Agencies from both sides of the border are reminding boaters that the border is closed to non-essential travel on the water, as well as on land.
“It is unfortunate that boaters breaking the rules are contributing to the delay in the opening of the US/Canadian waters,” wrote John Gargett, deputy director of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office department of emergency management. “Apparently many think that the exemption for transiting to Alaska means they can stop wherever they want or that no one will check on them.”
According to Canadian news reports, a group of retired boaters in B.C. have been tracking U.S. vessels stopping in Canadian waters and reported up to 100, some staying in Canadian ports for extended periods.
“The Canada Border Services Agency said that boaters who enter Canada without reporting to the agency, including for the purpose of refuelling, may face severe penalties, including fines at minimum of $1,000, seizure of their vessels or criminal charges,” Gargett wrote. “By not complying with the current border entry restrictions, boaters could also face up to six months in prison.”