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Most boating and drowning deaths involve drinking, says Lifesaving Society

WATCH: Kevin Tordiffe of the Lifesaving Society says more than 60 per cent of boating deaths in Manitoba involve alcohol - one of the highest in the country. He says they are concerned about the legalization of pot.

The majority of drowning deaths among boaters on Manitoba waterways involved alcohol, says the Lifesaving Society.

The Manitoba Branch of the Lifesaving Society (MBLS) joined Winnipeg Police, RCMP and and the Canadian Safe Boating Council to launch Operation Dry Water Monday, an awareness campaign launched in the hopes of preventing drowning deaths, especially before the August long weekend.

“Each year I look at the new drowning report, a common trend appears,” said MBLS acting CEO Kevin Tordiffe. “Boating is a significant contributor to drownings, and the majority had alcohol as a factor in those deaths.”

READ MORE: Death toll climbs to 17 after duck boat capsizes on Missouri lake

About 40 per cent of boating deaths involve alcohol in some way across Canada, but in Manitoba, that number is a staggering 64 per cent.

To that end, police services will be out on the water this weekend to do on-water boat safety checks.

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“The RCMP will be out on the water during Operation Dry Water to help keep it safe, which will keep it fun,” said Staff Sgt. Bob Chabot of the Manitoba RCMP.