Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP presence felt on lakes

Local RCMP officers continue to make sure the region’s waterways are safe.

Local RCMP officers continue to make sure the region’s waterways are safe.

Police boat has been on the water every day for the past week.

“They have been on all our popular lakes: Okanagan, Kal, Wood, Mara and Mabel,” said Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk.

“Over that time period they have checked approximately 120 boats.”

Charges were laid for the following violations: no spotter while towing; operator with no competency card on board; no vessel license (numbers on the bow; and insufficient approved lifejackets on board, the life jackets must have the safety certification.

Officers report that a number of boats were sent off the lake for equipment violations.

“There are certain violations for safety reasons that they will not let the boat continue to operate,” said Molendyk. “They want to remind boat owners and operators that safety should be your number one priority when you are out on the water.”

The detachment wants to remind all stand-up paddle boarders that they need to be aware that it is an offence to be out on the lake with no life jacket on the board.

Several times they have encountered a paddle boarder in the middle of a lake with no life jacket.

The shifts when the police boat was on Kal and Okanagan Lakes over the weekend, officers issued 17 warning tickets for various boating regulations including not having a working waterproof flashlight (it is a requirement of the boating regulations).

Officers also wrote two violation ticket’s for consuming liquor in public at Kal Beach.

During patrols of Okanagan Lake, they rescued a stranded boat that had five people on board including an infant.

Local residents can expect to see the RCMP patrol boat out on the local lakes regularly this summer.