Marine enforcement increases

  • Jul. 11, 2012 2:00 p.m.

Masset RCMP are increasing enforcement around boating safety, says Sgt. Blake Ward. During the past week, RCMP members conducted a number of walks on local docks and checked vessels for compliance with the Canada Shipping Act, which resulted in five files being generated, Sgt. Ward said. Three of the files involved people who had failed to record their catch on their fishing licences while the other two were in regards to a number of infractions under the small vessel regulations of the Shipping Act. RCMP remind all boaters that it’s their responsibility to ensure they have the correct qualifications to operate their vessel, that they have sufficient life saving, fire fighting and navigation equipment on board, and that it is maintained in good working order. Failure to comply with the regulations can result in hefty fines for the vessel operator and/or owner. All pleasure craft powered by motors greater than or equal to 7.5 kW (or 10 hp) are required to be licenced with a copy of the licence retained on board so it can be produced when checked, Sgt. Ward said. Non-pleasure craft, like commercial vessels and sport fishing charter vessels, are required to be registered with Transport Canada with the registration retained on board. These requirements are similar to the requirements for vehicles on land, he said. For example, vehicle drivers know they are required to possess a valid driver’s licence, applicable to the vehicle they are driving. Similarly, boaters are required to have a marine ticket such as the pleasure craft operators competency, small vessel operators proficiency or valid Transport Canada certifications. And just as vehicles are required to have valid registration, vessels must be either licenced or registered, and must carry the documentation so it can be checked. Failure to licence, failure to transfer licence and failure to carry a copy of the licence on board can result in fines of $250 for each offence.