The light area is the space local resident George Kruzyinski says is affected by noise from high-powered boats. (Google Earth)

Noisy boats prompt complaint from North Saanich man

RCMP is charged with enforcing boat muffler regulations

  • Aug. 9, 2017 6:00 p.m.

Should your neighbour bypass the muffler system on their high powered car and make a habit of revving the engine as they cruise through your neighbourhood, the solution is simple. A call to local law enforcement will bring police to the inconsiderate neighbour’s door. Warnings or tickets will be issued and peace and quiet will hopefully return to the community.

When the noise emanates from high powered speedboats with questionable mufflers tearing up the water just offshore of your home, the situation becomes a bit more complicated. At least that has been the experience of one North Saanich resident who says his summer has been punctuated by the roar of engines, just offshore of his home near Island View Beach.

“I’ve talked to the RCMP and their only comment was that this is nothing. They said I should go to Kamloops or to Okanagan Lake … it’s really bad there,” said George Kruzynksi.

“I don’t understand how people can be like that. They have these speedboats with open pipe exhaust systems and it’s seems like they get their jollies ripping around making as much noise as they can.”

Kruzynski said he was unimpressed with the RCMP response to his concerns and wondered if there wasn’t some way for the issue to be addressed.

John Gilbert, the acting manager and senior marine inspector for Transport Canada on Vancouver Island, explained to Peninsula News Review that, while they do have some boats on the water to enforce boating regulations, they do not have the capacity to deal with noise complaints and have neither the training or ability to deal with individual boat operators for concerns like noise complaints.

“The enforcement for that sort of thing would be with the RCMP. They do most of the on-the-water enforcement and could make a point of stopping them and giving them tickets,” said Gilbert. “Although we technically have the power to do that, we haven’t received the training for that and would very rarely do that sort of thing. The RCMP is the proper instrument to do this.”

But contacting the appropriate RCMP detachment could be problematic for the average citizen.

An initial call to local RCMP had the PNR referred to a media spokesperson in Ottawa where we were advised that “Transport Canada looks after these matters” and were given the number for the local Transport Canada office. It was only after it was pointed out that Transport Canada had already said it was an RCMP matter, we were provided with local RCMP contacts to address the issue.

Corporal Chris Manseau, of the Sidney North Saanich RCMP detachment, was sympathetic.

“It can sometimes be hard to deal with things that happen out on the water and there can be some confusion. Here in Sidney we have a boat, but we don’t have the capacity to be out on the water 24/7.

“Still, we do patrol and would respond to individual complaints,” said Manseau.

Sgt. Mike Schmiesser of the South Island Integrated Marine Enforcement, explained the RCMP is certainly the right body to deal with issues like those expressed by Kruzynski.

“It falls under part 10 of the Small Vessel Regulations where there are specific restrictions on the mufflers required for boats of this kind. There are other regulations governing the safe operation of a boat that we can, and do, also enforce,” explained Schmiesser.

Kruzynski has now been provided with the appropriate phone contacts to file his complaints and said he’s hopeful the situation will be resolved.

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