Tour boat was hired by a group of friends to tour Lake Simcoe for a private gathering in 2020
Transport Canada has issued fines totaling $6,500 to an individual who has violated various provisions of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.
The organization found that the individual illegally operated a privately owned pleasure craft as an uncertified commercial tour boat. These actions contributed to a fatal boating incident on Lake Simcoe, Ont., in 2020.
On Sept. 3 last year, the pleasure craft was carrying paying passengers for a tour without proper certification, licensing, or required safety measures.
The pleasure craft had been advertised as a tour boat online and was hired by a group of friends to tour Lake Simcoe for a private gathering. During this outing, one of the passengers fell overboard and drowned.
For the 2020 incident, Transport Canada fined the individual for the following violations:
- operating a vessel without a certificate of registry or provisional certificate on board, in violation of ss.63(1);
- operating a vessel without the proper certificate of competency, in violation of s.87;
- failing to ensure that the vessel and its machinery and equipment complied with regulations, in violation of Para 106(1)(a);
- failing to establish operational and emergency safety procedures, in violation of Para 106(1)(b);
- failing to provide passengers with the necessary safety briefings and training, in violation of Para 106(1)(c); and
- taking actions that could jeopardize the safety of the vessel or passengers, in violation of s.118.
Pleasure crafts are not designed or licensed to be operated as commercial vessels, according to Transport Canada. To operate a commercial vessel, there are rigorous certification, licensing, and required safety measures that must be followed.
Transport Canada is also advising people to be cautious when deciding to hire and charter a vessel. To ensure a vessel is operating legally as a small commercial enterprise and has the appropriate safety measures in place, look for the following:
- a Transport Canada Blue Decal displayed on the vessel that shows that the owner/operator has complied with safety and operating procedures set out by Transport Canada;
- a Transport Canada certificate displayed on larger vessels that carry more than 12 passengers.
Interested parties can also contact their local Transport Canada Centre to inquire whether the vessel is certified.