Marine Unit

The Sheriff's Office Marine Unit is the primary water-borne law enforcement agency in Martin County.

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Responsibilities

With close to 18,000 registered boats in Martin County, the Marine Unit handles a growing number of calls for service. These include:

  • Boating accidents
  • Criminal investigations
  • Derelict vessel removal
  • Inspections
  • Interdiction operations
  • Recreational boating issues
  • Search and rescue

Agencies Worked With

All members of the Marine Unit are cross designated as Blue Lightning Strike Force Officers with the Department of Homeland Security. The Marine Unit works closely with a number of agencies including:

  • The Coast Guard
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • Homeland Security
  • U.S. Customs

With the growing concern over water quality and recreation, the Marine Unit has also worked with the Health Department and Department of Environmental Protection on a variety of issues.

Areas Covered

The Marine Unit operates seven days a week, 365 days a year, and covers multiple bodies of water. These include:

  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Indian River
  • Intracoastal Waterway
  • Lake Okeechobee
  • Okeechobee Canal
  • St. Lucie River

Deputies also spend many hours conducting drug and illegal immigrant interdiction patrols. With Martin County's close proximity to the Bahamas and miles of uninhabited beaches, patrolling our coastline is a daunting task. 

The Stonegarden Grant

The Stonegarden Grant, awarded by United States Customs and Border Patrol and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). has provided the Marine Unit with additional resources to increase proficiency. One of these was the purchase of three forward-looking infra-red (FLIR) cameras that were installed on selected patrol boats. This technology helps Deputies detect thermal heat from vessels or persons that may be in the water awaiting help during nighttime hours.