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Page A8 Friday, August 18, 2017

Salmon Arm Observer/Shuswap Market News

South Shuswap Pile up on Shuswap Lake

Tracy Hughes Salmon Arm Observer

A couple from Calgary are still recovering after a bizarre boat crash Aug. 8 on Shuswap Lake saw another boat land on top of their speedboat. “We were out in the evening, and there was just this brief second when we saw the other boat before it came up and over us,” says Ryan Fitzpatrick. “We are lucky to be alive. It was quite a shock. I think we are still in shock this many days later.” A report from the Chase RCMP states that at 10:17 p.m., Chase RCMP officers responded to a call of a collision involving two vessels on Shuswap Lake, near Copper Island. It was reported that one pleasure craft struck the rear of another that was stationary at the time. A 41-year-old woman in the stationary craft suffered injuries as a result of the collision, states the RCMP press release. Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR), based in Sicamous, was called out to assist with the rescue; however, other boaters were able to complete the nighttime rescue, so RCMSAR was not required. While Fitzpatrick sustained minor injuries, his wife was taken to hospital and is now recovering with bed rest at the couple’s home in Calgary. There were two men in the other speed-

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The white speedboat, owned by a couple from Calgary, sits at the dock with another speedboat resting on top of it after a collision that took place on Shuswap Lake at 10:17 p.m. on Aug. 8 near Copper Island. The woman passenger in the white boat was injured and taken to hospital. boat at the time of the crash. Police did not report injuries to either of those men. “We feel lucky to be alive. The only reason is both of us were in the front. And it is unusual for us not to have passengers, to be out alone, but fortunately my daughter, who is six months pregnant, ended up leaving a day early. Otherwise she would have been out on the boat with us. Anyone in the back…, well, the other boat would have hit right on top of them.” Fitzpatrick says they had the appropriate lights on their boat at the time of the collision and were following boating regulations. He says they have concerns about how police are handling the situation. They have made a complaint with the Chase detachment about officer conduct

and a lack of screening of the boat’s operator for alcohol or drug use. “We did not see them use any type of screening device and from what I understand there was no breathalyzer either. They were released at the scene, I am pretty upset at the way it was handled,” says Fitzpatrick. “They (the men in the other boat) were laughing as we were trying to get the boats detangled. It may seem funny to them, but it sure isn’t funny to us.” In their press release, the RCMP say they continue to investigate the collision, including whether alcohol played a part in the incident. In an additional statement provided to the Observer, Staff Sgt. Gary Heebner of the Chase detachment says police could recommend charges in any case where the evidence meets the standard

for charge approval by Crown Counsel. Another option is for a ticket to be issued a under a provincial or Transport Canada violations. He said an RCMP corporal met with the couple at the detachment to discuss their case, but could not comment on it directly. “I can’t speak to this case specifically as it is still under investigation, however, in general, breath testing, whether it be roadside with the handheld instrument, or at the detachment using the Intoximeter, requires some form of grounds to make a demand and those grounds are observed by the investigator at the scene,” says Heebner. “In all collisions, vehicle or vessel, one of our primary concerns is whether the operator had conContinued on A9

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Lakeshore News, August 18, 2017  
Lakeshore News, August 18, 2017  

August 18, 2017 edition of the Lakeshore News