Thousands of people venture out on our waters each year in large yachts and small boats. Boaters, fishermen, hunters and kayakers often underestimate the power and speed of the tidal currents, sudden winds, and waves in Deception Pass and Skagit Bay, river currents in the Skagit River and the numbing and deadly effects of cold water.
Skagit Bay Search and Rescue (SBSAR), established in 2002, is a non-profit organization composed of unpaid volunteers who provide marine-related support to the Skagit County Sheriff’s Department. SBSAR team members are trained in boat operations, navigation, search and rescue procedures and medical support and transportation. We operate under the authority of the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office of Search and Rescue Operations and work closely with the Sheriff's Marine Patrol Unit, US Coast Guard, and other SAR authorities. Missions typically cover waters from Skagit Bay through Deception Pass, up the Skagit River to the North Fork Bridge, and in the Swinomish Channel through Fidalgo and Padilla Bays.
Callouts may occur at any time day or night and members must be prepared for all weather conditions and any length of mission with adequate clothing and gear. SBSAR members are required to pass Skagit County Sheriff's Office background checks, receive Skagit County emergency worker cards, have passed two basic National Incident Management System (NIMS) exams and maintain certification in CPR and Basic First Aid. Additional core competency trainings are provided by the SBSAR Training Officer. Members are expected to attend monthly organization & training meetings, participate in training exercises and help with the general needs of the organization.