New patrol boat to help with Puget Sound security

Island County secured a $225,000 grant to purchase a new all-weather patrol vessel.

Funding for the boat was issued through the Homeland Security Grant Program under Operation Stonegarden.

The purpose of Operation Stonegarden is to “increase border security in direct coordination with state and local law enforcement,” according to county documents.

The vessel will be used to increase joint law enforcement marine patrols in the Puget Sound in order to gain a better grasp on cross border activity and to prevent illegal crossings.

Local agencies involved are the Coupeville Marshal’s Office, Island County Sheriff’s Office, Langley Police Department and Oak Harbor Police Department.

The boat is a 26-foot rigid hull inflatable, with the capability to moor up against other vessels.

Island County Sheriff Mark Brown said the boat is far more durable than the county’s current boat, which is approximately 20 years old.

Brown said the new boat, with its upgraded capabilities, would have been very helpful in providing rescue and investigative services after the Ledgewood landslide.

Moving forward, Brown said, the boat will be a great resource to assist the county in providing boater safety and natural disaster services.

Brown said the county’s old boat will likely find a new home with one of the local fire and rescue operations.