Re: [ksurf] [Fwd: [ottawaws] $355 no lifejacket fine]
- Thanks Paul,
Do you know whether they have changed the act since then?
Anyone in the rest of the world got tickets for kiting without life jacket?
Paul Tae wrote:
>I got a ticket for no lifejacket two summers ago Lake Simcoe in Keswick,
>Ontario (north of Toronto) last summer. I took it to court and the officers
>dropped the charges. I posted a message here about it at the time and here
>Subject: Lifejacket Ticket in Keswick, Ontario
>Just thought I would let everyone know about how things went with day in
>On May 10, 2004 I was kiteboarding from kitebeach in Keswick, Ontario,
>Canada. When I came to shore an officer approached me and asked me why I
>wasn't wearing a like jacket. I said I didn't know I needed one. He said
>that as I was "windsurfing", I did need one. I said this isn't a windsurfer,
>it's a kiteboard. The conversation became ridiculous and frustrating. He
>gave me a ticket and would not listen to reason. All the other kiteboarders
>tried to reason with him also to no avail. He then left without giving out
>any other tickets (i.e. to any of the other kiteboarders or actual
>That is the history. I just had my day in court on November 10, 2004. I'm
>happy to say that I won. I disappointed in the way I won. They dropped the
>charge. What a waste of time. I was prepared to defend the charge to set a
>precedent. For those who are interested, they charged me with being in
>violation of section 16.01 of the "Small Vessel Regulations" which is part
>on the Canada Shipping Act. According to their line of reasoning I would
>need to have a lifejacket, a buoyant heaving line (so I could be towed), a
>paddle or anchor, a bailer, a flashlight or flare gun and a whistle. I hope
>everyone is getting a chuckle out of that.
>Anyway, according to section 3.(2) of the same act, the act does not apply
>to "floating devices" under 2m in length. My board was 1.2m. I was confident
>of a win in court.
>I spoke to one of the officers at the court and he said that they would be
>changing the act so that it covered kiteboarding.
>I actually called the Marine Unit a couple of days after I got the ticket
>and spoke to the officer's supervisor. All the officers had been discussing
>the situation as they weren't sure about the whole thing having never given
>out such a ticket before. They even consulted with the Coast Guard and
>called me back a week later. Unfortunately, at the time they decided to
>continue with the ticket.
>I hope this experience can be of some help. Has anyone else had a similar
>experience? Are there any lawyers out there who might have an opinion what
>my defense would have been?
>From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf
>Sent: Thursday, August 10, 2006 9:55 AM
>To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
>Subject: [ksurf] [Fwd: [ottawaws] $355 no lifejacket fine]
>Life jacket as a mandatory requirement for kiters?
>-------- Original Message --------
>Subject: [ottawaws] $355 no lifejacket fine
>Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2006 09:28:41 -0400
>From: Andrew Devries <adevries@fpac. <mailto:adevries%40fpac.ca> ca>
>Reply-To: ottawaws@yahoogroup <mailto:ottawaws%40yahoogroups.com> s.com
>To: <ottawaws@yahoogroup <mailto:ottawaws%40yahoogroups.com> s.com>
>Bottom line: If you have your driver's licence (or reasonable waterproof
>facsimile thereof), whistle and an approved life jacket you will not get
>the fines that I got last night. Also, do not try and explain your sport
>to the officers as they don't really care and you may end up bumping a
>warning ticket into the fines I got.
>The guide: Safe Boating Guide
>sailboards on page 29)
>The story: I got pulled over by the Ottawa police boat last night in the
>Greencreek area (west of Petrie Island) for sailing without a life
>I tried to explain that my waist harness had floatation but was not
>approved and my board also had tons of floatation (160l). The officer
>did not like what he thought were my "smartalec remarks" and asked if I
>was carrying a driver's licence (I was not). He then threatened me with
>$1000 in fines. I proceeded to shut my mouth and take what I feel
>boardered on harassment.
>Failing to have a lifejacket I got nailed for an additional $120 ticket
>for failing to carry: watertight flashlight or flares, manual propelling
>device (paddle) and 15 m of buoyant heaving line (?!). (You do not need
>these if you have a lifejacket). (and no, hands do not count as a paddle
>I asked after I got my tickets)
>Fortunately I did have a whistle on my harness otherwise I might have
>tallied up a few extra dollars as well. However, the officer suggested
>that my whistle was probably not adequate and I should consider carrying
>a Fox 40 (fair enough).
>The officer did not fine me for a failure to carry a driver's licence,
>although apparently he could have.
>One of the officers suggested I was engaged in a very dangerous sport,
>risking life and limb and "what would happened if I hit my head". I
>suggested to the officer that indeed windsurfing was pretty safe and
>people all over the world sail without life vests and which point the
>officer replied "well you are in Canada now". I shut up again.
>At one point the police cruiser floated over top of my sail and mast
>with the engine running and I pointed out that my sail might get caught
>in the motor could they please kill the motor. They did but only after
>I was criticized for not being a good enough sailor to keep my sail from
>going under the boat (ummm, you guys pulled along side me not vice-versa
>I said in my head).
>It took about 30 minutes of floating downriver with the cops to fill out
>the tickets and radio in my driver's licence at which point the wind
>died and I walked back home.
>I am wondering if anyone has had a similar experience and wondering what
>they did. I find these requirements and the Ottawa police service
>approach a little out of touch with the nature of the sport.
>I am willing to challenge this silly precedent, including a letter
>writing campaign to Transport Canada (the federal agency responsible for
>the Canada Shipping Act under which I was charged (Sec 4 and 16.01) and
>the Ottawa Police Service but would not want to turn this into a
>crackdown on windsurfers. This is the first time I have ever been
>stopped by the cops and I know the lifejacket debate has been around for
>years in the windsurfing community (I wear one about 50% of the time)
>but have not worn one this summer.
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