The Hamilton Police Service Marine Unit operates out of Hamilton Harbour year-round, conducting both law enforcement and rescue operations. During the boating season from April through November, the Unit actively patrols western Lake Ontario and Hamilton Harbour on a daily basis. Throughout the non-boating months of December to March, the Unit responds to marine calls on an emergency basis, as well as ice rescue situations.
The Marine Unit is responsible for policing approximately 250 square kilometres of water at the western end of Lake Ontario, including Hamilton Harbour and all other waterways within the City of Hamilton. Marine Unit officers are specially trained to perform a wide variety of tasks. They respond to vessel-in-distress calls and support the Canadian Coast Guard in search and rescue operations.
During the boating season, officers promote boating safety and enforce various statutes, including:
- Canada Shipping Act
- Liquor Licence Act
- Criminal Code of Canada
- Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act
- Controlled Drugs and Substance Act
The Marine Unit also participates in the provincial Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere (RIDE) program on area waterways. In conjunction with MADD Hamilton, the emphasis is on educating boaters and reducing impaired vessel operation.
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