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Posted: July 7, 2020

Columbia Valley RCMP Report

By Cpl. L-P. Gendron-Fafard

This past week, June 29 through July 5, Columbia Valley RCMP responded to 112 calls for service. The following is a summary of some of the files to which our officers responded.

Stranded tubers

On July 3, Police received an abandoned 9-1-1 call. Police were able to get in touch with the caller who explained that they were stuck on Lake Windermere on tubes and had floated past the point where they were supposed to stop. As they were stranded on an island, police contacted the rental location where the tubes were obtained and assisted the stranded group. Everyone was later confirmed safe.

Impaired driver in Canal Flats

While conducting a patrol in Canal Flats on July 3, one of our officer observed a male driving a red Pontiac Sunfire who was talking on his cell phone. A traffic stop was initiated on Quinn St. and identified the driver. The police officer formed suspicion that the driver was driving with alcohol in his body and read him the ASD demand. The driver provided two breath samples, both “FAIL.” A 90-day Immediate Roadside Suspension was issued to the driver meaning that the driver would be unable to drive in British Columbia for the next 90 days. The vehicle was towed and impounded for 30 days. The officer issued a verbal warning for having open liquor in the vehicle and talking on his cell phone while driving.

Unlicensed vehicle in Windermere

On July 4, Columbia Valley RCMP received a report of golf carts and ATVs driving around everywhere in Windermere. The caller requested patrols of the area. Police attended and conducted patrols of Windermere, including the beaches, with limited results. According to several reports over the last few weeks, the use of unregistered vehicles without insurance has increased in the Windermere area. There will be increase patrols in the area to educate further the population of the area. If a vehicle without insurance is utilized on the road, a violation ticket could be issued for $598 plus the cost of the tow.

Stranded paddlers on Lake Windermere

On July 4, Columbia Valley RCMP received a report of people stranded on Lake Windermere near Kinsmen Beach in Invermere. The complainant reported that she and her friend were floating on the water and the wind was making it hard for them to paddle back. Police did not attend due to other on-going calls, but confirmed that everyone made it back to land.

Noise complaint at campsite

On July 5, police were called to a noise complaint at a local campsite. When police attended there was no disturbance noted. The officer that attended spoke with the complainant who indicated that the noise stopped when he asked the individuals at the campsite to quiet down.

Surge in unfounded abandoned 9-1-1 calls

Over the last week, we received 17 abandoned 9-1-1 calls where the operator of the phone dials by mistake or was unaware. Each of these calls takes a large amount of time to investigate and numerous resources are utilized for such calls. All of these calls were unfounded and wasted valuable resources.

Here are a few tips when you noticed you have dialled 9-1-1 by mistake: Stay on the line and answer the question of the call taker; If you hung up, be attentive to call backs from the call taker or police, and provide your closet location as a police officer will sometimes need to confirm your wellbeing in person. Lastly, please review the Emergency SOS settings on your phone as some devices have contacted 9-1-1 while their user are boating on the lake.

– Cpl. L-P. Gendron-Fafard is a Columbia Valley RCMP detachment member

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