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 County Sheriff's Office operates a 21-foot jet rescue and 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 Milner Dam.
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, 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.
Idaho Boating Basics Class
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.
County Waterways Committee
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.