ONTARIO PROVINCIAL POLICE
The Collingwood and The Blue Mountains detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has had its marine unit out on Georgian Bay and surrounding waterways since May ensuring the safety of boaters and raising awareness of boating rules and regulations.
One of those rules is the no wake requirement for the Collingwood harbour where the maximum speed is 7 knots. Boat operators need to slow down as they enter the harbour. This regulation needs to be adhered to as numerous warnings were issued but this continues to be a concern and a zero-tolerance approach will have to be taken to get the message to certain boaters.
Marine Unit officers did issue 18 tickets related to having no personal floatation device (PFD) on board, as well as equipment offences, licence infractions as well as one charge of Drive Conveyance While Prohibited.
Over the Canada Day long weekend, Marine Unit members responded to two vessels in distress. One being a personal watercraft that was partially sunken in Georgian Bay but thankfully the operator was able to use his cell phone and call for assistance.
The second vessel in distress had an engine fire which was put out by the occupants of the boat prior to police arrival, in both cases the vessels were towed to shore and no one was injured.
Marine Unit members also charged the operator of a personal watercraft after it was found that he had a suspended licence which prevented him from operating any vehicle including any watercraft or vessel.
Part of the marine patrols also includes the educational side to boating requirements and regulations all in the name of saving lives and reducing injuries and making this summer an enjoyable and safe boating season.
Some regulations change from year to year, one example is regulations on stand up paddle boards and sit on top kayaks. Two years ago all that was needed was a PFD and a whistle. Now, however, you must have a 15-meter buoyant heaving line if you are not wearing your PFD. If you are wearing your PFD, you do not require to have a heaving line.
For more information on the equipment required for different vessels, please view the following link to get the "APP" for their mobile device https://csbc.ca/en/ or https://csbc.ca/fr/ or view the Transport Canada Safe Boating Guide.