Water Rescue

Jason Weber, Chief, Fire Department

The Marin County Water Rescue operates as a component of the US&R Team, is classified as a Type I Swiftwater/Flood Search and Rescue Team (SF S&R) and is designated as CA SF S&R Team 11.

The team first came together in 1997 after floods in the Sacramento Valley pointed out the need for highly trained water rescue groups.  We originally trained for work in swiftwater and flood situations.  However, it soon became apparent that there was a need for teams that could also perform rescues in ocean and lake environments.  Because of this, we expanded to include this type of rescue as well.

In February of 1998 we put our additional training to good use on our first flood-related deployment when the Novato PG&E station flooded (Power Incident).  We were further tested during the New Years Flood of 2005-2006 when we rescued 15 people and evacuated 30. 

We continued to expand our responsibilities and training and, after a period of time were approached by the State of California with a request that we become one of the State Funded Teams.  Since that time, we have received equipment and training support from Cal EMA.

The Water Rescue Team is available to respond to any type of surface water rescue incident in the County of Marin as well as the entire state. We are also on call to assist in water rescues in other parts of the country as we did in 2008.  During that storm season, we worked as part of a contingent of SF S&R Teams from California which responded to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in the Gulf Coast.