Lake County Sheriff’s Marine Unit will resume patrols on Lake Michigan

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit will resume patrolling parts of Lake Michigan waters located in Lake County after a six-year hiatus.

Lake County stopped patrolling the waters in 2018 due to an outdated watercraft that had mechanical problems, according to the sheriff’s office. The Lake County board approved the purchase of a new watercraft earlier this year that began patrols at the start of this year’s boating season.

The Marine Unit will conduct patrols of Lake Michigan and respond to emergencies within the 900 square mile Lake County boundaries on Lake Michigan. They will also coordinate patrols with both the United States Coast Guard and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation police.

The new boat was commissioned by Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg and will be operated in partnership with North Point Marina. It is named in memory of fallen Lake County Sheriff's Deputy Gary Murphy, who was killed in the line of duty in 1976.

Lake County Sheriff’s Office 

"Adding a sheriff’s office watercraft on Lake Michigan is very significant. Response time in an emergency is crucial, and having a sheriff’s boat available will increase the likelihood of lives saved during search and rescue missions," Idleburg said.

When the boat is not patrolling, it will be stored at a dock contributed by North Point Mariana in Winthrop Harbor.