Temporary patrol vessel arrives in Port Stanley after OPP boat torched
Marine services are up and running in Port Stanley again, days after an Elgin County OPP Marine Unit patrol boat was stolen and set on fire.
A loaner 24 ft. Sea Swirl Inboard Outboard police boat - the same as the one that was destroyed - arrived in Port Stanley Friday afternoon.
Elgin County OPP Const. Troy Carlson says "It is a boat that's used for training purposes but we were able to procure that and we're going to be able to use that for this season."
OPP will keep the vessel until the fall, when it will be returned to the training fleet in Orillia. However, a permanent vessel won’t be available until next season.
On Wednesday, the OPP patrol boat was reportedly stolen around 2:45 a.m., and then seen on fire near the rock break wall around sunrise. The vessel was completely destroyed – with damage estimated at $85,000.
The lack of patrol boat had police concerned for public safety, "There is an enforcement component, but certainly safety is our priority out there. So, making sure that people are out there having fun, doing it safely and ensuring that they get back safe," Carlson says.
Police are continuing their investigation and have transported the burned out hull of the boat to a forensic lab in Tillsonburg.
They are also looking for witnesses, including a couple seen near the lift bridge around 6 a.m. on Wednesday.