Recent floods in British Columbia have caused quite a chaotic situation for thousands of people. While many civilians are using their vessels to help the community, Transport Canada has passed a ban on non-essential boats that creates even more annoyance to an already drastic scenario.
The flood wreaked havoc all across the province as entire families have lost everything and thousands of farm animals have died in what the media calls one of the biggest agriculture disasters in Canadian history. Transport Canada’s prohibition only worsens things as federal forces aren’t enough to provide help.
The Role Of Local Boat Owners
Particular vessel operators are helping people and livestock to reach safety and provide food and supplies for those who are cut off from services. They have even helped ill people to attend hospitals and medical appointments, and get down cats from trees. Solidarity spread everywhere as local citizens know they need each other to make it through this situation.
However, the non-governmental collective organization is now in jeopardy because of federal restrictions. The importance of civilian intervention is unbeknownst to the government, generating worries about the future as regular anglers are not allowed to sail through flooded areas anymore. It’s important to point out that these groups of self-organized people are not receiving any government financial support for their efforts.
Transport Canada’s Reasons
The Office of Boating Safety, the division of Transport Canada responsible for overseeing regulations and enforcing policies for recreational boaters, has passed a restriction on all non-essential boating from flooded and evacuated areas. The order is meant to prevent the use of boats for recreational activities such as fishing or simply sailing around. Authorities want to keep boaters out of danger and areas clear for emergency services to perform response operations.
Transport Canada advised volunteers to register with local authorities by providing their boat license or registration number. The government will allow exemptions for those particular vessel owners who are providing help in their local communities to seek a more controlled organization. Although authorities may have concerns to keep everyone safe, restrictions maybe weren’t needed in the first place.
Stay Alert, Stay Safe
If you are helping in the flood recovery effort by helping neighbors and providing supplies, remember the safety measures for boating all the time. Wear a life jacket at all times and clothes in layers meant for water temperature as the water is cold at this time of the year.
Comply with Transport Canada’s requirements so you can provide assistance without facing legal consequences. The National Vessel Registry Center appreciates your effort.