Warren County’s new marine patrol boat, donated by the state, features high-technology equipment including side-scan sonar, radar, GPS and electronic navigation. Able to detect bodies and other items underwater, the sophisticated sonar will aid in investigations conducted by the county Sheriff’s office, officials said this week.
A brand-new patrol boat is now enforcing laws on Lake George — thanks to New York State’s generosity, Warren County Sheriff Bud York told county supervisors Monday.
Received from the state several weeks ago, the boat was put into official service Monday.
It’s arrival represented perfect timing in terms of protecting public safety, York said.
The boat was first dispatched in Bolton for the annual boating rendezvous known as Log Bay Day, which is a meetup of boats bearing employees of lakeside accommodations, restaurants and other businesses.
In recent years, the alcohol-fueled Log Bay Day party, attracting hundreds, has resulted in more than a few injuries and arrests.
Several weeks ago, the county Sheriff’s office was given a new 24-foot Boston Whaler patrol boat by the state office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, with a purpose of supporting patrols on Lake George, York said.
He estimated that the craft, which has two 200-horsepower engines, was worth $100,000.
The craft has replaced a patrol boat that was at the end of its useful life due to excess mileage on its engines, the sheriff said.
York said that the new boat is equipped with the latest technology including side-scan sonar, radar, GPS and electronic navigation. Able to detect bodies and other items underwater, the side-scan sonar is likely to be useful in investigations, York said.
Already, state Parks and Recreation is providing half of the county’s annual cost of providing the boat patrol, which consists of two officers on duty — six are trained and qualified — as well as two boats.
One smaller third boat is assigned to patrol the lakes in northern Warren County. This boat is rotated between Brant Lake, Loon Lake and Schroon Lake.
“The state wants to see the lakes patrolled,” he said.
York said the new Boston Whaler patrol boat was on a permanent loan to the county to use as long as it’s needed, but must be returned to the state when the county takes it out of service.
York said his department appreciated the gift.
“We needed to buy one, but I like ‘free’ better,” he said, noting the state gave him only five days to decide whether to take it — not enough time to garner official approval from county supervisors. “I didn’t want to turn it down.”
Supervisors serving on the county Public Safety Committee endorsed York’s acceptance of the gifts.
For log Bay Day, the county Sheriff’s office dispatched its two patrol boats, and the state Police, Department of Environmental Conservation and the Lake George Park Commission and the Washington County Sheriffs Office all ramped up their law enforcement for the event, with additional personnel assigned to patrol in boats, on foot along the shoreline as well as setting set up a sobriety checkpoint or two on a nearby roadway.