During the boating season, the Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol, patrols the Hudson River, Copake Lake, Queechy Lake and Kinderhook Lake.  Deputy Sheriff Chad Shufelt, who is certified by NYS as a Public Vessel Pilot/Engineer, is the Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol Commander.  Deputy Sheriff Heath Benansky is Deputy Commander.

The Marine Patrol is equipped with four patrol vessels; 

2014 Boston Whaler, is a 24ft patrol vessel.  This vessel which is valued at $125,000.00 was financed by the US Coast Guard Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund for improving recreational boating safety on the waterways in Columbia County.  The primary responsibility is to patrol the Hudson River.   

2014 Smoker Craft Jon Boat is 18 foot with a 115HP outboard engine and is used to patrol the lakes in Columbia County.  This boat has a flat bottom which allows access to shallow water.  

2010 Zodiac 14 foot inflatable rescue boat equipped with a 30HP outboard engine, which will be utilized in shallow water as well as swift water rescues.

In September of 2007, the Sheriff's Office added a 2007 three person SeaDoo 1500cc Personal Water Craft and trailer to its Marine Patrol.  The "Jetski" will enhance search, rescue, patrol and navigation of areas limited in access by the larger vessels.  It will also assist in Dive Team operations and training.

The Sheriff's Office was also able to obtain with grant money, a Side Scan Sonar to help identify objects under the surface of the water.

In order to make our larger lakes and the thirty miles of Hudson River bordering our county as safe as possible for all to enjoy, the Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol is responsible for the following tasks:

                    1- Promote Boating Safety and an atmosphere conducive to safe recreational and commercial 
                        boat operation by direct contact with boaters.
                    2- Conduct boating education courses.
                    3- Patrol in a highly visible manner to deter violations.
                    4- Enforcement of navigation laws.
                    5- Conduct boat safety equipment checks.
                    6- Investigate accidents involving boats.
                    7- Assist disabled vessels.
                    8- Coordinate marine activities with other government agencies such as DEC, Parks and Recreation, 
                        other Sheriff's Office, etc.
                    9- Render assistance during storms, drownings, and other marine disasters.
                    10- Support underwater recovery operations, rescue missions and crime scene investigations.

Deputy Sheriff's who volunteer and are assigned to the Sheriff's Marine Patrol must complete special training in vessel safety, transportation, operation and laws effecting our waterways.

Copyright 2006 Columbia County Sheriff's Office, Hudson, NY 12534