The Chatham-Kent Police Service Marine Unit polices the waterways within Chatham-Kent including the Thames River, Sydenham River, and Chennal Ecarte. All of these waterways have a speed limit of 8 km/h whether speed limit signs are posted or not.
The Marine Unit attends community events such as WAMBO (Wallaceburg Antique Motor and Boat Outing), Cops, Kids, and Canadian Tire Fishing Derby's, various fireworks and water-related events.
||1991 24-foot limestone - based in Chatham
||1987 18-foot Starcraft - based in Wallaceburg
|Chief of Staff
||A/Sergeant Mike Thompson
||Constable Todd Trahan
||Constable Dan Hamilton
Constable Derek Shaw
Constable Ron Tricker
|Operating a vessel in a careless manner
|Person under the age of 16 operating a personal watercraft
|Operating a power-driven pleasure craft without the required
Pleasure Craft Operator Card
|Insufficient number of approved, appropriately sized floatation devices
*Not including administrative charges.
What is a Pleasure Craft?
A pleasure craft is any boat that is used only for pleasure activities like fishing, water sports and entertaining friends. It also includes a boat used for subsistence hunting and fishing or for the necessities of daily life. It does not include a boat that is used for work or commercial activities.
The rules for non-pleasure crafts are different from those for pleasure crafts so it is important to know the difference. You must meet the requirements for non-pleasure craft any time you use your pleasure craft for non-pleasure activities. If you want to know how to operate a passenger vessel, workboat, commercial fishing vessel or any other non-pleasure craft, please visit www.tc.gc.ca/marinesafety or contact your local Transport Canada Centre.
When you see the word “boat” in this guide, it means “pleasure craft”. When you see the word “vessel”, it refers to all boats in general, both pleasure craft and non-pleasure craft. In the same way, the word “lifejacket” includes lifejackets and personal flotation devices ( PFDs) everywhere in this guide, except in those sections that describe the differences between lifejackets and PFDs.
Changes to Boating Laws
Because boating laws change, you need to make sure you know the laws that are now in place.
To find out when they take effect, please visit www.boatingsafety.gc.ca. Since this guide is revised from time to time, be sure you have the most recent version. If the Safe Boating Guide differs from current regulations, follow the regulatory text, which you can find online at www.boatingsafety.gc.ca. Regulations set a minimum safety standard. They are made to improve boating safety, so following them or an even higher standard will help make every trip a safe one.
Minimum Safety Requirements
The safety equipment Canada requires you to carry on board is based on the type and length of your boat. It must be on board, in good working order and always easy to reach so that it can be used in an emergency. You can find the length of your boat by reading the manufacturer’s product information or by measuring it yourself (from the front outside surface of the hull shell to the back outside surface of the hull shell – bow to stern).
Remember that these requirements apply only to pleasure craft and are the same whether you own, rent or borrow the boat. This includes typical boats like power boats, sail boats and personal watercraft, as well as less common boats like airboats, air cushion vehicles (hovercraft) and wing in ground effect vessels that are used only for recreation. They also apply to kiteboards.
If you want information on operating a vessel for work or commercial activities (non-pleasure craft), please visit www.tc.gc.ca/marinesafety or contact your local Transport Canada Centre.
These requirements do not apply to inflatable self-propelled water toys because they are not designed for use in open water. If you do choose to operate these toys in open water, they will be treated as pleasure craft and subject to the same strict rules. Remember as well that operating a propeller-driven surfboard is against the law in Canada.
The following list of equipment is the minimum that is required. You may want to bring more equipment based on your type of boat, your water activity and the current and forecasted weather and water conditions.
Remember: All safety equipment must be Canadian-approved and there must be enough lifejackets that fit, have enough buoyancy and are in good condition for everyone on board your boat.
Don’t Cruise with Booze
Mixing alcohol and boating is illegal and far more dangerous than you may think. Under normal conditions, sun, wind, the motion of the boat and even just being tired can dull your senses. Alcohol makes things even worse, slowing your hand-eye coordination and clouding your good judgment. Don’t cruise with booze! You might harm yourself or others. You are responsible for the safety of your guests and for not putting other waterway users in danger. You must always be prepared and alert.
Drinking and driving (whether on land or water) is against the law and the consequences, even for a first offence, can last a lifetime.
Above: Constable Todd Trahan and Constable Dan Hamilton