The South Simcoe Police Marine Unit operates out of Friday Harbour Resort on the western shoreline of Lake Simcoe. During the non-boating months from November to March, the Unit will respond to calls on the water on an emergency call-out basis. South Simcoe Police Service has a shared services agreement with York Regional Police to support each other on the water and provide assistance with ice water rescue situations. SSPS Officers are often seen patrolling the Lake during winter months on motorized snow vehicles.
The Marine Unit is responsible for policing the southern portion of Lake Simcoe, including sections of Kempenfelt Bay and the Holland River. This encompasses over 35 kilometers of shoreline.
In 2018, the service launched the John Graves Simcoe, a 32-foot vessel with twin 200-horsepower Yamaha outboard motors and fully up-to-date electronics, such as a forward-looking infrared radar to assist in night searches.
The John Graves Simcoe replaced the “Wardrop II” which was named after former Police Services Board member and long-time Innisfil resident John Wardrop. Mr. Wardrop passed away in 2021.
Every boating season, the Marine Unit is credited with numerous successful search and rescue operations. South Simcoe Police Marine Unit officers are specially trained to perform a wide variety of tasks.
During the spring, summer and fall, officers from the South Simcoe Police patrol the waterfront to promote boating safety and enforce various statutes,
- The Canada Shipping Act
- The Liquor Licence Act
- The Criminal Code of Canada
- The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act
The Marine Unit responds to vessels-in-distress calls and supports the Canadian Coast Guard with overdue vessel investigations and/or search and rescue operations.
All members involved in waterways policing are required to have the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to perform the specialized functions connected with waterways policing.
- Pleasure Craft Operator’s Card (PCOC)
- Basic Marine Operators Course
- Marine Emergency Duties A3 (MED A3)
- Small Vessel Operator’s Proficiency (SVOP)
- VHF Restricted Operator’s Certification with Digital Selective Calling
- Cold Water Rescue
Additionally, several members of the unit have also hold their Limited Masters Mariner designation with Transport Canada.