The Kelowna RCMP boat was kept busy on Okanagan Lake over the Canada Day long weekend.—Image credit: Capital News file

Kelowna cops say boaters getting the safety message

Most boats checked on Okanagan Lake over the long weekend had required safety gear.

RCMP vessels were out in full force on Okanagan Lake over the Canada Day long weekend and officers say boaters in the Central Okanagan seem to be getting the message when it comes to boat safety.

The Kelowna RCMP says it was pleased to see almost all vessels checked had the necessary safety equipment on board and that equipment was in good working order.

Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey said officers reported having a difficult time locating vessels with insufficient personal flotation devices or proper life jackets for all passengers on board, along with other essential safety equipment such as fire extinguishers, buoyant heaving lines, bailers, re-boarding devices, sound signalling devices and flash lights.

But the police said Tuesday they did, however, encounter several boat operators who were either unable to produce valid proof of a Pleasure Craft Operator’s Card or provide the necessary documentation to prove licensing and ownership of the vessel they were operating.

Failure to do so can result in the operator being directed to shore, ticketed under the Small Vessel Regulations and/or the subject of a criminal code investigation launched to determine whether or not the vessel has been reported as stolen, said O’Donaghey.

Officers also encountered excessively noisy boats with loud exhausts contrary to section 1000 (1) of the Small Vessel Regulations.They state no person shall operate a power-driven vessel unless it’s equipped with a muffler that is in good working order.

For more information on boating safety and the equipment required for your vessel, visit the Transport Canada website at: https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/debs-obs-menu-1362.htm.