The OPP want to remind members of the public that alcohol and boating should never mix after responding to multiple incidents involving impaired boating.
Members of the OPP Marine Unit attached to the Southern Georgian Bay Detachment of the OPP responded at 3:55 p.m. on Aug. 22 along with Muskoka Paramedic Services to a report of an 11-year-old female on a stand up paddle board (SUP) being struck by a personal watercraft (PWC) in Wood Landing Channel Georgian Bay Township. Officers attended and spoke with the PWC operator who became the subject of a drinking and driving investigation and, as a result of this investigation, was issued a three-day administrative driver’s licence suspension (ADLS) for registering over 50 milligrams on the Intoxilyzer at detachment. The 33-year-old male from St. Thomas, Ontario also received an offence notice for Careless Operation of a Vessel and Failure to have a Pleasure Craft Operators Card, both offences contrary to the Canada Shipping Act.
A second PWC operator riding with the accused at the time of the accident was also investigated for drinking and driving. The operator, a 32-year-old male from Kembell, Ontario, was also issued a three-day (ADLS) suspension for registering a “Warn” on an Approved Screening Device (ASD). The female on the SUP was treated and released by paramedics at the scene.
OPP Marine Unit members also investigated a small aluminium fishing boat in the Honey Harbour Channel at 8:41 p.m. on Aug. 21 as the the vessel had no navigation lights. Upon speaking with the 26-year-old male operator from Coldwater, Ontario, the officers entered into a drinking and driving investigation resulting in the operator being issued a three-day (ADLS) suspension for registering a “Warn” on an Approved Screening Device (ASD). He was also issued an offence notice for Failure to have a Pleasure Craft Operators Card, contrary to the Canada Shipping Act, and Having Open Alcohol, contrary to the Liquor Licence Act.
Officers crewing the OPP patrol vessel’s remind all vessel operators that they are checking for vessel equipment and for liquor offences, which they are vigorously enforcing in an effort to reduce injuries and fatalities on our area waterways this summer. For more information on drinking and operating a vessel, view the video from the OPP’s community partner Arrive Alive below.
Police remind operators that an essential part of the enforcement job is to save lives and reduce injuries on our waterways. Educating the public about safe vessel operating practices is a priority.