A recent scare in the Pend D’Oreille River involving a child falling out of a boat has prompted police to issue an advisory.
On July 10 at 9 p.m. the Trail and Greater District RCMP received a report that a 9-year-old girl had fallen out of a jet boat in the waters by Buckley’s Campground on Seven Mile Dam Road.
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Witnesses told police that the jet boat operator had been driving in circles when the young girl suddenly fell out of the vessel.
Fortunately, the child was wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) and was uninjured.
The boat operator, a 49-year-old Trail man, was identified by police.
Police confirm he possessed a valid boating licence and appeared to be sober.
The RCMP report that the man had discussed the incident with the child’s parents prior to police attendance.
He was remorseful and agreed to be more mindful about the safe operation of his boat in the future.
“Trail RCMP believe that the life jacket played a significant factor in preventing this incident from being more serious,” Sgt. Mike Wicentowich said.
“And would like to remind boaters about the mandatory motorized boat safety equipment for vessels up to six metres.”
RCMP advise safety equipment including: an appropriately-sized, Canadian-approved PFD or life jacket for each person on board; a buoyant heaving line (15 metres in length); a manual propelling device or anchor with at least 15 metres of rope, cable or chain; a bailer or hand pump; a sound-signalling device; and navigation lights if the craft is used between sunset and sunrise or during periods of reduced visibility.
A fire extinguisher, waterproof flashlight and Canadian-certified flares are also recommended.