ONTARIO PROVINCIAL POLICE
The sun was out and so were area boaters along with members of the OPP Marine Unit attached to the Southern Georgian Bay Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) over the weekend of June 12-15, 2020. Marine officers conducted 24 hours of patrol on the waters of Georgian Bay and Six Mile Lake checking 30 vessels and their operators for any signs of impairment and for having all of the required equipment.
Those vessel checks resulted in the following infractions being noted:
- Three offence notices were issued to operators of vessels that did not have sufficient Life Jackets for all persons aboard- ( one vessel had seven occupants and two Life Jackets)
- Two operators were ticketed for failing to provide their vessel registration or Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC)
- Two offence tickets were issued to operators with open liquor while underway
- 16 warnings were issued by the officers for various marine equipment issues.
Officers administered five Roadside Screening Device (RSD) tests resulting in one operator being arrested and charged with impaired boating, two operators lost their licences with a 3 Day Suspension (ADLS) with a "Warn" result and two operators passed.
The Marine Unit also visited eight area marina's and made themselves available for marine educational questions from marina patrons during their patrol time. Officers remind boaters operating human powered water craft such as canoes that impaired driving legislation does apply as does the Liquor Licence Act as officers surprised a canoeist with some education and a liquor ticket during their patrol.
Young vessel passengers who were observed wearing their Life Jacket continue to be rewarded by officers with the popular "I Got Caught Wearing My Life Jacket" T-Shirt program.
Boaters should also check the following websites and comply with any restrictions before planning to go ashore on your favourite island in Georgian Bay.
Officers crewing the OPP patrol vessel's remind all vessel operators that they are checking for vessel equipment and for liquor offences which they are vigorously enforcing in an effort to reduce injuries and fatalities on our area waterways this summer. For more information on safe vessel operation and equipment please view the following web site: https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm.
Police remind operators that an essential part of the enforcement job is to save lives and reduce injuries on our waterways. Educating the public about safe vessel operating practices is a priority.