Update June 27, 2014: The Elgin County OPP Marine Unit will be back in service
today after receiving a loaner vessel from the OPP's training fleet in Orillia.
The vessel is the same as the one that was stolen and torched earlier this week,
a 24 foot Sea Swirl 5.7L inboard/outboard. The replacement boat is equipped with
enhanced security features and will be back in action this afternoon.
Elgin County OPP Detachment will have the loaner vessel until the fall when it will
be returned to the training fleet. The procurement process for a replacement vessel
has already begun, however a permanent replacement vessel will not be available
until next season.
"I certainly want to thank the public and the business sector in their show of support
during this incident. We have received numerous calls offering assistance and the
use of personal and businesses boats to ensure that we were able to maintain our
ability to respond to marine emergencies. I am pleased to announce that we have
secured a police vessel for use during this boating season and it will be business
as usual. Marine safety and security is our top priority out on the waterways we
police. We continue to work closely with our partners at the Auxiliary Coast Guard
and local fire departments to provide marine safety, security and rescues services
out on Lake Erie," stated Staff Sergeant Greg Dafoe, Elgin County OPP Operations
Police are continuing to investigate the incident and have transported the burned
out hull of the police boat to the OPP Forensic Identification Unit in Tillsonburg
for examination by both police and investigators from the Fire Marshalls office.
Elgin County OPP Crime Unit members are continuing to identify and speak to potential
witnesses. In particular we are looking to speak to a man and woman who were observed
seated on a bench around 6:00 a.m. at the fishermen's memorial on the east side
of the lift bridge in Port Stanley.
Any person with information regarding the person(s) responsible for this crime should
immediately contact the Ontario Provincial Police at 1-888-310-1122 or 519-631-2920,
or their nearest police authority.
Original Media Release Date June 25, 2014
Elgin County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is currently investigating the theft
of the Elgin OPP Police Boat from Stan's Marina in Port Stanley, ON earlier this
morning at approximately 2:45 a.m. The vessel was taken from its normal parking
slip at Stan's Marina and driven about 1 km out to Port Stanley Harbour on Lake
Erie where the boat was set on fire near the West break wall.
The 24 foot Sea Swirl Inboard Outboard Police boat was completely destroyed by the
fire and its replacement value is estimated at approximately $85,000. Firefighting
efforts by Central Elgin Fire were made difficult because of the boat's location
and access to the area.
Police are continuing to investigate and the Ontario Fire Marshalls Office will
A temporary replacement police boat is currently being arranged from OPP Headquarters
"In reality, an act such as this really jeopardizes the safety of the boating public.
It hampers our ability to respond to marine emergencies in a timely fashion out
on Lake Erie. Elgin County OPP's lone vessel was responsible for marine safety,
security and rescue operations between Port Glasgow and Port Burwell, which is about
70km of shoreline and extends out to the U.S./Canada border on Lake Erie. Normally
there are Auxiliary Coast Guard Units based in Port Stanley and Port Burwell; however,
this boating season that is not the case, which leaves the Elgin OPP Marine responsible
for all marine emergencies and searches in the area. The nearest Auxiliary Coast
Guard Unit would be dispatched out of Long Point area in Norfolk County. Central
Elgin Fire has a small vessel which is currently out of service; howeve, they are
limited to a 1 km range from shore. This is a senseless act which risks the safety
of the public and only harms the tax payer," stated Constable Troy Carlson, Elgin
County OPP Marine Unit Co-coordinator.
Efforts to recover the destroyed vessel are currently in progress.
OPP Contact Information