Recreational Boating Information for the Northwest

Emergency Information
View Police & Fire Responders

Vessel Towing, Ungroundings, Salvage and more:
9 Emergency Signals & Devices
USCG Sector Puget Sound
24 Hour Emergency Response.

*Only call when a vessel is missing or in danger.
 *(206) 217-6001
911 is always the fastest way to get assistance but only in a life threatening or imminent danger situation. 
Ballard Marine Construction
  • Seattle | 206.782.6750
  • Marine salvage services

Dunato’s Towing & Salvage
  • Seattle area | 206.730.7227
  • Towing, Ungroundings

Eagle Eye Marine Services
  •  Gulf Islands | 250.883.7865
  • Towing & Salvage

Marine Services & Assist
  • Cornet Bay | 360.675.7900
  • Towing & Ungroundings

TowBoatUS - Everett Area
  • updating
  • Towing, Salvage & more

TowBoatUS - Port Hadlock
  • updating
  • Towing, Fuel Delivery

TowBoatUS - Seattle Area
  • updating
  • Towing, Salvage & more

TowBoatUS - Tacoma Area
  • S. Sound | 253.312.2927
  • Towing, Salvage & more

Towline Marine Assist
  • Friday Harbor | 800.391.4869
  • Towing, Ungroundings

Western Work Boats 
  • Pt Townsend | 360.774.6825
  • Towing, Salvage & more
VHF Distress Calls - CH16

Transmit a May-Day distress call only when imminent danger threatens life or property and immediate assistance is required. 

Transmit a Pan-Pan ("Pahn Pahn") urgency call when the safety of a person or vessel is in jeopardy, but the danger is not life threatening. Transmission of a Pan Pan follows the same format as given for a May Day below. Transmit DSC Alert if available then May-Day on VHF CH. 16 while you still have power. 

  • Activate DSC Alert if available
  • May-Day, May-Day, May-Day, this is 'Vessel Name", "Vessel Name", Vessel Name"  -  M.M.S.I. (number) & call sign when option is available 
  • May Day, 'Vessel Name' is at Position (Lat and Long), or distance / bearing from landmark
  • We are (describe nature of emergency)
  • We require (describe nature of assistance needed)
  • Aboard are (describe number of people, age and condition if relevant) 
  • We have (describe safety equipment)
  • 'Vessel Name' is (description: length, sail/power, design type, hull color, trim color)
  • Over

If there is no response after a few moments, repeat the above message.
City / County Harbor Patrol, fire & rescue units:
Everett Police Marine Unit
  • law enforcement for aquatic & marine activities

Gig Harbor Marine Unit
  • Summer boat patrols & year round emergency response 

​Jefferson County Marine Patrol
  • Sheriff's Office  Marine Unit responds to  incidents 24 / 7

King County Marine Rescue
  • Sheriff’s (MRDU) operates in Puget Sound, lakes & rivers

Kitsap County Marine Unit
  • Providing regional law enforcement & rescue 

Mason County Marine Services
  • Sheriff's Marine Unit covers the sound, canal & lakes

Mercer Island Marine Patrol
  • Marine enforcement, rescue & public assistance, S. Lk Wash.

Oylmpia Police Harbor Patrol
  • Water safety education and enforcement

Pierce County Operations Div.
  • ​Sheriff's Office Marine Services & Dive Team
Port Orchard Marine Patrol
  • Enforcement, education and public assistance

San Juan County Marine Patrol
  • Sheriff's Office marine enforcement including SAR

Seattle Fire Marine Program
  • Fire Dept operates 4 vessels in Elliott Bay & Lk Union/Wash

Seattle Harbor Patrol
  • 24 hour operations, based in Elliott bay & Lake Union

Skagit County Sheriff
  • Boat / Marine patrol, search and rescue unit

Snohomish County Sheriff
  • Marine enforcement unit including SAR

Tacoma Fire Marine Division
  • Operates 3 vessels, Tacoma waterfront to the Narrows.

Tacoma Police Marine Services
  • Unit provides patrol, security, and rescue/recovery services

Thurston County Sheriff
  • Marine enforcement, rescue along with dive rescue unit

Washington State Boat Accident Report Infomation

Washington State law requires the operator of  a 
recreational vessel involved in an accident to file a
 Washington Boat Accident Report. 
(PDF download)

An accident report must be filed when:
  • Loss of life occurs
  • Injury occurs which requires medical treatment beyond first aid
  • A person disappears from a vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury
  • Property damage is in excess of $2,000, or there is complete loss of a vessel

If there is an injury, disappearance or death, a report must be submitted within 48 hours. Reports in other accidents must be submitted within 10 days. If the operator cannot submit the report, the owner of the vessel is responsible.

Reports must be submitted to the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction where the accident occurred. Call (360) 902-8555 for more information regarding jurisdiction.