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Marine Services and Dive Unit

Image of boat for Marine Service Unit

The mission of the Tacoma Police Marine Services and Dive Unit is to work in partnership with the maritime community in finding ways to creatively preserve and promote the highest level of boater safety, education, and harbor security to enhance the safety of Tacoma’s waterways.


The Marine Services Unit was created in January 2004 to establish a harbor patrol vessel to assist in port security, boating safety, and safeguarding of life and property throughout Tacoma’s nearly 46 miles of shoreline.  This area encompasses Commencement Bay, Thea Foss waterway, the shores of Wapato Lake, and portions of the Puyallup River and Hylebos Creek.  The Washington State Vashon ferry lane is also patrolled to assist in safe passage for the ferry and the recreational vessels near and around Point Defiance.


The Marine Services Unit provides services such as patrol, security, and rescue/recovery to numerous waterfront homes, businesses, beaches, marinas, and parks which are accessed by thousands of boaters each year.


One of the busiest locations throughout the year is the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the most recognized landmark bridge in the area, which spans the waterway from Tacoma to Gig Harbor, connecting Puget Sound to the Peninsula.


The Seaport Alliance, comprised of the ports in Seattle and Tacoma, is the fifth busiest container port in the U.S.  The Marine Services and Dive Units work collaboratively with the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs, Washington State Fish & Wildlife, and Port Authorities in protection and security of the port waterways and the shipping lanes within Commencement Bay.

Additional Information

Below you will find information about watercraft laws, boating safety, and educational classes.


RCW 79A.60 - Regulation of Recreational Vessels


Title 4 - Harbor