July 10, 2013 - 11:58 AM
WEST KELOWNA - Four drunk men joyriding in a stolen boat became stranded and had to shoot a flare, prompting the RCMP search that led to their arrests.
The distress signal was fired from a point off shore of Beach Road in West Kelowna and witnessed by someone in Peachland about 3:45 a.m. The concerned resident called Mounties who sent out a fire/rescue craft. Working in darkness, the crew moved through the water in a grid pattern and eventually located the stranded ski boat with the intoxicated men on board.
The boat had a tow rope wound around the propeller and was unable to move. As the rescue craft towed the boat toward shore in Peachland, RCMP officers noting the men seemed to be acting suspiciously were advised to remain with them and ask a few questions.
"It soon became clear that none of them owned the boat and it was discovered that the boat had been stolen previously from a slip in West Kelowna Marina," RCMP Const. Steve Holmes stated in a press release. "Also located were a number of items pilfered from other boats as well."
The four men aged 20, 22, 23, and 24 were arrested and then released on a promise to appear. The recommended charge of possession of stolen property over $5,000 will be presented during their court appearance at a later date.
Police are urging boat owners to treat their boats as they would their vehicles.
- Don't hide the key on board the boat. There is no such thing as a secret hiding spot to a determined thief.
- Secure or remove any items from the boat.
- Ensure the boat is registered so police can trace it if stolen.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013