POLITICS

RCMP issues new rules for water safety after officer drowns on Yukon river

04/30/2012 01:36 EDT | Updated 06/30/2012 05:12 EDT
WHITEHORSE - The RCMP is making nation-wide changes in water safety after the drowning death of Const. Michael Potvin in a Yukon river almost two years ago.

Five separate agencies, including the Transportation Safety Board and Human Resources Canada, have investigated since Potvin died in July 2010.

The 26-year-old officer wasn't wearing a life jacket when he disappeared after his RCMP boat capsized on the Stewart River near Mayo, about 400 kilometres north of Whitehorse.

Since then, RCMP say they've boosted vessel-maintenance practices, expanded training and set up a policy for the use of safety equipment.

Chief Supt. Peter Clark says while the changes are specific to the RCMP, all Yukoners can benefit from lessons learned in the case by ensuring equipment is working and they're wearing flotation devices.

The coroners' inquest looking into Potvin's drowning was set for next month, but has been delayed as the Attorney General of Canada makes an application to stop the inquest over jurisdictional issues. (The Canadian Press, CKRW)