BSO's Dive Rescue Team responds to emergency situations where life or property is threatened in an underwater environment. This includes the ocean, inland waterways, canals, lakes and the Florida Everglades. In addition, they provide underwater search and recovery missions involving sea wall and ship hull searches, locating drowning victims, diving accidents, submerged vehicles, evidence and other property. The Dive Team is responsible for investigating underwater crime scenes to include scene evaluation, search, recovery of evidence, and for proper documentation for court presentation. Forty deputies staff the Dive Team as part-time members who have full time responsibilities with either the Marine Patrol Unit, the Bomb Unit, or from various Patrol Districts throughout the Agency. All members are placed on a 24/7 call out basis. The Dive Team responds to an average of 120 to 140 missions per year and provides mutual aid to other local, county and state agencies when requested.
All Dive Team members are equipped with standardized equipment that includes dry suits, Interspiro full-face masks and wireless communications. Each Dive Team member has been trained as a Dive Rescue International Public Safety Diver, and must have Dry Suit Diver, Dive Rescue I Specialist and Full-face Mask certifications before they participate in any Dive Team group training. Every member of the Dive Team is required to attend monthly training, taught by BSO Dive Team Public Safety Scuba Instructors. This training helps divers maintain a standard of proficiency to enhance their safety and to successfully complete missions.
BSO's Dive Team training and capabilities include:
- Annual Dive Rescue Team recertification
- Dive scene search & recovery
- Underwater death investigations recovery techniques
- Conveyance accident search and rescue technology
- Swift water search & rescue
- Deep water & wreck penetration diving
- Waterborne boat operations
- Emergency paramedical management operations
- Underwater video and photography
- ROV/Video Ray operation
- Kirby Morgan Diving Helmet operations
- Water survival
- Seaport & shipping search & recovery
- EOD - render safe procedures by Bomb Unit divers
- Hazardous materials exposure
- Members also attend various Dive Rescue II classes, and training offered by Military and Specialized Agencies.
The Dive Team utilizes Marine Patrol Unit vessels, inflatable vessels and Rescue One Connector Dive vessels. The Dive Team equipment trailers are equipped with wired video cameras, underwater digital video and still cameras, side scan sonar units, side imaging systems, a Video Ray Pro 4 ROV, underwater metal detectors, lift bags, surface supplied breathing air system, and a diver dressing station and office utilized on dive scenes. A Bauer Air Compressor trailer is utilized for surface supplied air operations, tank refills, and to assist other agencies working large scenes. Specialized dive equipment is available in the event we are called upon to enter water where a diver may be exposed to hazardous materials or extremely polluted conditions.
For more information, contact BSO's Dive Team at 954.938.0650.