Okanagan Mounties dealing with big dose of water woes

Mounties are sharing details of a few incidents to help encourage boaters to be safe on the water.

Mounties are on the lake. Be safe

After a busy last weekend on Okanagan Lake, Mounties are sharing details of a few incidents to help encourage boaters to be safe on the water.

RCMP responded  Aug. 13, to reports that a 38 foot Formula 400ss collided with and damaged another vessel docked at the Kelowna City Marina, then left the scene.

“Officers arrived on scene and managed to direct the boat operator of the suspect vessel back to the dock. Further investigation revealed that the boat operator’s ability to safely navigate may have been affected by alcohol,” said Const. Jesse O’Donaghey, in a press release.

Charges were issued to both the boat operator and owner under the Canada Shipping Act.

Next, on Aug. 14, the RCMP watercraft vessel responded to assist BC Ambulance Services who were attending the Kelowna Marina Docks for a medical emergency, after a boat passenger sustained serious injuries from the vessels propeller while swimming.

“Police determined that the swimmer was at the rear of the boat when the operator started the boat and accidentally put the vessel in reverse,” said O’Donaghey.

“Police believe that boater inexperience may have been a contributing factor, but do not believe that foul play was involved. The swimmer was treated at the scene and transported to hospital in serious condition.”

Later that day, the RCMP watercraft vessel responded to a report of a boat being operated in a dangerous manner, having nearly collided with a child, in the area of the Sutherland park boat dock. The RCMP vessel caught up to the boat and discovered that the operator’s ability to safely navigate was believed to be affected by alcohol. The operator was identified by police and determined to be in breach of conditions related to his Parole. As a result, the man was taken into police custody.

Boaters should ensure they familiarize themselves with how their boat operates and provide swimmers and smaller vessels plenty of room. Vessels should always be operated at safe speeds, which allows the operator sufficient time to stop or turn suddenly to avoid collisions, said O’Donaghey.

Remember that booze and boats don’t mix, for your safety, the safety of your passengers and the safety of everyone else on the lake don’t drink and navigate, adds O’Donaghey.

For boating safety tips and more information visit: www.boatingsafety.gc.ca