07/31/2015 07:49 EDT | Updated 07/31/2016 05:59 EDT

Operation Dry Water in effect on Ontario waterways this long weekend

Ontario Provincial Police are warning boaters to not drink and boat this long weekend.

The OPP is taking part in a national program called Operation Dry Water, during which boaters are urged to totally abstain from drinking while on the water.

Ontario has a quarter of a million lakes and 100,000 kilometres of river courses and OPP Sgt. Dave Rektor says 40 per cent of boating deaths are directly linked to alcohol. Rektor says boating under the influence may be even riskier that driving a car while drunk.

"You've got the wind, the waves, the rocking of the boat, these can all act as stressors that increase the level of intoxication per volume of alcohol consumed, so it is even a little more dangerous to be impaired on the water," he said.

Twenty people died on OPP-patrolled waterways last year, the lowest number in a decade.