The King County Sheriff Marine/Dive/Rescue Unit is responsible for law enforcement on all lakes, rivers and other waters within the unincorporated areas of the county as well as in several cities that contract for our marine service, including regular patrols, law enforcement, emergency response, and boater safety education.
The King County Marine Unit also is responsible for missing swimmer rescues, for drowning victim recovery as well as documenting and recovering evidence underwater.
The Marine Unit patrols Lake Washington, Lake Sammamish, and numerous small lakes and rivers throughout King County. Safe and enjoyable boating for our community is our primary goal. To achieve this goal we make contact with violators and take appropriate enforcement action. We also attend and teach water safety education at community events, local schools and special water awareness on the beaches.
The unit’s deputies are specially trained in the following areas:
- Boat handling
- Small craft fire suppression
- Marine laws and enforcement
- BUI investigation
- Boating Accident Investigation
- Oil Spill Response
- Police scuba diving
- Underwater evidence processing
With experience, training and equipment, the Marine/Dive Unit provides valuable services to the citizens of King County and to those cities that contract for our marine services.
Dive and Swift Water Rescue and Recovery
The unit consists of highly trained SCUBA divers. Members of the unit are PADI dive master certified. They receive specialized training in evidence searches, drowning recoveries, and vehicle recoveries in lakes, rivers and streams throughout the county. To facilitate these functions, the unit uses underwater cameras, metal detectors, a small inflatable boat, and hands on experience in waters with little to zero visibility. Dive members also partner with community leaders and teachers throughout the state to teach enhanced water safety to our children and community. Further we work with all our communities for enhanced environmental awareness.
The unit also does swift water river rescue, recovery and evidence collection. The team trains frequently to remain proficient with river skills. The unit monitors hazards along the rivers and works to inform the public and river users of the natural hazards that exist to reduce the life safety risks for river users.
Marine Unit Vessels
The County utilizes a 38 foot aluminum custom built boat powered by twin 420 horsepower diesel engines with jet drives. This is the primary patrol boat on Lake Washington. This vessel has a crew of two and is equipped with radar, GPS and fire fighting dewatering capabilities. It has an excellent dive platform and is a regional support platform for long term recovery and operation missions.
The primary patrol boat on Lake Sammamish is a 25 foot "Magnum". It also is manned with a crew of two and has radar, GPS and fire fighting dewatering capabilities.
A 19 foot "Zodiac" rigid hull inflatable is used as a backup vessel and emergency rescue boat on Lake Washington. It can be moved on a trailer to other bodies of water when needed.
A 19-foot patrol boat with 150 HP outboard also on a trailer can be deployed almost anywhere.
PWC’s are used for patrol and fast response. The PWC’s are assigned to Lake Sammamish but are used in a variety of other locations such as wake enforcement in the Sammamish Slough and other speed restricted areas. The PWC’s like their brother’s the Motorcycle Officers are often more efficient during emphasis in crowded and problem areas. They are also a superior tool used to address wake violators within wake sensitive marinas and waterfront situations.
“CHARLIE” the Sheriff Boat
Another highly requested educational tool the Marine Dive Rescue Unit uses at local schools and community events and special water education events is "Charlie the Sheriff Boat." Through this educational tool young boaters grow up to be safe adult boaters.