Although the border was long closed due to the pandemic, it appears plenty of Americans are still longing to enter Canada. According to a local group of boaters, U.S. ships are entering B.C. and there are several new sightings every single day. Even the province's Premier, John Horgan, met with federal officials to bring up the issue.

George Creek, a member of the Council of B.C. Yacht Clubs, told Post Media that almost a hundred ships from the U.S. entered Canadian waters — several stopping for days at local marinas. The club monitored for American vessels using the real-time ship tracker MarineTraffic.com.

When we looked through their tracker, we found at least six separate U.S. pleasurecraft — such as yachts — around the B.C. coast and some had Alaska written as their destination.

Creek claimed that many of these boats were coming from Washington where they have over 47,700 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

According to Bill Wilson, the president of the Yacht Club, some American boaters had entered Canada through the "Alaska loophole" — where they cross the border claiming they're sailing to Alaska for essential reasons, but spending time in Canada instead, reported CBC News.

"A lot of these boats appear to be crossing the border and then taking their time and enjoying cruising in Canadian waters," he told the outlet.

According to the Vancouver Sun, a recent U.S. vessel from Oregon was spotted moored on Wallace Island, where it was seen hopping from marina to marina over several days.

Wilson said so many American boats were seen recently that some marinas stopped accepting them altogether.

"We have to ensure all our border crossings are secure — land, air and water," wrote Horgan in a tweet on Friday, July 17.

The Premier continued that he had met with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland to "relay our concerns about US pleasure craft crossing into Canadian waters and Americans visiting BC."

 

Wilson said their main concern was that these travellers might be bringing COVID-19 with them — inadvertently spreading the disease to Canadian communities.

The recent surge of American boaters mirrors the increase of American tourists seen around Canada recently, who entered by claiming they were driving to Alaska.

It didn't end well for some, who were charged hefty fines for not quarantining.

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