The RNC has been in charge of a Marine Unit dating back to the late 1800’s when Inspector John Sullivan was in charge of the ship S.S. Fiona. As well, during the First World War, Sergeant Patrick O’Neill was commissioned by the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and was tasked to Patrol and investigate spy activity in the Labrador Sea.
The RNC began training some of its police officers for the current Marine Unit in May 2009. In 2011, with the assistance of members of the Canadian Coast Guard, officers of this eight (8) member Marine Unit received training in the proper use and handling of the 29 foot Mercury Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) with twin 200 hp Mercury Engines.
The role of the RNC Marine Unit is to assist the Canadian Coast Guard in search and rescue operations, enforcement with Fisheries and Oceans, assist Tactics and Rescue Unit and the enforcement of the legislation surrounding the food fishery with representatives of Transport Canada.
All members of the Marine Unit assume the role as a secondary duty and are situated within the RNC Northeast Avalon jurisdiction. It is presently comprised of six (6) Constables and one (1) Sergeant.
The Marine Unit trains for one day every month with a bi-annual, two-day training event. The Unit has been deployed for police investigations in the past and plays an integral role in search and rescue missions.
The RNC exercise policing responsibilities for all investigations which occur at, or near, the shoreline and originate from the adjacent land mass policed by the RNC. The RNC also exercise policing responsibilities for any investigations which occurs within the immediate area of the community waters defined as the following boat basins and harbours: Bauline, Flatrock, Long Pond, Petty Harbour, Portugal Cove, Pouch Cove, Quidi Vidi, Seal Cove, St. John’s, St. Phillips and Torbay. The RNC Marine Unit is deployed on police operations in the listed jurisdictional waters. The RNC also has inland water marine capabilities in St. John’s, Corner Brook, Labrador City and Churchill Falls, either with RNC assets or assistance from the Newfoundland and Labrador Search and Rescue Association.