Rescue Diver | Canadian Volunteer Search and Rescue
Sam Macdonald | June 23, 2017
A look how Remotely Operated Vehicles, ROV, or underwater drones, are used by Search and Rescue teams as added rescue diver - for rapid and safe missions.
Today in Canada, Search and Rescue (SAR) is a shared responsibility among federal, provincial/territorial and municipal organizations, as well as air, ground and maritime volunteer organizations. The vast size and diversity of Canadian geography require the SAR industry to partner on multiple levels; government, military, academic and volunteer organizations in order to provide services to the public.
If current trending continues, over the next few years the Canadian Federal government will continue to move SAR missions out from under the military umbrella and under that of municipalities and the volunteer organizations that support them. In Canada alone, there are already 300 SAR teams, with 9,000 volunteers, who conduct more than 300,000 hours of service on searches annually. With safety being the operative word, along with additional pressure to remain cost effective, it has never been more imperative for SAR teams to find the most efficient ways to conduct searches.
SAR volunteer teams conduct surface and subsurface search and rescue operations in environments including swift water and flooding conditions. Their response needs to be as immediate as possible and even more importantly safe to the citizens involved; particularly the rescue diver in the water as they undertake time sensitive and dangerous circumstances.
Submersible Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) as a Rescue DiverDeep Trekker’s DTG2 and DTX2 products are portable, simply deployed ROVs, or underwater drones, that can assist in eliminating the dangers which can hamper a search and rescue dive team's ability to search. With strict safety regulations in place to protect the rescue divers, ROVs are being adopted for initial contact in search areas. As teams assemble and prepare, the underwater drone is deployed to scout for safe places to enter the water, to check visibility and maneuver to areas that would be impossible or too dangerous for divers.
A rescue diver has a limited amount of time that they can be in the water, usually an hour down, depending on depth and other various factors. The Deep Trekker ROV, with its onboard battery back, can dive for an extended period of time, and to greater depths than a diver can; all while reporting video back to the surface on areas of interest. A patented pitch system makes the DTG2 and DTX2 systems incredibly easy to maneuver, eliminating concerns around spatial issues for SAR divers which can occur when there is limited visibility or restrictions caused by divers being connected to fixed air on the surface or gas tanks.
Volunteer Rescue DiverFederal regulations guide volunteer SAR teams in their performance during searches. Unable to actually remove evidence or lost persons from the water, it is imperative that they are confident when they place a call to the RCMP for removal, that they have visual confirmation of target identification.
We cannot send divers down unless we are very sure the target will provide information because of the risk involved for the divers and boat operators. With these camera's we would be able to be 100% sure that the subject is there or not and know we have covered 100% of the bottom. The ability to record this info is huge for searchers for situational awareness and historical data for reviewing and training purposes ~ William Imus, Manager - Burns Lake Search and RescueEasily deployed from shore or boat, solo manned by a handheld controller with HD screen, and a patented pitching system means that Deep Trekker ROVs are a cost-effective and highly efficient way to conduct preliminary searches and to verify evidence before bringing the RCMP dive team for extraction. The enormous cost to municipalities of RCMP divers being in the water can be minimized by having the DTG2 or DTX2 searching at various depths and able to send visuals to the surface.
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits is the ability to continue to search. Long after a rescue diver has been pulled from the water, for the need of rest, safety concerns or lack of resources, the DTG2 and DTX2 ROVs can continue to be deployed again and again, ultimately bringing closure to families who might otherwise continue to go without.
As the responsibility of volunteer SAR teams continues to grow, the DTG2 and DTX2 ROVs will become a necessary tool in both first response and long terms searches.
Equip your next Search and Rescue mission with the ideal recovery tool, contact Deep Trekker today >
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