Boating Enforcement



The Tuolumne County Boating Enforcement Unit provides regular boat patrols of navigable waterways in the county including eight lakes, totaling 50+ square miles of waterway.

The unit is responsible for boater safety services, focusing on safety of the boating public by enforcing laws dealing with safe and responsible boat operation and safety equipment requirements. The units other functions include:
  • Criminal Investigations of marine-related incidents
  • Boating accident investigation
  • Enforcing state and local laws
  • Answering calls for assistance
  • Giving emergency medical aid
  • Investigating water related accidents
  • Assisting stranded vessels/vessels in distress
  • Missing Persons and Drownings
  • State Mutual Aid Requests


One sergeant and two patrol deputies normally staff the Tuolumne County Boating Enforcement Unit. During May through September more personnel are added to meet increased patrol obligations. Volunteers from the Sheriff’s Office Community Service Unit (CSU) also assist the unit. The unit’s deputies are specially trained in the following areas:
  • Boat handling
  • Marine law enforcement and education
  • Boating accident investigation
  • Boating under the influence investigation (BUI)
  • Police scuba diving
  • Medical first responder

Dive Team

All members of the unit are dive and Swift Water Rescue certified. They provide specialized services such as evidence searches and drowning recoveries in lakes, rivers, and streams throughout the county. To facilitate these functions, the unit uses a “Sea Otter” ROV (remote controlled submarine with video capability), Side Scan and Scanning Sonar, a Zodiac inflatable boat, and wireless diver communication equipment.

Boating Unit Vessels

  • Three Patrol / Enforcement Vessels
  • Three Commercial Quality Aluminum Boats
  • One Pontoon Boat - Floating Command Post / Booking Station “Dive Team” and ROV Support Platform
  • Two Kawasaki Personal Water Craft
  • One Zodiac Inflatable-Dive and Special Operation Platform