With a new boating season around the corner, Nova Scotia RCMP will be at the Halifax International Boat Show this weekend to highlight the importance of reporting suspicious vessels to police.
“Due to our geographic location, our shores and waters are vulnerable to criminal activity,” says Cpl. Brian Moss of the Nova Scotia RCMP Coastal Air Watch Program. “If you spend time on or near the water, you probably have a good sense of what normal vessel behaviour looks like. If something seems strange, it is best to trust your gut and report it.”
Suspicious vessels may have one or more of the following characteristics:
· Absence of identifying markings, including a name or home port registration
· The vessel’s name may be affixed to a removable device
· It may be pumping bilge into the ocean, a lake or a river
· It may have an unusual itinerary that differs from fishing schedules or other normal activities
· It may appear to be purposefully avoiding other vessels by changing its direction of travel
· There may be an absence of navigation/running lights
· smaller vessels may be hovering in the vicinity of another suspicious ship
If you notice suspicious behaviour, take note of details, including:
· Time, date and location of the occurrence (GPS coordinates are especially useful)
· Nature of the activities observed
· Descriptions of individuals, vehicles, vessels or aircraft
· Licence number, vessel identification number and/or aircraft tail number
· Registration details
· Visible markings
To report suspicious behaviour, contact your local RCMP detachment or call the toll-free Coastal Watch number at 1-800-803-7267. You can reach Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or by text message by texting TIP202 + your message to ‘CRIMES’ (274637). You can also submit information by Secure Web Tips at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca. Calls to Crime Stoppers are not taped or traced and if police make an arrest and lay charges based on a tip, callers qualify for a cash reward from $50 – $2000. In an emergency, call 911.
Join Nova Scotia RCMP at the Halifax International Boat Show from February 18 to 21 at Halifax Exhibition Centre (formerly Exhibition Park) and learn more about how you can help keep our waters safe.
Source: Media Release