Vernon RCMP volunteers are checking boats again

COVID-19 previously paused all police volunteer programs

RCMP volunteers are back at Paddlewheel Park pre-checking watercraft as of Aug. 21, 2020. (Contributed)

Boaters wondering where the marine vessel pre-check program has been worry not, it’s back.

The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP and City of Vernon announced the RCMP voluntary pre-check program is returning Friday, Aug. 21.

Volunteers will be stationed at the Paddlewheel Park boat launch as of today.

Volunteers will be checking watercraft for Quagga and Zebra invasive mussels to ensure the Okanagan’s lakes and waterways are protected.

All RCMP volunteer programs in Vernon were suspended in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But since then, a safe operation plan has been developed to allow for this outdoor program while ensuring appropriate COVID-19 protocols are in place protecting both the volunteers and members of the public.

Although pre-checks aren’t mandatory, they are recommended for vessel operators.

These trained RCMP volunteers assist the Marine Unit by completing the inspection as per the Canada Shipping Act. Upon completion of the inspection, the vessel operator is provided with documentation they can present to police if stopped on the water — fast tracking the entire process.

“The work being done by these volunteers is an important initiative, as it helps speed up our checks on the water,” said Const. Tibor Baldauf, who is one of two RCMP members who patrol the lakes around Vernon.

These RCMP volunteers also work in conjunction with OASISS — a non-profit organization working to prevent, monitor and control the spread of invasive species in the Okanagan-Similkameen region.

If a boat is deemed high-risk for invasive mussels, or if the volunteers observe anything suspicious, they will call the reporting line, or have the operators call in to 1-877-952-7277.

If a watercraft is arriving from an area known to be contaminated by mussels, boaters may be required to have the boat quarantined or decontaminated.

As of December 2012, B.C. law requires that no Zebra or Quagga Mussel, alive or dead, be present on boats or related equipment. Failure to clean mussels off boats or equipment could result in a fine of up to $100,000.

READ MORE: Pillar of Vernon Farmer’s Market steps down

READ MORE: Subject of Vernon police manhunt has lifetime gun ban


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crash limits Highway 6 traffic near Lumby

Another crash reported by DriveBC following morning logging truck rollover

Sound effects at play for Caravan’s Halloween event

Walk of Terror is returning, with a creepy twist

‘Hate will not be tolerated:’ Vernon mayor

City, groups speak out against racism-promoting flyers spread around town

Two taken to hospital after logging truck rolls over near Lumby

Single-lane alternating traffic is in effect on Lumby-Mabel Lake Road near Birch Road

Police block off Kalamalka Lake Road in Coldstream due to incident

RCMP responded to early-morning report of man in distress, road to be closed for “several hours”

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Mitchell’s Musings: Predictions, politics and pandemics

Columnist Glenn Mitchell offers some random thoughts on current affairs

B.C. VOTES 2020: Wilkinson to stop 24-hour camping in city parks

Ban on ‘unsafe roadside panhandling’ to be enforced

West Kelowna start-up wins Emmy for virtual production on Red Bull Rampage

XR Media Group won the Outstanding Digital Innovation Award

RCMP seize guns, drugs, motorhome from Okanagan residence

Search warrant executed in relation to an ongoing investigation into drug trafficking

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Lessons from a pandemic: How to design a nursing home that’s safe and love-filled

A look at how one care home is battling the pandemic with the social needs of the elderly in their care

Winter tires, chains now mandatory along most B.C. highways

Drivers without the proper winter tires – which must also be in good condition – can be fined $109

Documentary to celebrate the Shuswap’s music scene

Local initiative to feature several of the region’s artists

Most Read