205 W 5th Ave
Ellensburg, WA 98926-2887
Monday - Friday8 AM - 5 PM
Kittitas (pronounced 'kit-i-tass') County is located in central Washington
State. It spans from the lush forested Cascade Mountains to the upper Yakima River Valley plains and
the Columbia River.
County has maintained an approved Boating Safety Program for over 40 years using well trained and equipped
line deputies. Each year we strive to educate people on water related recreation. We cover boating safety,
swimming safety and the laws relating to ecology and human impact. We balance our time between education,
rescue and enforcement on the water with the other law enforcement and emergency management responsibilities.
We have established partnerships with
our local fire services to expand water rescue by creating technical rope rescue teams and shoreline support
have reduced response times and increased rescuer safety. This allows us to address the demands on such
a large and
diverse waterway system where we see weekend population increases in the thousands. We have also partnered
local Fish & Wildlife Officers to address the increased impacts on our aquatic marine life.
On major holidays, we
provide a multi-agency enforcement presence on the water with the Grant County Sheriff's office and the
where we strictly enforce those laws relating to safety, such as negligent operation, boating under the
not having the required safety equipment such as ski flags and life jackets.
NOTE: An approved Lifejacket is required
for all persons on board any vessel designed to transport persons on the water and children under the age
of 12 are
required to have the life jacket on. This includes all boats and rafts with rowing frames or motors, or
The Sheriff's Office currently has 15 deputies who are cross-trained as Marine Patrol Officers and Boat
Operators. Eight of these Deputies are also cross trained in Swift-Water Rescue. They specialize in
to all of
the incidents involving our moving water such as rafters caught in log jams, spillways and siphons.
We have four
Deputies trained In Public Safety Diving. They are called upon to recover the bodies of drowning victims,
water related deaths and to recover vehicles, stolen property and other items beneath the surface.
The Sheriff's Office has 4 boats, specifically designed to meet the demands of the water classification and intended service. We have a 20 foot class I patrol boat used for Patrol and Rescue on the Columbia River and the larger lakes in the upper county. We have an 18 foot rescue jet boat used for patrol and rescue on the small lakes and rivers. It is also used to support diving operations. We have an 18 foot flat bottom jet sled with an outboard jet used primarily on the Yakima River for rescues.
We also have a 12 foot inflatable jet boat which is staged in the upper county. This boat is used for
rescue on the smaller lakes, ponds and sections of river in the upper county where the larger boat cannot
The Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol Unit is available to conduct pre-season vessel
inspections, equipment safety inspections and to provide classes on boating safety.
Call 509-925-8534 and ask to speak to a Marine Patrol Officer.
Reminder - Mandatory Boater Education cards are a requirement.
Kittitas County has a total area of 2,333 square miles. The highest point in the county is Mount Daniel at 7,959 feet above sea level.