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Search and Rescue Training on Lake Michigan

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Maritime law enforcement recently completed search and rescue training on the northwest Indiana waters of Lake Michigan. Indiana Conservation Officers hosted the course that included Conservation Officers, the Lake County Sheriff’s Marine Unit, and the Berrien County, Michigan, Marine Unit. The week-long boat search and rescue training conducted by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators promotes a “one team concept” to ensure agencies are using the same terminology, tactics, and techniques. Conservation Officers say the Lake Michigan drowning off the shore of Whiting last week brought the training concepts to light. [Photos provided]

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The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) works to develop training, education standards, and public policy for recreational boating, security, and maritime law enforcement. The NASBLA Boat Operations and Training Program is recognized by the US Coast Guard as the national standard of training, as it promotes multi-jurisdictional partnerships that enhance port security, emergency response, and law enforcement across the country in the maritime domain.

The Indiana DNR says with limited governmental budgets, the training has aided Conservation Officers and other emergency response agencies in providing a true “force multiplier,” locally and across the United States as emergency response agencies become more effective while sharing the same techniques and resources.

The recent drowning on Lake Michigan in Whiting this past week bring these training concepts to light, Conservation Officers say. Conservation Officers responded to the area with the Lake County Sheriff’s Marine Unit and the USCG. The USCG executed a wide search pattern, Lake County Sheriff’s executed a near shore search, while Conservation Officers searched the immediate area with underwater sonar technology. Once the victim was located, the Lake County Marine Unit delivered Conservation Officer Divers to the area. This interagency operability, functioning as a team, allowed for a quick recovery of the victim, bringing closure to family members. Conservation Officers have hosted four additional NASBLA classes on the Ohio River.


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