Placer County Sheriff's marine unit runs three patrol boats. Two based in Auburn and one based on Lake Tahoe. The two boats in Auburn are 24 foot Jetcraft boats made in Medford, Oregon. Both jet boats have electronic fuel injected 454 cubic inch engines capable of operating in 1 foot of water, giving them the ability to run up white water rivers; however they are primarily used on the many lakes in Placer County.
The lakes include:
- Camp Far West
- Combie Lake
- Folsom Lake
- French Meadows Reservoir
- Hell Hole
- Lake Clementine
- Rollins Lake
- Parts of the north and middle fork of the American river
The boats are equipped with first aid, rescue and scuba gear. Lake Tahoe's marine patrol boat is called "Marine 6." It's a custom built Moose M2 catamaran hull, built in Petaluma, California in 2015. It is 35 feet long and powered by twin 350 Horse Power Yamaha outboards, which can cruise at nearly 40 knots at Lake Tahoe’s 6,250 foot elevation.
Marine 6 is equipped with global positioning (GPS), LORAN, color digital radar, VHF/UHF communications with an automatic direction finder (ADF), FLIR (forward looking infra-red), SONAR, marine firefighting equipment, diving gear, towing gear and winch. One special feature is a custom designed rescue door that opens to the waterline which allows easy access for divers and water rescues. Because of Marine 6’s hull configuration, it is rough water capable and ready for deployment 365 days per year.
Two deputies are assigned to each of the three boats. Their primary duties include marine law enforcement, accident reporting, boating safety education and assisting boaters in distress. They also handle medical aids and search and rescues. Department dive team members are assigned to the marine unit and are ready to dive if the need arises. Their duties include accident investigations on sunken vessels, victim recoveries and evidence collection. The boats carry an array of scuba equipment including full face masks with digital wireless communications to talk with the other divers as well as surface personnel, an underwater "Nikonos" camera and lift bags for recovering heavy items.