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Boat Safety Information

In an emergency, DIAL 911.

The mission of the Marine Unit is to enforce state laws as well as local and county ordinances, and to promote safe boating. Duties include responding to calls for assistance, investigating criminal complaints and boating accidents, watercraft safety inspections, search and rescue as well as crowd control and security. The Marine Unit works closely with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, McHenry County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Boating Safety Information

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office strongly urges both novice and experienced boaters to take the Illinois Boating Education Course. According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Illinois Boating Education Course consists of a minimum eight hours of instruction, covering the basics of boating safety, equipment and requirements, navigation, motorboat, registration and titling, emergency measures and the Illinois boating laws. The Lake County Forest Preserve District is hosting an 8 hour Illinois Boating Education Course on Saturday, June 28, 2014. For more information or registration, please contact Sgt. Mike Anderson of the Lake County Forest Preserve District at or 847.489.6160.


Operators of motorboats involved in a boating accident resulting in serious injury or death must submit to chemical testing (breath, blood, or urine) upon request by the investigating law enforcement officer. Failure to submit to requested testing or submitting to testing but failing such testing, shall result in a suspension of the motorboat operators Illinois driver’s license by the Illinois Secretary of State.

Suspension Problems

A person’s privileges to operate a watercraft may be suspended for a period of 1 to 3 years for violations of operating under the influence, careless or reckless operation, or failure to report an accident. Further, it shall be unlawful for any person to operate a watercraft when their privileges have been suspended or revoked in this state, or by another state, a federal agency, or a province of Canada.

How Do I Report a Boating Violation or Boat Accident?

In an emergency, dial 911 immediately.

Illinois Conservation Police Officers (CPO’s) are dispatched by local Illinois State Police District HQ dispatch center. A listing of Illinois State Police Districts can be found at the Illinois State Police website.

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