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The Durham Regional Police Marine Unit has the most difficult challenge of any police marine unit in the Greater Toronto Area. Durham Region is bordered by three large bodies of water: Lake Ontario to the south, Lake Simcoe on the northwest and Lake Scugog on the northeast. As well, there are dozens of rivers that traverse Durham Region, several kettle lakes on the Oak Ridges Moraine and numerous private ponds, storm water management ponds and water reservoirs.

The shorelines of these lakes are popular spots for cottagers and recreational visitors. Patrolling such extensive waterways to investigate accidents, perform rescue operations and to enforce safe boating practices requires officers who are skilled in watercraft operations and marine rescue.

The Marine Unit is specially trained to perform search and recovery operations on these bodies of water.