Police patrol Ottawa River, find issues

OTTAWA RIVER — Ottawa police were in their boats on the water last week and are hoping recreational boaters will pay closer attention to the rules of the rivers.

“This past weekend the Marine, Dive and Trails (MDT) Unit was on the Rideau River and the Ottawa River and stopped 105 boats, issued 23 Provincial Offence Notices (PON), 34 warnings, and one criminal charge of  Impaired (operation of a water vessel,” the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) released in a statement today.

“We ask boaters to respect established passenger limits, even more so in the pandemic reality,” Staff Sgt. Marc-Andre Sheehy said. “We issued one PON related to boats with more than five persons on board, which contravenes with the current public health COVID-19 safety rules.”

“Not all boaters we came across had the necessary onboard equipment, and many did not carry enough life jackets for everyone on board,” added Sgt. Walter Lushman, with MDT.  “No one should underestimate the importance of this life-saving device.”

The Ottawa Police also wishes to remind the public that boating and drinking do not go well together.

“The same legal limits apply whether you are on our city streets, in an aircraft, on an ATV in the woods or on the water in your vessel with friends and family, Staff Sgt. Sheehy said. “It’s about everyone’s safety.”