Lieutenant-Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell popped the top to a bottle of champagne as she christened a new South Simcoe police marine vessel June 22.
The boat, christened the John Graves Simcoe, replaces the John Wardrop and includes a heater, two outboard motors and a bow thruster, a davit for removing patients from the water and adequate space for patients inside the closed cabin.
“People spend so much time on the water here, we put so much stress on police services. They need the best equipment for the job and I’m told this is overdue,” Dowdeswell said.
South Simcoe police board chairperson Rod Hicks is proud of the new $320,000 vessel and watched some of the training.
“I’m a boater and know that when the rest of us are rushing to shore to avoid bad weather, our officers are heading out into those dangerous situations,” he said. “Now they’ve got a boat that’s designed to handle the large waves and the power and unpredictability of Lake Simcoe.”
South Simcoe police Chief Andrew Fletcher said officers take about 200 calls on Lake Simcoe, which will only increase as Friday Harbour continues to grow.
The former police boat, the John Wardrop, was sold to someone in North Bay who will refurbish it.