Yellowknife RCMP are hitting the water ways in and around the Yellowknife Detachment jurisdiction, and are joining up with partner government agencies.
When you are out and about this spring and summer, keep an eye out for joint marine patrols by the Yellowknife RCMP, Environment Canada, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and GNWT Environment and Natural Resources.
These patrols are guided by the mandates of each government agency, and will provide the opportunity for the government agencies to enhance visibility on the water and educate travellers about marine safety. Agencies will also be enforcing the applicable Federal and Territorial Acts.
"Water safety is important to everyone in the Northwest Territories. We have several water systems that are accessible to recreational boaters and we want to contribute to safe conditions for our travellers. Practice good water skills, ensure you have enough fuel and supplies, personal flotation devices for each person on the boat and respect vessel capacity. Don't operate a vessel under the influence of drugs or alcohol and always tell someone where you are travelling to and from and when you expect to arrive, and don't deviate from this plan unless you inform someone" states Staff Sergeant Alex Laporte, Operations Manager for Yellowknife RCMP.
"This year, we have already had instances in the Territories where travellers were reported overdue, requiring a search and rescue response simply because they were not prepared. Emergency preparedness is key to personal safety when out on the water and having a communication device such as a satellite phone or Emergency Communication Device with GPS coordinates is essential", continues S/Sgt Alex Laporte.
The government agencies plan to do several patrols over the summer season and hope they find people prepared for marine travel and aware of their surroundings. Search and Rescue operations in the North can be dangerous at any time of the year, but marine conditions can change quickly, so they encourage all travellers to be prepared.