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Thurston County, Washington

The content on the Thurston County website is currently provided in English. We are providing the “Translation” for approximately 10 languages. The goal of the translation is to provide visitors with limited English proficiency to access information on the website in other languages. The translations do not translate all types of documents, and it may not give you an exact translation all the time. The translations are made through an automated process, which may not result in accurate or precise translations, particularly of technical and legal terminology.

The Marine Services Unit (MSU) is primarily filled during the summer months and is responsible for patrol/enforcement on all waterways (both freshwater and saltwater) within the boundaries of Thurston County. The Vessel Registration Funds (VRF), distributed by the Washington State Parks Department, funds this unit. When emergencies arise on any waterway throughout the year, the Marine Services Unit will respond as needed.

Along with enforcement functions, a large part of the Marine Services’ responsibility is public education and awareness as it pertains to boating safety.

In 2019, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the Marine Services Unit provided the following efforts:

  • Boat ramp inspections  -  67.5 hours
  • Vessel inspections  -  674
  • Warnings/citations  -  179
  • Failed inspections*  -  145

*A failed inspection is a vessel missing any part of the state required vessel equipment

During 2019, the Marine Services Unit conducted training with the U.S. Coast Guard and Lacey Fire District 3. Fire District 3 is currently the only fire department in Thurston County that has trained rescue swimmers on all shifts. The Thurston County MSU has worked with Lacey Fire District 3 to ensure its rescue swimmers are familiar with MSU vessels and capabilities. Rescue swimmers are now able to deploy with MSU operators to conduct rescue missions out on the Puget Sound, and any lake or river in Thurston County. This teamwork and training have provided a water rescue package to respond and assist citizens in distress.

During the joint training, rescue swimmers were certified in conducting helicopter rescue hoist operations with the Coast Guard from MSU vessel Integrity (pictured above). This certification has also been completed by MSU vessel operators.

If you have questions you may contact Lt. Ray Brady at (360) 754-3343.