Sûreté du Québec (SQ) officers conducted water patrols on Lake Saint-François on June 20, covering the Haut-Saint-Laurent, Beauharnois-Salaberry, and Vaudreuil-Soulanges MRCs.
During the day, patrol officers checked a total of 28 boats and personal watercraft, issuing 17 warnings related to non-conforming equipment or missing documents. In addition, police officers expelled two boats from the water and issued three statements of offence, including a $275 fine, to a motorized boat operator who did not have their pleasure craft operator card with them on board.
The SQ warned in a press release that although the summer boating season is already well underway, members of the force will be present on area waterways to ensure boaters are aware of the importance of adopting safe behaviours while on the water. Officers will be reminding boaters of the laws and regulations in effect, in order to prevent accidents or collisions causing serious injury or even death.
“Police officers may also remove anyone from a body of water if they are deemed to be breaking the law or posing a safety risk,” says Valérie Beauchamp, an information agent with the SQ’s communication and prevention service.
By law, each person aboard a boat must be wearing a lifejacket or personal flotation device. This includes those using boats that are human-powered such as kayaks, paddleboats, canoes, etc.
According to Transport Canada, most boaters who are seriously injured or who die on the water each year are found without a floatation device or to have been wearing one incorrectly.
The SQ reminds all boaters to sail sober, sail at a safe speed, to remain aware of their surroundings, and to properly plan their outings on the water this summer.
More information on boating safety, including the Safe Boating Guide, is available on the Transport Canada website at tc.canada.ca. (SR)