The boats we use are funded by the State of Washington Parks Department from annual vessel registration tabs purchased by boaters. In return, we do routine patrol on the Columbia River, conduct vessel safety inspections, investigate vessel collisions, and enforce state and local boating safety laws. Our Marine Patrol boats are always staffed with at least one fully commissioned deputy sheriff.
In addition, we have twelve other sheriff’s deputies who are certified marine officers who assist with routine patrol and emergency response and rescues. Non-commissioned marine reserve personnel assist the deputies on a voluntary basis. Marine officers present safety programs to children at area summer camp programs and assist the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in teaching their safe boating curriculum.
Our marine patrol has assisted our department and neighboring agencies with:
- Crowd control for concerts at the Gorge
- Marijuana eradication
- Protecting helicopters dipping water buckets in the Columbia River and Lake Chelan
- Transporting firefighters and equipment to hard to reach fires
- Transporting investigators to remote crime scenes
The main goal of our marine patrol is to assist boaters in enjoying our local waterways in a safe manner.
A courtesy safety inspection of your vessel by one of our marine officers can be scheduled by calling 509-884-0941.