5:30 pm

Nova Scotia boat drowning incidents already surpass 2017 figures: Coroner stats

WATCH: Water recreation is a major part of many people's summer plans. But there are also risk that can come with enjoying time on the water. Alexa MacLean has more on things you should know before heading out.

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As warmer weather continues to creep into our forecasts, it’s easy to be swept up in enthusiasm over the thought of hitting the water to partake in an array of boating activities.

But there’s a dark side to boating if you partake in risky behaviour and are unprepared.

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“According to coroner statistics, there were 92 boating fatalities across Canada [last year] but my understanding is there have already been six in Nova Scotia this year and we’re just getting started,” said Ian Gilson with the Canadian Safe Boating Council.

Four people drowned in Nova Scotia last summer as a result of boating accidents.

READ MORE: Most drowning victims in the Maritimes are male, report says

Experts say the sad part is, nearly all fatal accidents are preventable.

“Ninety-nine percent of them are people who’ve done things that either they shouldn’t have done, or don’t have the right equipment to keep them alive and that’s the ultimate tragedy. Families’ lives are ruined in a preventable accident,” Gilson said.

READ MORE: Authorities in Australia hail ‘world first’ drone rescue after 2 boys swept out to sea

Canadian Safe Boating Awareness Week kicks off the first long weekend of the spring and summer season.

One of the key messages is for people to boat sober. Gilson says this is especially true ahead of the impending legalization of cannabis.

“Leave any of the alcohol or drugs until after you get back on the dock because any amount of these intoxicants can be tragic,” Gilson said.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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