Water Patrol Services

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The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office Water Patrol Unit is responsible for law enforcement, safety instruction, and promotion of safe boating and riding habits on the county’s lakes, rivers, and trails. To prevent accidents and injuries and ensure compliance with state laws, the Water Patrol Unit proactively patrols the county’s waterways, parks, and trails. Using motor vehicles, boats, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), and snowmobiles, this unit responds to incidents on the water, conducts rescue efforts, and recovers victims of water related incidents.

Minnesota state statutes designates that "the sheriff… maintain a program of search, rescue, buoying and marking, patrol, removal of hazards to navigation, and inspection of watercraft for rent, lease or hire." The statute further requires the sheriff to "investigate watercraft accidents and drowning and report findings to the commissioner [of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources]" (Minnesota State Statute §86B.105).

Ramsey County has 82 lake basins and 18 miles of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers within its boundaries. Of those lakes, 23 are accessible to the public for recreational use. To ensure a safe environment for citizens to utilize these waterways, the Water Patrol Unit promotes public awareness of boat and water safety regulations. The Water Patrol Unit remains committed to employing these efforts to reduce watercraft accidents and drownings.

The Water Patrol Unit is staffed by sworn Deputies and volunteer Reserve Deputies.

Special restrictions and closures

Regulations and permits

Youth safety classes

Grant funding