The Madera County Sheriff’s Boat Unit patrols on beautiful Bass Lake seasonally each year and is staffed by full time and reserve deputy sheriffs. The members of the boat unit have been trained in many aspects of boating and safety in law enforcement at various California Boating and Waterways academies and P.O.S.T training facilities in California. The department currently has two 26 foot patrol boats and two wave runners utilized for patrol on the water. Working on the boat unit is considered a specialty assignment that is filled with many aspects of law enforcement not normally associated with regular beat patrol.
Boat deputies are responsible for handling all inland water related matters such as: enforcement of laws and regulations set forth by the United States Coast Guard, Harbors and Navigation Code, Penal Code, Vehicle Code, California Code of Regulations, Public Resource Code, California Boating and Waterways, Fish and Game Code and Madera County Code. Boat deputies respond to boating accidents and are responsible for rendering first aid in addition to documenting any damage or injuries to California State Parks Boating and Waterways. Boat deputies have other responsibilities relating to water rescue. They respond to search and rescue operations as well as dive team call outs.
Members of the boating unit attend many community related events year round on and off the water. They offer free boater safety education and materials for all ages. Bass Lake is most popular between Memorial Day and slows down in September with Labor Day. The boat unit focuses their efforts on educating the public on safe and sober boating operation. Through their efforts the number of under the influence arrests and fatal accidents has been reduced in recent years.
Refer to our Frequently Asked Questions page for some common questions and answers.