It was not the easiest arrest Port Hardy RCMP have had to make. Officers were called in by the Marine Authority in Port Hardy at around 9:50 a.m. after a 10m long fishing vessel was seen being operated in an erratic manner. They were also told the operator of he vessel may be impaired. By the time they arrived, the vessel was going around in circles in open water 4 miles north of Port Hardy. The Canadian Coast Guard was alerted and they transported two officers to the vessel. When they got there, they saw that a man seated at the helm appeared to be slumped over and non-responsive. The Coast Guard vessel’s horn was used to try to alert the man without success. Police say they decided to board the vessel out of concern that it was moving at high speed and turning in a fairly tight circle. The Coast Guard vessel came alongside the fishing boat and attempted the difficult task of matching its speed and turning radius. It made it close enough for one RCMP officer and one Coast Guard member to jump on board and bring the fishing vessel under control. “Thanks to the prompt assistance provided by the local Canadian Coast Guard members and the quick thinking of the officers on scene who brought this matter to a quick and successful conclusion,” said Port Hardy Detachment Commander, S/Sgt Wes Olsen Police say it was determined that the boat operator was grossly impaired and an open container of liquor was located nearby. There was also another male found sleeping in the hold of the fishing vessel who was intoxicated as well. The vessel’s operator was arrested but, given his condition, was also brought to hospital for further examination.
Things could have turned out much differently had the weather been poor and the Coast Guard not been present with a vessel in the water for a quick response.