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Sub-Ice Search and Rescue with Mini-ROVs

Kiara Vallier   |   April 15, 2016

Police and Search and Rescue dive teams face substantial risks every day to provide families and the public with security and comfort during difficult and stressful situations. Unfortunately, whether it is summer or winter, situations where people and vessels go missing below the water are all too common. The dedication and professionalism of police officers and search and rescue personnel allow them to bring relief or closure at such times.

Companies that provide equipment and tools for these rescue and recovery teams attempt to ensure that on duty police teams encounter as little risk as possible. Deep Trekker designs and builds robust, reliable underwater tools to assist divers and surface personnel searching for missing people or vessels.

Up here in Canada and the Northern United States, there are a number of accidents that take place during the winter seasons. Early this year Cold Water Divers equipped their team with a Deep Trekker DTG3 ROV to help in the location of a missing son. You can read about it here.

With winter accidents come more associated risks with performing underwater rescue operations. Every time a diver gets into the water they face the risks of being surrounded by water, on a limited supply of oxygen, while dealing with pressure levels and direction. In the wintertime, there are the added risks of getting stuck below the ice and dealing with the frigid cold water.

That is why we feel that the products that we offer to police and search and rescue teams are important. With a mini-ROV like our DTG3 system, search and rescue officers have the ability to deploy the ROV in the water as an extra set of eyes at any time.

The benefits of dive supervisors using a mini-ROV as their eyes is laid out in our previous blog post here.

Not only does the ROV system act as a second pair of eyes, which is integral in the search portion of the operation, but it can also be used to explore any areas that may be too dangerous or unknown for divers to venture into.

Lastly, using a mini-ROV like our DTG3 and DTX2 systems can provide teams with more time to search a larger surface area. Search and Rescue divers can typically stay below the ice for 30 minute periods before needing to come to the surface and break. While completely understandable and important to ensure the safety of our officers, with a mini-ROV, teams can continue to search patterns for 4-8 hours at a time.

Last month Deep Trekker was invited to join the sub-ice dive training hosted by the Ottawa Police to show off the Deep Trekker and let police and search and rescue divers give it a try. To see how the ROV held up in the conditions and some of the footage from the dive check it out here.

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