With our island community’s 53 miles of rugged shoreline, the BIPD’s Marine Services Unit is a critical component of public safety. Our primary vessel is a well-equipped 33’ SAFE Boat powered by triple 250 horsepower Mercury Verado engines and capable of carrying 18 passengers. The vessel, referred to as M8, features high definition imaging sonar, radar, a chart plotter, an encrypted Automatic Identification System, a micro-ROV (remotely operated vehicle), radiation detection equipment, 2 VHF radios, collision and depth alarms, and an on-board com¬puter with thermal imaging capability. The vessel and its crew operate with several core missions in mind; namely search and rescue, vessel assistance, recreational boating enforcement, environmental response, and assistance to other agencies such as the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the US Coast Guard, Washington State Ferries and the Department of Homeland Security. The vessel primarily conducts operations in the jurisdictional waters surrounding Bainbridge Island, but occasionally leaves the immediate area when emergency assistance is re¬quested by other agencies.
The department’s second boat, referred to as M11, was added to the fleet in 2016. An 18’ vessel with a single outboard motor, M11 is significantly smaller and more easily maneuverable than M8, and perfect for conducting in-harbor operations such as boating safety checks, boater education, and boater assistance as well as enforcement of the island’s three “No-Wake” Zones (Eagle Harbor, Port Madison, Manza¬nita Bay). With just a 5 per¬son capacity, the vessel can easily be launched at primitive sites, and trailered with just a pickup truck. The vessel also provides a mecha¬nism for the City’s harbormaster to communicate with the liveaboard community, address derelict vessels, and investigate environmental complaints. M11 will also be outfitted in 2016 with a power hauler to extract derelict fishing gear from the water, which cannot be conducted aboard M8 without damaging its collar.
In association with the Public Water Access Committee, the Harbormaster organizes, coordinates and directs activities related to the use, operation, security, maintenance and improvement of Bainbridge Island harbors. This includes facilitating marine and general services for commercial and recreational boaters and the public, working closely with volunteer harbor stewards to orchestrate harbor activity, collecting fees for water-related uses, providing status reports for consideration and action, and ensuring compliance with federal, state and local laws regulating harbor activity. The harbormaster also works with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Natural Resources regarding vessels that are lost, found, adrift, sinking, derelict and abandoned, works with the executive and finance departments of the city to manage transient and long term use of harbor buoys, city docks, and linear moorage systems, and maintains records of visiting and residential boaters.
For more information, see the "Harbormaster" page.