Police and Dive Teams Rely on Underwater Search Equipment

MarineLink.com
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Fairhaven's harbormaster and shellfish warden with ROV, Inset - Downe Twp with side scan sonar

Many government agencies and public safety dive teams are adding underwater search equipment to help make their operations easier, safer, and faster. Maricopa Sheriffs Department in Arizona, Downe Township Fire Rescue in New Jersey, the Fairhaven Massachusetts Harbor Master and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division are a few of the diverse group of agencies using metal detectors, video cameras and sonars in their underwater search operations.

Deputy Jeff Hanson, leader of the Maricopa County Sheriffs Department dive team, reported his group had been searching for almost a month, without success, for a small plane that went down in a local lake. The team then borrowed a JW Fishers TOV-1 towed video system from a neighboring department. The TOV-1 has a torpedo shaped housing with a camera mounted behind a dome port. Towing the system is similar to towing a diver, except the TOV-1 can be towed up to 500 feet deep and stay submerged indefinitely. It eliminates the normal concerns of diving such as running out air, decompression sickness, fatigue and cold. Using the TOV-1 Hanson’s team located the lost plane in less than two days. The team has since acquired their own Fisher underwater video system.

Downe Township is located in Cumberland County New Jersey which borders Delaware Bay. Although the town has less than 2,000 residents, Downe Township Fire / Rescue has a dozen highly trained divers and the team is well equipped. All have knowledge in swift water and cold water rescue. To assist in locating drowning victims, sunken vessels, and submerged vehicles the team bought a JW Fishers SSS-600K side scan sonar. This high frequency sonar is capable of scanning 200 feet of bottom on each side of the towfish and produces detailed images of any object lying on the lake, river, or ocean floor. Scanning 400 feet of bottom with each pass of the vessel allows large areas to be searched quickly, saving days of dive time and increasing safety for team members.

The New England towns of Fairhaven and New Bedford share a common harbor. New Bedford is a fishing port that also has a vibrant shipping industry. Fairhaven is smaller, but its waterfront is a safe haven for many recreational boaters. Located on Buzzards Bay, Fairhaven’s land juts into the bay forming Sconticut Neck and West Island, along with several smaller islands which are good breeding areas for quahogs and soft shelled clams. The two towns share responsibility for the harbor’s safety and security. When New Bedford received a grant from the federal government for port security, it used the funds to acquire JW Fishers SeaLion-2 ROV. This highly maneuverable remote controlled underwater vehicle is equipped with cameras front and rear and can serve a number of functions around the port including checking the hulls of vessels for smuggled contraband, inspecting structures for potential terrorist threats like explosive devices, locating pollutants dumped in the harbor, and finding sunken vessels. Easily deployed by one person, the light weight vehicle is equipped with scanning sonar which allows the operator to view a 200 foot area around the ROV even in zero visibility conditions. The Fairhaven Harbormaster has been charged with the responsibly of operating the ROV and assists the town’s law enforcement agencies as needed. As a secondary use, the ROV helps monitor the area’s shellfish populations.

South Carolina’s State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) provides manpower and technical assistance to law enforcement agencies across the state, as well as conducts investigations when directed to do so by the governor or attorney general. To assist in their operations SLED has acquired several of JW Fishers hand-held underwater metal detectors. An essential tool for locating evidence disposed of in a waterway, these metal detectors routinely assist police divers in finding weapons, shell casings, stolen objects, and explosive devices.

A few of the many other agencies using JW Fishers search equipment are Suffolk County Sheriffs Marine Unit in N.Y., Royal Canadian Mounted Police Underwater Recovery Team, Sturgeon Bay Police in Wis., Policia de Puerto Rico, the U.S. Navy’s Explosive Ordinance Division, Sanilac County Sheriffs Office in Mich., Dekalb County Police in Ga., Henderson County Emergency Management Agency in Tenn., and Boston Police Special Operations Unit.

jwfishers.com
 

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Technology

Maritime Broadband Opens Office in Greece

Maritime Broadband has expanded its worldwide footprint by opening an office, Maritime Broadband Hellas, in Athens, Greece. The new office addresses the growing

Statoil: New Oil in the Grane Area

Statoil has together with PL169 partners proved new oil resources in the D-structure in the vicinity of the Grane field in the North Sea.   Well 25/8-18 S, drilled by the rig Transocean Leader,

New Standard for LNG Cargo Containment Systems

Wilhelmsen Technical Solutions (WTS) said it has successfully completing the gas trial for the first LNG carrier built to a Boil Off Rate (BOR) of 0.08% per day.

News

PES to Begin Operating Benzene Terminal in November

Philadelphia Energy Solutions plans to start operating a new benzene offtake terminal next month at its 335,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Philadelphia, two people familiar with the plans said.

Coast Guard Foundation to Honor USCG in Miami

The Coast Guard Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to the education and welfare of all Coast Guard members and their families, announced today that

Sunken Barge Salvage Stops Traffic on Chicago River

The U.S. Coast Guard said it is restricting vessel traffic on the Chicago River to allow for salvage of a sunken barge. All cargo has been removed from the sunken

Underwater Engineering

Boskalis Consortium Wins Suez Canal Expansion Contract

A consortium consisting of Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis), Van Oord, NMDC (Abu Dhabi) and Jan de Nul (Belgium) has acquired a contract from the Suez

Hydroid Wins Gold at MassEcon Impact Awards

Hydroid, Inc., a subsidiary of Kongsberg Maritime and a leading manufacturer of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), today announced that it has been named

Mærsk Deliverer's Contract extended

Cabinda Gulf Oil Company Limited, a Chevron subsidiary in Angola, has extended the current contract for the ultra deepwater semi-submersible Mærsk Deliverer expiring in June 2015 by two years.

Subsea Salvage

Sunken Barge Salvage Stops Traffic on Chicago River

The U.S. Coast Guard said it is restricting vessel traffic on the Chicago River to allow for salvage of a sunken barge. All cargo has been removed from the sunken

WWII Wrecks Found off North Carolina

German U-boat 576 and freighter Bluefields found within 240 yards A team of researchers led by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries have discovered two

Hydroid Wins Gold at MassEcon Impact Awards

Hydroid, Inc., a subsidiary of Kongsberg Maritime and a leading manufacturer of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), today announced that it has been named

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.3041 sec (3 req/sec)