VPD Marine Unit

Marine Unit

Serving Vancouver's Marine Community Since 1911

The Vancouver Police have patrolled the waters off Vancouver, including the Fraser River, since 1911. In a rapidly growing city that boasts nearly 100 miles of shoreline and with dozens of marinas, VPD Marine Unit patrol vessels are kept busy year round.

The Marine Unit operates two patrol vessels. The primary vessel is a 30 ft. custom built aluminum Patrol Boat, the R.G. McBeath. The R.G. McBeath was named in honour of Constable Robert Gordon McBeath, a Vancouver Police Officer killed in the line of duty on October 10, 1922, while attempting to arrest an impaired driver in the city's downtown core.

Areas Restricted by 5-Knot Speed Zone

Areas Restricted by 5 Knot Speed Zone

The 5-knot speed zone in Coal Harbour and False Creek is enforceable under the Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations Sec. 2(5). The VPD can issue a Contraventions Act ticket for any violations, which can result in a fine of $200.00.

Proof of Pleasure Craft Operators Proficiency is also required and Contraventions Act tickets can be served for violations of these regulations with a fine of $288.00.

Coal Harbour

Within the area of inland waters bordered by Brockton Point to Burnaby Shoal and then south from the Burnaby marker (see area 1 on map above), a 5-knot (10 km/h) speed restriction is enforced.

False Creek

In the area lying east of a line drawn from Kitsilano Point 045° (T) across the mouth of the creek, a 5-knot (10 km/h) speed restriction is enforced. (See area 2 on the map above).

Sailing is not permitted in this area unless special permission is obtained from the Harbour Master.

Minimizing Theft from Your Boat

The Marine Unit investigates any criminal activity around the waterfront, and regularly conducts safe boating seminars where Marine Watch, property identification, and crime prevention are the focus.

  • remove all portable property, i.e. sounders, radios, GPS, etc.
  • mark driver's license number on valuables, record all serial numbers, makes and models on Marine Watch folders
  • make regular checks on your boat
  • do not leave security gates ajar
  • leave radio / light on, onboard when you leave
  • secure all hatches and windows
  • put valuables out of sight
  • consider installing an alarm system

Report all break-ins and thefts immediately.

Safety Tips for Boating in Vancouver

Boaters should not consider leaving the dock unless first obtaining formal training such as the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron Basic Boating Course. Make sure your vessel has at least minimum required safety equipment for your vessel size as outlined in Transport Canada's Safe Boating Guide.

  • small craft must keep well clear of all commercial traffic underway
  • do not attempt to pass between a tug and tow
  • no craft powered by oars or sail alone may transit either First or Second Narrows
  • Coal Harbour is a high activity area for aircraft landing and taking off; operators of small craft are required to keep clear
  • vessels approaching Second Narrows Rail Bridge be aware of clearance height; contact operator on VHF Ch. 12 to lift bridge
  • vessels rounding Ferguson Point should observe the West Cardinal Buoy (shallow water lies to the east of this marker)

Anchoring in False Creek

The City of Vancouver has created this helpful map for boaters interested in anchoring in False Creek. You are required to obtain a FREE permit in order to anchor more than eight hours in the daytime (9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.) or anytime between 11:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. the following day.

Anchoring in False Creek

Click to enlarge

Follow us on Twitter


For all the latest news and information about the VPD's Marine Squad, follow @VPDMarineUnit on Twitter.

VPD Marine Unit on Telus TV

Learn more about the Vancouver Police Marine Unit, as Telus TV tags along for the day.

Transport Canada Security Tips

Transport Canada's Marine Security Program has great tips for security awareness:

Abandoned Boats or Wrecks

Transport Canada advises that boat owners are responsible for using their boats safely, keeping them in good working order, and properly disposing of them when they are no longer seaworthy.

They are also responsible for any pollution-related costs, including clean-up and/or repairs.

Report a Fuel Spill

Contact the Canadian Coast Guard with reports regarding pollution or threats of pollution in the marine environment.

Other Marine Sites

History of the Marine Unit

See an April 2007 Mariner Life article on the history of the VPD Marine Unit (PDF).