SURREY (NEWS 1130) — A 49-year-old man from Bellingham, Wash. has been fined $1,000 for violating the federal Quarantine Act after crossing into Canadian waters by boat to meet his girlfriend in Surrey.
On Sunday, RCMP officers with the Federal Border Integrity ShipRider program were patrolling along the U.S.-Canada marine border in the Southern Gulf Islands region when they encountered a Seasport cabin cruiser out of Bellingham anchored in the Crescent Beach Channel near Blackie Spit.
The border closure for all non-essential travel was extended earlier this month until at least Oct. 21 due to COVID-19.
The man from Bellingham was on the boat with a 50-year-old woman from Surrey, according to RCMP.
Investigators say he left his home port that morning and picked up his girlfriend at Elgin Park Marina in Surrey.
BOAT BUST: Mounties say they've fined a man from #Bellingham after his boat was anchored in the Crescent Beach Channel on Sunday. His passenger, a 50 y/o woman from #SurreyBC, is isolating. The man was fined $1,000 under the Quarantine Act + $1,000 to get his boat back.
— Ria Renouf (@riarenouf) September 30, 2020
However, the man failed to report his crossing into Canada and did not meet the entry requirements under the current quarantine restrictions.
Police, in consultation with the Canada Border Services Agency, arrested the man under the Customs Act and seized his boat for “failure to report inwards.”
Police searched the boat and confirmed no other criminality was involved.
The man was fined $1,000 for contravening the Quarantine Act and released without further charges.
He also had to pay $1,000 to get his boat back and was required to leave Canada immediately.
The woman was taken to the nearby Crescent Beach Marina, where she arranged a ride back to her vehicle.
Her plan was to self-isolate and get a COVID-19 test if she experiences any symptoms in the next 14 days, according to RCMP.