The Minidoka County Sheriff’s Office Marine Division
was established to promote safe boating through boater education and
marine patrols. Boating Safety Grants and the County Vessel Account
are the only sources of revenue for this division. The marine division
is also called upon for water rescue, boating accident investigation
and rescue and recovery diving.
The Minidoka Co. Sheriff’s Office operates a 21-foot jet rescue &
patrol boat and two personal watercraft on patrol at Lake Walcott at
Minidoka Dam and 33 miles of the Snake River from Minidoka Dam to
Regular patrol and investigations deputies are trained as Marine
deputies at the Idaho Marine Deputy Academy and many hours of local
in-service training. After completing training, off duty deputies
volunteer for marine patrol as operators and crew. Marine Deputies
inspect boats for safety and required equipment, enforce state and
local boating laws and enforce Idaho’s Operator Under The Influence (OUL)
laws, and tow boats to safety when found dead in the water. Dive
Rescue Certified Master SCUBA divers assigned to the dive team are
called upon for a variety of tasks. They investigate boating
accidents, recover stolen property, recover submerged vehicles, and
search for victims of water accidents.
Deputies trained by the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation teach
the Idaho Boating Basics class free to the public several times a
year. Students in the classes learn rules of the road for boats,
federal and state equipment requirements, boating accident reporting
procedures and other topics that help them be safer on the water.
A member of the marine division sits on the County Waterways
Committee. The County Waterways Committee makes recommendations to the
county commissioners on the expenditures of the county vessel account.
The County Vessel Account receives funds from gas tax and boat
registrations. Funds are used for marine law enforcement, replacement
and maintenance of docks, ramps and facilities.