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Video: Steveston fishing boat skipper may have been drunk, high while running aground at Garry Point

Richmond RCMP had been called earlier after it was noticed the vessel was operating "erratically" in Steveston Harbour
Tipped boat in Steveston
A fishing boat was found tipping over near the Steveston Fisherman's Memorial on May 17.

The captain of a Steveston fishing boat is facing possible impaired operation charges after his vessel ran aground on rocks at Garry Point Park.

Richmond RCMP said it received a call at around 1:30 p.m. on May 17 of a vessel being operated “erratically” in Steveston Harbour.

Upon arrival, officers discovered that the 55-foot fishing vessel had run aground on some rocks near Garry Point Park.

The RCMP then deployed its own patrol vessel, the Fraser Guardian, to help the Coast Guard rescue the captain and another man from the boat.

According to police, the pair was uninjured.

However, evidence at the scene indicated that both alcohol and drugs “appear to have been factors in this incident,” say police.

As a result, the captain was taken into custody, while the Coast Guard stayed with the vessel until it could be safely floated at high tide later that day.

The captain, a 48 year-old Surrey man, was later released from custody but, say police, faces possible charges including operating a vessel while impaired.

“In this case, the vessel involved was a commercial fishing vessel, and fortunately no one was hurt. But this incident serves as an important reminder to all boaters,” said Cpl. Ian Henderson of Richmond RCMP. 

“We are at the start of what will likely be a very busy boating season.  Whether you operate a commercial vessel, a luxury yacht or a jet ski, you are responsible for the safety of all those onboard and for others around you, in or on the water. 

“It is a criminal offence to be impaired by alcohol and/or drugs if you are operating a vessel in Canadian waters.”

The Richmond News reported the incident the same day, with video showing what appeared to the stricken vessel, balancing on the rocks, with crab or prawn traps aboard.