The Underwater Search and Recovery Team
The Underwater Search and Recovery Team is an auxiliary unit to Savannah Police Department and often assists local and federal law enforcement agencies. The mission of the Underwater Search and Recovery Team is to respond to water-related incidents, such as drowning, underwater search and recovery of stolen property or other criminal evidence, conduct underwater Sweeps for VIP protection and/or high risk targets. The Team also performs ship hull searches for contraband/parasitic devices when requested. All missions are documented for the purpose of court testimony.
SPD’s Underwater Search and Recovery Team (Dive Team) consists of 14 Police Divers and one Paramedic. The team holds yearly tryouts for qualified officers. To be considered for the team, an officer must have at least two years on the department, be in good standings with his current assignment and hold an open water diver certification. The team trains at least once a month. Members of the USRT have advanced dive certifications, such as:
- Advanced Open Water
- Rescue Diver
- Public Safety Diver
- Search and Recovery
- Waterborne IED Search Diver
- Underwater Post Blast Diver
- Master Diver
The unit is well equipped for various types of underwater searches to include cold water, low or no visibility, and polluted or contaminated water. The team is equipped for standalone operations, such as with remote incident sites. The USR Team is equipped with a 30-foot Freightliner cab over truck. The truck is equipped with SAR dry suits, hardwired and wireless underwater communications with MK II mask and infrared underwater cameras. The USRT also operates an Underwater Robot.