Elgin County OPP Marine Unit responded to a report of an vessel in distress on Saturday August 8th, 2020 around 4:45pm. A concerned relative reported that two of their relatives had gone out boating, leaving from the Port Burwell area around 6 am in a 16 foot Star-craft boat. The relative reported that they had received a cell phone call from the boaters at around 12 pm and they stated that they had run out of gas and needed help getting in. The relative searched in another boat for the pair until 4:45 pm and were unable to locate the overdue boaters or get a hold of them via cell phone. They then contacted the Elgin OPP. After an extensive search along with the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre and the Auxiliary Coast Coast Guard, the Elgin OPP Marine Unit were able to locate the overdue vessel around 7:10 pm in the area of south of Long Point (Norfolk County) approximately 5 km north from the U.S./Canada Boarder (approximately 32km in a straight line from Port Burwell). While the vessel was equipped with a anchor, there was not sufficient anchor line to reach the bottom nor were the boaters able to paddle the boat into shore or keep the boat from drifting kilometres off course. The boaters were towed back in by the Auxiliary Coast Guard Unit.
As part of the investigation police charged the boaters with failing to have adequate visual signalling devices. Police also charged the boaters with having opening liquor seizing a quantity of alcohol, including beer and hard liquor.
Police want to remind boaters that it’s important to ensure that you let someone you know where you are going, what time you are going to be back and that you have all the necessary safety equipment on-board.