Elgin OPP Get Replacement Boat

An OPP marine patrol boat burns in the inner harbour in Port Stanley on June 25, 2014. Photo by Andrew Hibbert, The Lake Erie Beacon

It didn’t take Elgin OPP long to get a replacement for their stolen and burned marine patrol boat.

The boat was stolen Wednesday morning, taken to the Port Stanley inner harbour, and set on fire.  A temporary replacement 24 foot Sea Swirl patrol boat has been brought to Port Stanley from the OPP’s training facility in Orillia.

Police say it will be in the water Friday afternoon.

The Elgin County OPP Detachment will have the loaner vessel until the fall when it will be returned to the training fleet.

Police say they have begun the process of getting a new boat, but it won’t 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,” says Staff Sergeant Greg Dafoe, Elgin County OPP operations manager.

The remains of the burned boat has been sent to the OPP’s Forensic Identification Unit in Tillsonburg for examination by both police and investigators from the Fire Marshall’s office.

Police are still investigating the theft and arson, and looking to speak to a man and woman who were seen seated on a bench around 6am on Wednesday at the fishermen’s memorial on the east side of the lift bridge in Port Stanley.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or 519-631-2920.