The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Watercraft has announced its annual financial assistance from the Waterways Safety Fund in support of community marine law enforcement programs to help enhance waterways safety. The Vermilion Police Department was awarded a grant of $32,000 for its marine patrol. This is a matching grant.
In Erie County, Vermilion’s nearby neighbors including the Huron Police Department received $26,217.96, and Kelleys Island Police Department received $7,530.93 for its harbor patrol boats. In Lorain County, the Lorain Port Authority received $32,000. The amount of $32,000 was the highest given among the 24 counties applying for the grants.
The Vermilion Police Marine Patrol Unit is comprised of eight MPU state certified officers, three civilian boat operators, and is supervised by sergeant Gordon Adams. The patrol boat is in operation primarily from Memorial Day through Labor Day, but extends longer into the season as this budget permits with random patrols during the week and extended patrols during weekends and holidays. Last year there were two boat crashes investigated, 13 search and rescue, 16 vessels assisted, and 7 investigated incidents. There were 176 vessel inspections with 141 spot checks conducted.
The marine patrol covers the Vermilion River and 64,120 acres of Lake Erie. It is stated that the waters of Vermilion contain about 3,000 boat docks, 13 marinas, 7 launch ramps, hundreds of private docks and many private and public beaches.