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Marine Unit
 
The Marine Unit was established in response to the unusual challenges and demands of a large and diverse boating community. The Marine Patrol Unit’s resources and capabilities are committed to promoting boating safety, enforcing maritime laws, providing assistance in emergency and distress situations, ensuring security on the waterways, and maintaining a safe boating environment.
Prince William County, Virginia, is located 30 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., along the Interstate 95 corridor. The County has more than 22 miles of shoreline on the Occoquan and Potomac rivers, stretching from the Town of Occoquan to Stafford County. Thousands of boats visit Prince William County’s waterways, waterfront restaurants and parks on a regular basis.
 
 
There are eight officers, allocated part time to the Marine Patrol Unit, who work this assignment in addition to their dedicated ones. The unit maintains a 34-foot AMH Pilothouse vessel, which is docked at the Belmont Bay Harbor Marina on the Occoquan River. Its main patrol areas are the Occoquan and Potomac rivers, but the unit can routinely patrol other inland waterways and lakes.
 
Marine Patrol Officers respond to all "waterborne" emergencies within the County and, when called for, mutual aid outside the County. The following are a few examples of Marine Patrol services:
  • Law Enforcement on the Waterways in Prince William County
  • Protecting Critical Infrastructure from Terrorist Attack
  • Drug and Contraband Interdiction
  • Search and Rescue for Missing Boaters and Individuals
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Assist Stranded Boaters
  • Provide a Dive Platform for Fire and Police Incidents
  • Response to Environmental Hazards
  • Assist State Game Wardens
  • Assist United States Coast Guard
  • Boating While Intoxicated Checkpoints
  • Identify and/or Remove Navigational Hazards
Most people think of summer as being the boating season, but fishermen in Northern Virginia also frequent the waters of Prince William County from October through March during striped bass season. This contributes to an all-year boating season with a 24-hour-a-day response capability from the Marine Patrol Unit. Members of the Marine Patrol Unit serve and attend meetings of the Potomac River Rescue Association.
 
The Marine Patrol Unit should be notified of any water-related incidents. We also ask for any information involving unusual activities in waterfront areas, including suspicious persons or boats, and all violations on the waterways. You can reach the Prince William County Marine Patrol by the following methods:
  • Marine VHF Radios - The Marine Patrol monitors Marine VHF Channel 16. To reach the officers directly, hail the Prince William County Police
  • Call 703-792-6500 for non-emergency, and 911 in an emergency
  • Contact the Police Marine Unit Supervisor: Senior Lieutenant W.M. Cox at 703-792-4951.