British Columbia

U.S. boater fined $1,000 after illegally crossing marine border to pick up girlfriend in B.C.

RCMP have issued an American man a $1,000 fine for contravening Canada's Quarantine Act after he illegally boated across the Canada-U.S. marine border to pick up his girlfriend in B.C.

Man had to pay another $1,000 for the return of his vessel and was ordered to leave Canada immediately

An RCMP vessel in a file photo from 2015. RCMP say a man from Washington found aboard a vessel anchored off Surrey, B.C., did not report his crossing into Canada and did not meet the entry requirements under quarantine restrictions. (Michael McArthur/CBC)

RCMP have issued an American man a $1,000 fine for contravening Canada's Quarantine Act after he illegally boated across the Canada-U.S. marine border to pick up his girlfriend in B.C.

Surrey RCMP say officers were patrolling the border near the Southern Gulf Islands on Sunday when they came across a boat anchored in the Crescent Beach Channel, located near Blackie Spit Park in Surrey, B.C.

The Seaport cabin cruiser was occupied by a 49-year-old man and a 50-year-old woman.

Officers discovered the man was from Bellingham, Wash., and had left his home port that morning to pick up his girlfriend at Elgin Park Marina in Surrey. 

The border has been closed to non-essential travel since March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

RCMP say the man did not report his crossing in Canada and did not meet the entry requirements under the quarantine restrictions.

Police arrested the man, seized his boat and fined him $1,000 under the Quarantine Act.

He had also to pay another $1,000 for the return of his vessel and was ordered to leave Canada immediately. 

Police took the woman to Crescent Beach Marina in Surrey, where she got a ride back to her vehicle. RCMP say she plans to self-isolate and to test for COVID-19 if she experiences any symptoms in the next 14 days.

RCMP say that boaters found illegally in Canadian waters may face severe penalties, including fines, seizures of their vehicles and criminal charges.

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