State Parks Boating Program hosts marine law enforcement training in Tacoma

Boaters should be aware of on-the-water training in Commencement Bay

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission’s Boating Program is hosting two marine law enforcement training courses next month in Tacoma. Some of the training will take place on Commencement Bay.

The first training, Boat Operator for Search and Rescue, takes place May 1 to 5 and will focus on search-and-rescue techniques for marine law enforcement officers. The Boating Program partners with the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators to provide this annual training, which takes place in a classroom and on the water.

Training includes:
- Developing vessel operation skills.
- Standard operating procedures for rescue operations involving multiple agencies.
- Search patterns.
- Locating victims using drift rate data.
- Search techniques for different water bodies.
- How to properly load a rescue helicopter.

These skills are necessary to conduct rescue missions safely and will enhance on-the-water safety and response capabilities throughout Washington state. Thirty-one officers from 18 different agencies from around the state will participate in this training.

The second training, Basic Marine Law Enforcement, takes place May 15 to 19 and is designed for officers newly assigned to their agency’s boating safety and marine patrol units. The Boating Program provides this training to prepare officers to conduct state and federally mandated marine law enforcement operations. Twenty-nine officers from 18 different agencies will participate in this training.

During these training sessions, the public can expect to see up to 18 to 20 law enforcement vessels training on Commencement Bay. The first training will also include search-and-rescue simulations with a Coast Guard helicopter. Boats will be doing drills, stops, as well as search-and-rescue techniques. State Parks Boating Program requests that recreational boaters in the area steer clear of these vessels during the training sessions.

For more information about the training course and the activities on the water, contact Hoyle Hodges, Marine Law Enforcement Coordinator, (360) 701-3512 (mobile).

– Washington State Parks

Photo courtesy City of Tacoma

Photo courtesy City of Tacoma