The Marine Unit works to keep CBRM waterways safe, conducting patrols, enforcing laws - under the Criminal Code, the Canada Shipping Act the Small Craft Vessel Regulations and the Marine Collision Regulations - and promoting water and boating safety. They operate several vehicles, including a 30-foot Rosborough and two GTX Sea Doos, and work in conjunction with the RCMP, Canadian Coast Guard, Fisheries and Oceans, Search and Rescue, Transport Canada and Canada Customs.
Key to the operations of the Marine Unit is the Dive Team, whose seven certified members are responsible for the search and recovery of drowned persons and submerged evidence; photographing and documenting details of underwater crime scenes; and assisting with water-related investigations, such as swimming, diving, boating and industrial accidents.
Before becoming a member of the Dive Team, officers must meet certain qualifications and go through intensive training. Members must be a certified scuba diver, pass the annual medical examination and meet guidelines under the Canadian Labour Code and Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety. Team members train for two days every month, at different locations and under various conditions, to simulate realistic incidents. They practice scuba diving techniques, full face and dry suit diving, underwater crime scene analysis, explosive recognition, search and recovery procedures, small craft operations, emergency first aid and CPR.
When boating, please remember these important safety tips:
- Check the weather forecast ahead of time to make sure it will be smooth sailing.
- Carry your vessel licensing and documentation with you at all times.
- Make sure you and all members are wearing personal floatation devices.
- Be on the lookout for swimmers, wildlife and other boats.
- Maintain a safe speed for the conditions and area that you are in.
- If boating at night, make sure your craft is equipped with lights and that you are using them.
- Never drink and drive! According to the Motor Vehicles Act, the same laws for drinking and driving apply when operating a boat.
- When finished boating for the day, cover and secure your boat to prevent theft.