Marine Link
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Commercial Divers and Police Assisted by Metal Detectors

September 2, 2011

Randive diver with Pulse 8X metal detector, Inset photo: Recovered propeller

Randive diver with Pulse 8X metal detector, Inset photo: Recovered propeller

Randive, a commercial diving company based in New Jersey, is employing underwater metal detectors in their search and salvage operations.


The company was founded in 1959 by Randor Erlandson, and in the early days focused primarily on the needs of the maritime industry around the ports of New York and New Jersey.  In the decades since, the company has greatly expanded its operations increasing its staff to 16, and adding as its clients some of the largest shipping companies in the world.  They offer a wide range of services including ship maintenance and repair, inspection and repair of dry docks and piers, sonar surveys, salvage work, and industrial diving. The company is affiliated with a number of professional organizations including the Association of Diving Contractors International and the Society of Maritime Port Engineers.

Randive uses their metal detector to assist in locating pipelines, anchors, chains, propellers, and other lost or missing metal objects.  Recently the company was hired to find an 8 foot wide stainless steel propeller lost from a towboat. Apparently the prop shaft broke when the propeller struck a submerged object. Although the prop was deeply buried in the mud, Randive’s experienced divers were able to find it using their JW Fishers Pulse 8X detector. Another project where the company was helped by use of the detector was in the location and tracking of a pipeline running under the Hudson River near Manhattan. For this job, divers attached the 16 inch search coil to the detector’s electronics unit to provide greater penetration into the soft muddy bottom.  After successful completion of the project Randive’s VP of Operations Keith Michalski reported, “The 8X is excellent. It’s very sensitive, easy to use, and it takes a beating!”

Commercial divers are not the only ones using underwater detectors, a number of law enforcement and public safety dive teams are putting these devices to work in their search operations. State Police dive teams in New York, New Jersey, and throughout New England are using the Pulse 8X to locate weapons used in the commission of crimes and disposed of in a waterway.  Criminals mistakenly believe that by throwing a gun or knife into a river or lake, it will be lost forever. In reality, law enforcement divers equipped with an underwater metal detector easily find these weapons.  Detectors can also assist in the recovery of evidence as witnessed by Lt. Joshua Gibbs of Daphne County Search and Rescue in Alabama.  Daphne S&R is an all volunteer first responder team providing water search and rescue missions on Mobile Bay and the Five Rivers Delta, an area encompassing more than 300 square miles.  The group works and trains with the US Coast Guard, Baldwin County Sheriff Flotilla, Alabama Marine Police, and local fire departments.

According to Lt. Gibbs, the team used a metal detector to locate industrial tools that were taken in a burglary at a commercial construction business, and then dumped in a pond.  “The robbers assumed the tools would never be found due to the remote location of the site, and the fact they would be covered by water and sediment.  With the help of our Pulse 8X we were able to locate and recover more than two dozen pieces of stolen property, which became the evidence used in the prosecution of several robbery suspects.”

For more information on Randive commercial diving services go to  For more information on Daphne Search and Rescue go to  For more information on JW Fishers underwater search equipment go to

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Oct 2016 - Marine Design Annual

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the subsea industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email three times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News