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Sheriff’s marine unit ties up for the winter

The Marine Unit of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office has officially ended its 2015 season on the local waters and has pulled into its winter dock, sheriff’s spokesman Scott Zylka said Tuesday.

Zylka said the two vessels of the unit logged more than 3,400 hours patrolling Erie County waterways since last May 15 and conducted 25 search and rescue missions, made four boating while intoxicated arrests and issued 165 summonses for Navigation Law violations.

The unit investigated 14 vessel accidents and issued 76 warnings to boaters about questionable behavior on the waterways. The most common infractions found this season by the unit’s deputies were instances of unregistered vessels, reckless boating and insufficient or no visual distress equipment on board vessels.

The Marine Unit, with grants from the U.S. Homeland Security agency, conducted a number of border security patrols with other law enforcement marine units. Members of the Marine Unit are transferring back to patrol districts and the department’s Snowmobile Unit, Zylka said.