LAKE AND RIVER WATCH PROGRAMS
- Online incident reporting form
- Fillable incident reporting form - 140Kb PDF
- River Watch and Lake Watch Protocol - 140Kb PDF
Every year our local major rivers and lakes experience an ever increasing volume of boating enthusiasts who take advantage of the weather and water only the Okanagan can offer. Ranging from sailing to power boating virtually every type of water craft can be found somewhere, but associated to the increasing volume of river users, we also have a proportionate increase in individuals who do not go about their river activities in a safe manner.
The unfortunate aspect of many reported incidents to the police surrounding unsafe boating practices is that the information received is not adequate enough for them to investigate. Due to the significant size of the Shuswap River, Mabel, Kalamalka and Okanagan Lakes and limited resources available to the Enderby, Lumby and Vernon RCMP regular routine patrols and enforcement are not possible.
As a result of concerns raised by many boating enthusiasts we are in the process of establishing the "Lake Watch" and "River Watch" programs where lake and river users will also act as eyes and ears for the police and Conservation Officer Service and report incidents should they be observed.
There is a strict reporting criteria and protocol to follow and, if warranted, these types of occurrences will be reported to the police for follow-up investigation. The objective is to encourage those who follow the rules while enjoying safe boating to be part of the solution when observing those who do not follow the same rules. The program is not designed to be punitive but to be proactive by assisting the education of all boaters to do so in a safe and responsible manner.
Education is the key to this program and the enforcement of existing legislation governing safe boating would be used only as a last resort in the most flagrant of circumstances. The intention is to create the safest possible environment for all who use our rivers and lakes whether they be experienced or beginners.