Harbor Patrol

Ventura Harbor Patrol BoatUPDATE: All vessels are asked to contact Harbor Patrol before passage.  

Emergency Contact: Dial 911 or hail on VHF 16.

Non-Emergency contact: (805) 642-8618 or VHF 12

Mission: Provides a safe boating environment through education, enforcement and service.

To fulfill its rescue mission, the Ventura Harbor Patrol is equipped with two rescue boats, one rescue/fire boat, and a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Its full-time officers are well trained in boating safety and enforcement. The Ventura Harbor Patrol is exclusively funded by the Harbor enterprise fund and as such their primary responsibility is to the Harbor. However as the only agency within the City of Ventura, the Harbor Patrol occupies a special niche in the public safety community. Its vessels are well-equipped to operate inside and outside of the Harbor. We have the long-standing practice of responding to all calls within a one-mile radius of the Harbor entrance and up to a three-mile radius for imminent situations. The Harbor Patrol will respond farther at the request of another agency provided the call does not leave Ventura Harbor uncovered.

All Full-time Harbor Patrol Officers are certified EMTs and are dispatched through the “911” dispatch system. The medical skills are useful on both the water and land, where they routinely arrive the scene of medical calls three to five minutes before paramedic services. This provides a key service to both the residents and visitors.

Ventura Harbor Patrol Services:

  • Respond to medical, boating, water-related and other emergencies
  • Enforces boating laws and local ordinances at a level sufficient to ensure future compliance
  • Respond to vessel, pier or structure fires in conjunction with the Ventura Fire Department
  • Vessel towing, pump-out and ocean rescue ∙ General public assistance and routine water and landside patrol
  • NOAA weather reporting station
  • Harbor Patrol is integrated into the 9-1-1 Emergency response system and coordinates with a variety of Federal, State and local rescue and law enforcement agencies

timmyService Area:

The Harbor Patrol provides both land and waterside services within the boundaries of Ventura Harbor. As the only agency with rescue vessels within the City of Ventura, the Harbor Patrol will respond to all calls within a one mile radius of the Harbor and to potential or actual emergency situations up to three miles from the Harbor.

Patrol/Rescue Equipment:

  • Two 28-foot Seaway twin inboard rescue boats
  • One 31-foot Anderson Fireboat
  • Two Honda PWC style rescue water craft
  • One Ford 4×4 Truck

Ventura Harbor PatrolEnforcement Profile
The primary purpose of the Harbor Patrol is to enforce the Ventura Harbor Ordinance, boating law, and specific sections of other codes that relate to their primary duties. The Harbor Patrol is not trained, equipped or sufficiently staffed to other criminal acts that occur within the District. The Ventura Police Department is responsible for handling those call.

The Harbor Patrol Officers are granted Peace Officer status by section 830.33(b) of the Penal Code. Our enforcement profile is geared more toward education than punishment. We attempt to utilize the level of enforcement necessary to gain future compliance, although our stance on pollution calls is much stricter.

Hours of Operation
The Harbor Patrol has a minimum of two officers on duty from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. seven days a week. The Port District utilizes an “On Call” system for the remaining four hours. Callers are advised to call 911 in case of emergencies. 911 will contact the primary on call officer when a Harbor Patrol response is required.

As a result of this schedule, the Port District is able to commit to having at least two people on duty all of the hours that the Ventura Harbor Patrol Office is staffed, which allows Patrol to respond in a consistent manner to calls for service both inside and outside of the Harbor. It also allows the Officers to work a 4-ten schedule, which contributes toward the Harbor Patrol’s low turnover rate.

The downside of the 20-hour schedule is that there is no officer on site 24/7 to respond to routine or emergency calls. However, statistical analysis indicates that less that 1/2 of one percent of the Harbor Patrol’s calls for service occurred from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. It is felt that the upside outweighs the downside.

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