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Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol Help Keep Boaters Safe in Klamath County
For Immediate Release -3/20/12
The Oregon State Marine has a unique partnership to provide marine law enforcement services by contracts with 31 counties and the Oregon State Police in Oregon.  The Marine Board provides boats, equipment, training, and funds for vessel maintenance to the counties who provide marine patrol services on waterbodies in each county.  These law enforcement agencies patrol the waterways for compliance and safety of Oregon’s boating laws.  Each county has varying needs for training, equipment and maintenance. 
Klamath County has a fleet of ten boats that average 18 years old.  The newest boat was purchased in 2005.  Based on Marine Board statistics, for every 2.25 hours of patrol time on the water, deputies spend an hour on maintenance.  During the period of March 1, 2011 to March 1, 2012, the marine patrol deputies reported 601.5 hours between 13 staff, on boat maintenance and 1354 on-water patrol hours.  For the same timeframe, the marine patrol issued 50 boating safety citations, conducted 2,058 boat inspections, and conducted 45 boating safety courses impacting 3,117 boaters so they could be in compliance with the mandatory boater education law.  The marine patrol also conducted 22 field sobriety tests, and issued 11 citations for boating under the influence of intoxicants (BUII).
The marine patrol deputies also participate in advanced training such as whitewater search and rescue, drift and jet boat operations, and assist training new marine patrol deputies through the Marine Board’s Law Enforcement Academy.  Their knowledge, training, and expertise help save lives.
The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office has done an outstanding job fulfilling their contract obligations by maintaining their boat fleet, conducting on-the-water patrols, and providing first rate boating safety education courses to the boating public.  They do a tremendous amount of work and use the tools they are given extremely well.  For a boat fleet averaging 18 years of age, this fact alone, is testament to using resources wisely.  These marine deputies are dedicated, motivated, and do the best with what they have.  The Marine Board supports the mission of the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office and is grateful for the continued marine law enforcement services provided to the boaters of Klamath County. 
In addition, for every gallon of gas a boater purchases to operate their motorboat, a percentage is returned to the Marine Board who turns those dollars back to boaters in the form of boating access sites (restrooms, boat ramps, etc.), law enforcement service contracts and boating safety education.
For more information about the Oregon State Marine Board and its funding, visit http://www.boatoregon.com/OSMB/admin/program.shtml.