2021 UPDATE: This year, the State of Michigan and Department of Natural Resources has allowed Recreation Safety Instructors to resume in-person safety classes. The Allegan County Sheriff’s Office will once again be hosting classes throughout this spring and summer boating season at various locations throughout Allegan County.
Although in-person classes will resume, there will be some additional requirements for ALL students who wish to attend:
In addition, the Resources list on this page contains helpful material such as updated Safety Facts and the latest Michigan Boating Laws Handbook.
The Marine Division is supported by local county funding and through grants obtained from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Marine Deputies patrol all the navigable lakes in Allegan County along with the Kalamazoo River and Lake Michigan. Deputies are responsible for responding to boating and water related emergencies, enforcing marine laws, local watercraft controls and the investigation of boating accidents. Deputies work hand in hand with the United States Coast Guard. They are dedicated to boater safety education and ensuring citizens have a safe boating experience in Allegan County. Although the Marine Division responds to boating incidents throughout the entire year, patrols are mostly visible during the summer boating seasons.
Local Watercraft Controls
Special watercraft controls are in effect on various lakes and rivers within Allegan County. These bodies of water include Big Lake, Dumont Lake, East Lake, Ely Lake, Goshorn Lake, Hutchin’s Lake, Kalamazoo Lake, Lake 16, Round Lake, Selkirk Lake, Wetmore Lake, Saugatuck Harbor and various parts of the Kalamazoo River.
Slow No Wake Zones
Various areas of the Kalamazoo River located within the Cities of Saugatuck and Douglas as well as Saugatuck Township has special watercraft controls consisting of “No-Wake” zones. Operators of watercraft are required to travel at the slowest possible speed a boat can operate at safely, while maintaining control of steering.
Boating Safety Classes
Boater safety classes are taught annually by marine deputies allowing students to earn their Boating Safety Certificate.
Upon the successful completion of this class, attendees will receive their Boater's Safety Certificate. Classes are open to anyone 12 years of age or older and are provided in 1 or 2 day sessions.
We ask that participants bring a pencil and a sack lunch. All course materials are provided and there is no charge to attend any of these courses. Attendees need only to attend and complete one of these classes to receive their certificate.