Safety making waves

The RCMP marine patrol was on lakes in the North Okanagan and Shuswap throughout the boating season.

The police made the rounds on North Okanagan lakes this summer.

The RCMP marine patrol was on lakes in the North Okanagan and Shuswap throughout the boating season.

“Compliance is improving,” said Gord Molendyk, RCMP spokesperson.

“Safety and education were the goal of the checks. We want to make sure we don’t lose individuals on the water.”

Officers inspected more than 1,000 vessels, including power boats, kayaks, canoes, paddleboards and personal water craft.

Among the violations were not enough lifejackets, no spotter while towing a skier, no boat operator license and underage operators on personal water craft. These all carry a fine between $200 and $300.

“Officers want to remind boat owners and operators that these fines can add up and can be costly both in a fine and more important if an accident occurs on the lake,” said Molendyk.

Anyone operating a boat with more than 10-horsepower is required to have a license through Transport Canada, and you need to display your number on both sides of the bow of the vessel in contrasting colour.

Paddleboarders are required to have a lifejacket on their person or attached to the board.