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OPP, Parks Canada team up to crack down on boater safety

As a result of focused effort, some charges were laid and officers provided safety tips to several boaters
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MIDLAND - Members of the OPP Marine Unit attached to the Southern Georgian Bay detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) along with members of the Parks Canada Warden Service from Georgian Bay Islands National Park conducted joint marine patrols over the July 12-14, 2019 weekend.

Officers from both services have worked together over the years, but this year they are making a committed effort to share resources to increase public presence and response to calls for service. To date in 2019, officers have logged over 50 hours of joint patrol time serving the public on Georgian Bay Islands National Park property as well as the waters of Georgian Bay.

Officers over the past weekend logged 26.5 hours of patrol checking 39 operators along with their passengers and vessels on the waters of Georgian Bay checking numerous vessels for required safety equipment and operator sobriety along with responding to eight calls for service.

Officers are still continuing to find incidents of vessels with insufficient life-jackets as three operators were issued offence notices for failing to have lifejackets for everyone aboard. Failing to have sufficient life-jackets aboard your vessel for each passenger carries a minimum fine of $240.

Officers issued two offence notices to marine operators who were cited for offences under the Liquor Licence Act and another operator was cited for an offence under the Canada Shipping Act.

Two vessel operators provided breath samples on the Roadside Screening device after officers noted that they had been drinking prior to their vessel check. One of those operators was stopped on Penetanguishene Bay and did register below the legal limit but did receive an offence notice for a liquor violation.

A second vessel operator was stopped at 5:12 p.m. July 14, 2019 in the Honey Harbour Main Channel after officers identified the vessel as the subject of a possible impaired operator complaint from the Frying Pan Bay area.

Officers entered into a drinking and driving investigation after speaking with the vessel operator resulting in Martyn Brindle, 47 years old of Barrie, being charged with - Operation while impaired - blood alcohol concentration (80 plus) contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada.

He was released from police custody on a recognizance to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Midland on August 1, 2019 and furthermore his drivers licence to operate his vehicle was suspended under the provisions of the Administrative Drivers Licence Suspension (ADLS) program.

Vessel operators are reminded that the provisions of the Administrative Drivers Licence Suspension (ADLS) program apply on the water, possibly suspending your ability to drive your vehicle when you return to shore.

Please view the following educational links from the Office of Safe Boating:

Please view the following educational link to explore the beauty of Georgian Bay Islands National Park:

You can also follow the activities and news of the park on Twitter at

For anyone who is unsure of the equipment required for their vessel please view the following link to get the "APP" for their mobile device or  or view the Transport Canada Safe Boating Guide at

Police remind vessel operators that an essential part of our enforcement effort is to save lives and reduce injuries on our waterways while promoting and educating the public about safe boating practices. Your life-jacket only works if YOU'RE WEARING IT!