Boating in Canada Archive

Weekend canoe theft

 A reward has been promised by Drew Dalgleish (519-228-6722) for recovery of canoe. If anyone has seen this canoe please contact Drew, Tim MacKinlay ( or the Ontario Provincial Police.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Weekend theft and general rant/help
Date: Mon, 08 Jul 2002
From: (Tim Mackinlay)
Newsgroups: can.rec.boating

This past Saturday we were sailing into Lost Bay (Georgian Bay, North side of Beausoleil Island) I was towing my buddy's canoe when it became swamped with a large rough wave. I had just taken down the sails and under power to navigate a very narrow channel. (I sail a Grampian 28') A powerboat of 18' to 20' length was very close by at the time (sat. afternoon, 2 pm) We had a quick release knot securing the canoe just in case this should happen as lots of powerboats go by with a large wake. So, the canoe swamps (not totally, but half way), we let it loose as to not tear the bow off the canoe till we can get the sailboat stopped and turned around. My buddy grabs our dingy and goes after the canoe while we get turned around at the other end of the channel.

As my buddy closes on his canoe (200 yards to go) , 2 young males in the powerboat we had passed previously had already grabbed the canoe and were making off with it while struggling to get it aboard their boat. My buddy is waving and yelling from the dingy to get their attention but they ignored him. At this time I arrive back on the scene (5 min later) to see the powerboat about .5 mile away and make for the general direction of Midland. I get on the radio, call a pan pan to Coast Guard in Thunder Bay and say what happened, give GPS position and that there is this small power boat making off with a 16' bright red canoe (the canoe was 2 years old and finished with cherry wood trim) lashed across the deck.

So, after Coast Guard finally gets the story correct, takes cell phone # from me and says they will contact OPP in Midland 15 min have gone by. Other power and sail boaters in the area are listening and giving position reports of powerboat with red canoe on top making for Midland. Meanwhile Coast Guard is going on at me to try and get a description of powerboat which is by this time 3 to 4 miles away. I did not get the name of the boat but tell Coast Guard "it's a small dark blue powerboat with a red canoe lashed across the deck"

Coast Guard does not dispatch any vessels it may have had in area. OPP does not dispatch any boats it may have had in area. Midland town police were not contacted to stand by the harbor and try to intercept the pirates! OPP call me 1 hour later for another description of powerboat (Coast Guard has not relayed all of the info) OPP passes case off to OPP marine unit who call me at 6 pm (4 hours later) They have no report at all and simply ask "OPP Marine Unit, how can I help you?" Well, by this time, canoe is long gone. What bugs me is the time delay for the three different agencies to get their communications act together. Nobody makes a command decision to dispatch a boat to try to intercept pirates. (aka, canoe thieves). As a parting shot, Coast Guard gives me a slap for the pan pan. (Vessel/persons in no immediate danger, however property was at risk here)

So, if any powerboaters/sailors in the area on that fateful afternoon who might know anything, can give us call (Tim Mackinlay 519-227-4995 or Drew Daglish 519-227-6722). Any leads to get this canoe back would be appreciated.

The canoe is a custom built 16', bright red, custom woodwork cherry trim with stitched cane wood seats. Kevlar hull.

All rebuttals, flames, useful tidbits, rants, hindsight suggestions welcome.

Thanks again for the other two boaters who got on the radio with a description and direction of suspect boat.

Contact Tim Mackinlay or Drew Dalgleish {contact details removed}