Public Safety Canada

Public Safety Canada

October 17, 2009 19:25 ET

Public Safety Minister Van Loan Comments on a Vessel of Unknown Origin Entering Canadian Waters

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 17, 2009) - The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety, made the following statement today in response to a vessel of unknown origin entering Canadian waters,

"In the early hours of Saturday October 17, a vessel of unknown origin sailing under the name "Ocean Lady" and carrying unknown cargo and individuals entered Canadian waters. Based on this and information received from its security partners, the RCMP took steps to intervene with close support of the Canadian Forces and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). An RCMP Emergency Response Team trained in maritime intervention boarded and took control of the vessel. A Canadian Forces navigational and safety crew is now piloting the vessel. The RCMP vessels Higgitt and Lindsay along with the Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Regina are working to safely escort the Ocean Lady into port at Ogden Point, British Columbia.

Federal officials are on the scene and are authorized to examine the 76 people and associated goods entering Canada to determine their admissibility. Their goal is to ensure the security of Canada's borders while facilitating the entry of legitimate travellers and goods. The RCMP and CBSA work closely with domestic and international partners to combat irregular migration to Canada, including smuggling and trafficking in persons. The RCMP and CBSA will continue to collaborate in the investigation within their respective mandates.

I want to commend the collaboration and coordination among various government agencies as well as the men and women that were ready to move rapidly on this situation.

The Government of Canada is committed to the safety and security of our nation and our ports. We are proud of the work performed by our security agencies and their readiness to maintain a high level of security on behalf of Canadians.

An operational technical briefing will take place in Ogden Point, British Columbia later today to provide an update. Specific time and location for the briefing will be posted on the RCMP B.C. website."

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