News Releases

Posted on: March 2, 2015

15-007 State Boating program acquires boat for public education, law enforcement training

Funding to purchase vessel comes from a USCG grant

OLYMPIA – March 2, 2015 – The state’s boating program announces the launching today of its newly acquired 23-foot boat. The vessel will be used to teach boating and water safety to youth and adults, to promote Washington State Marine Parks and to train marine law enforcement officers.

The aluminum boat has been named WALTER, which stands for Washington’s All-equipped Law Enforcement Training & Education Resource boat.

“WALTER will play a key role in the state’s new public education and outreach strategy to increase boating safety and awareness,” said Wade Alonzo, Boating Program manager.

The boat’s bright yellow color will make it highly visible on the state’s lakes, rivers and marine waters. During boating-related events, the Boating Program’s staff will use a light, friendly approach to promote safe boating practices, such as the importance of using lifejackets.

“Our goal is to be a friendly face to boaters,” Alonzo added. “We are working with partners from recreational boating businesses to reward safe boating behavior. For example, if we’re out on the water and we see boaters wearing their lifejackets, we might just have a nice prize for them.”

The bright yellow motor vessel was launched at Swantown Marina in Olympia, where it will be stationed when it’s not in use. WALTER’s first public appearance will be at the Puget Sound Boat Show March 12-15 at the Tacoma Dome. Later this month, the boat will be in the Tri-Cities area during marine law enforcement training.

Look for WALTER at other major boating events all over the state, such as opening-day-of-boating celebrations, boat shows, fishing derbies, SeaFair and sportsmen’s shows.
About WALTER:

  • Length: 23 feet at waterline
  • Displacement: 6,000 pounds
  • Built in 2005 by Aluminum Chambered Boats (ACB) in Bellingham.
  • Vessel cost: $80,000. Paid for by a grant from the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Maximum speed: 32 knots
  • Construction: Airtight aluminum chambers, arranged like a ‘honeycomb,’ make it virtually unsinkable.

For information about WALTER, contact Derek Van Dyke Boating Education Coordinator, 360-902-8842 or derek.vandyke@parks.wa.gov

Washington State Parks Boating Program
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission administers the state’s Recreational Boating Safety and Clean Vessel Act programs. Both programs are funded by the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund. The goal of these programs is to reduce accidents and fatalities, increase stewardship of Washington waterways, and keep recreational boating a safe, accessible and enjoyable pastime. Partners include law enforcement agencies, state agencies, marinas and boating organizations across Washington.

For more information on the Boating Program and boating regulations, visit www.parks.wa.gov/boating or call 360-902-8555.

About Washington State Parks
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.

Follow Washington State Parks:

Share your favorite state park adventure on the State Parks’ blog site at www.AdventureAwaits.com.

Support state parks by purchasing your annual Discover Pass today, and enjoy a whole year of outdoor fun on Washington’s beautiful state-managed recreation lands. For more information, visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov.

Media contacts:
Toni Droscher, (360) 902-8604
Lynn Satre, (360) 902-8837
Wash. Telecommunications Relay Service: (800) 833-6388

Members of the media may request a photo of the vessel from Toni Droscher.

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