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 July 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Technology

AEG to Power Seabourn’s Cruise Vessel

AEG Power Solutions, a global provider of power electronic systems and solutions for industrial power supplies and renewable energy applications, informed that Fincantieri S.

LOC Opens Paris Office

LOC, a leading global marine and engineering consultancy for the shipping and offshore energy industry announces the expansion of its European operations with

Stoody Debuts Technical Services Hotline

Stoody, an ESAB brand, has recently launched the new Stoody Tech Services (STS) hotline to provide a valuable resource to distributors and applicators seeking

News

China: South China Sea Reclaimation Work Halted

China has halted reclamation work in the South China Sea, the country's foreign minister said on Wednesday, at a meeting of Southeast Asian foreign ministers where

Nigeria's Tanker Ban Underscores Local Industry Disarray

The Nigerian president's sudden, unexpected and seemingly unilateral decision to ban nearly 100 oil tankers from the country's waters has sown confusion in the

Adverse Weather Warning to Chilean Ports

Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) is advising that Chile’s Port Authority has issued a warning of adverse weather conditions and strong swells affecting the Chilean coast over the next two days,

Underwater Engineering

LOC Opens Paris Office

LOC, a leading global marine and engineering consultancy for the shipping and offshore energy industry announces the expansion of its European operations with

NOIA Applauds Senate Passage of OPENS Act

NOIA President Randall Luthi issued the following statement on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s passage of the OPENS Act, which will open new

Nautilus Awards Contract for Dewatering Plant Design

Nautilus Minerals Inc. has awarded a contract for the design of the Solwara 1 dewatering plant to be used on the company’s production support vessel to the Brisbane

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.2056 sec (5 req/sec)