The Sheriff's Office Marine Unit is the primary water-borne law enforcement agency in Martin County.
It is comprised of six sworn members. Five Deputy Sheriff’s, and one Sergeant.
The Marine Unit patrols the waterways of Martin County seven days a week, year round, including all holidays. The unit members work 12 hour shifts and cover from 8 a.m.-11 p.m. on a daily basis. Every day there is also an on-call marine deputy scheduled for the off hours of the unit.
The Marine Unit handles calls for service on the water to include regularly patrolling the waters and sandbars, conducting enforcement, search and rescue, citizen assists, derelict vessel management, and assists to other agencies such as the Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Homeland Security Investigation (HSI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), United States Coast Guard (USCG), MCSO Animal Control, Martin County Fire Rescue. Two of our vessels are also equipped with fire pumps in order to fight marine based fires.
- 2018 Brunswick – 10 meter - w/twin 350hp Mercury Verado (fire boat)
- 2015 Brunswick – 10 meter – w/twin 300hp Mercury Verado (fire boat)
- 2008 Contender – 32 foot – w/twin 300 Mercury Verado
- 2003 SeaVee – 27 foot – w/twin 250 Mercury OptiMax
- 2010 Zodiac – 27 foot – w/twin 250hp Mercury SeaPro
- 2020 Islamorada – 24 foot – w/single 300hp Mercury Seapro
- 2005 Skate – 17 foot – w/single 90hp Mercury SeaPro
- 10’ AB inflatable dhingy – w/single 9.5hp Yamaha
Our Partner Agencies
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:
- Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC)
- The Coast Guard
- Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
- Homeland Security
- U.S. Customs
- Martin County Animal Control
- Martin County Fire Rescue
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.
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.
Boater Safety Information
Did you know that anyone born after January 1, 1988 who operates an engine of 10 horsepower or more needs to complete an approved boating safety course and obtain a Florida Boater Safety Card? Most online courses are very affordable ($15.00-$50.00) with Boat US course being completely FREE! Regardless of age, everyone should check them out as 58% of boat operators involved in accidents were over the age of 36 and 53% of total operators did not have boater education.