Utah Department of Public Safety

Dive Team - Videos of the DPS Dive Team

This photo represents a training exercise in which the DPS Dive Team responded to a simulated airplane crash in which both a victim and also classified documents were involved.  Three dives were conducted:  (1)Recon, (2)Document, and (3)Recovery.  Each of the six DPS Divers made three "working dives" this silty environment without stirring up the sediment ... a major achievement.  Watch a video segment of Dive 3 by clicking on this link Sand Hollow Airplane Crash Training.
This photo is a screen capture from the video in which the DPS Dive Team located, documented, and recovered a 55-gallon drum that contained the remains of a murdered Colorado woman - a full seven years after her disappearance! This is our first successful "Cold Case" homicide investigation. The target barrel is inside the HazMat barrel you see here. The victim was killed in Colorado, the body hidden in a lake in Arizona, and the Utah DPS Dive Team made the find and recovery. Seldom have multiple agencies from multiple States work so cohesively together. After the remains were positively identified via DNA analysis, the prosecution was successfully concluded. A video presentation of the Utah DPS Dive Team's involvement may be seen at Lyman Lake Cold Case.
This photo represents a simulated failed attempt of a terrorist diver to place a WMD on an underwater Utah infrastructure. The photo shows that the diver got himself entangled in the rope used to facilitate transport and ran out of air while struggling to get free. In an exercise of this type, the investigation of the incident takes on a special nature. Click on the following link to watch the DPS Diver gather the initial video intelligence on the device and the terrorist during the training exercise.  After gathering evidence, the DPS Divers would investigate further under the guidance of a specially trained Explosive Ordinance Technician.  Click here to watch a video on this WMD training exercise.
   

These photos represent a special type of water entry called "Helocasting" wherein the divers are flown to a body of water and then are inserted via disembarking from the airship. Helocasting was created by the military but has been adopted by law enforcement for special operations. In the case of a "Hasty Deployment" the divers could be flown to the site and immediately deployed. In Utah, Helocasting is employed for similar operations. Additionally, Utah has high-altitude inaccessible dams and lakes where there is little more than a hiking path to access the site. When these sites need to be searched or audited, the DPS Dive Team is similarly deployed via helicopter. Click here to see a video of pool and open water training for this unique function.
This photo represents another training aid used to simulate an underwater Improvised Explosive Device (IED) which might be directed against some form of underwater infrastructure in Utah. An ex-military Bomb Technician has been assigned to the DPS Dive Team to provide training and operational guidance in the event such an attempt is made. An underwater IED presents unique hazards.  Click here to watch a video as a DPS Diver gathers video intelligence for the surface personne. 
This is an actual photo of debris from an actual underwater Improvised Explosive Device which was detonated. These items did not vaporize in the blast and were able to be photographed and collected in the process of identifiying the device's characteristics. Extreme buoyancy and photography skills are necessary to acquire close-up photos of small pieces of evidence such as this. Click here to watch a video segment representing an underwater investigation of a simulated suicide bomber who used a bomb-loaded watercraft against an infrastructure (dam, etc.).
This 55-gallon drum was submerged deep on a dam face during a massive terrorism training event that involved over 100 law enforcment and military personnel. DPS Divers carefully approached the device and gathered intelligence that allowed Bomb Technicians on the surface to identify it and respond appropriately. This is a still-capture taken from the video. The following video segment represents a synopsis of the exercise. Flaming Gorge WMD.
This is a video of two DPS Divers being guided by sonar to a drowning victim in 85' deep black water. The divers carried with them a line with which to secure the victim so the surface support personnel could then pull him up to the boat. The altitude of 6500' plus the depth of 85' prompted the Dive Master to choose this option, rather than have the Divers risk on-gassing a large volume of nitrogen by bagging the body at the bottom in zero-visibility water. The Divers come into view at the bottom of the anchor line and are then guided to the body via voice comms. This video is a good example of the possibilities afforded by using a Sector-Scan Sonar unit to guide divers in black water.  Flaming Gorge Angler.
This photo is actually a screen capture of footage taken from a video camera on an ROV, but it shows the actual image of a target found initially by the DPS Side Scan Sonar unit. The true impact of this photo is only realized after watching the video segment which may be accessed from the following link.  Strawberry Drowning Victim.
This photo shows a submerged vehicle which was spotted on a sonar scan while the DPS Dive Team was on a different mission. The vehicle is in 120' of 43F Black Water. The inadvertent discovery of this vehicle prompted the Dive Team to investigate whether this was a discarded stolen vehicle or whether the truck contained occupants. The following video is quite interesting, as the multiple challenging conditions cause this to be a monster dive. The DPS Dive Team trains for conditions such as this, as many high-altitude Utah lakes have similar conditions. A special treat is the presence and attention given to the DPS Divers by the Team Hyperbaric Physician, Dr. Tommy Love.  East Canyon Truck.
This photo may not seem to have any connection with Police Diving. However, if you watch the video on the link at the end of this paragraph, you will see just how crucial this particular brick is to a homicide investigation. Police Diving during an underwater criminal investigation can be extraordinarily important. The aquatic environment can be very-very destructive to criminal evidence. Accordingly, finding-documenting-collecting underwater evidence skillfully is of extreme importance.  Willow Pond Simulated Homicide.
This photo was taken of the Backup Diver to the Primary Diver who was checking out a sonar target in the Colorado River.   A Grandmother, along with her two Grandkids, drove off the highway, went about 80' down a steep embankment, crashed into a tree, and then the car rolled over twice, ending up in the river. Grandma & the older child got out ... the 5-year-old did not. We Sector Scanned for 3 days and finally got an image on the steep slope of the bank, about 20' deep. A tremendous main flow current, a strong eddy currrent which went back up river, a huge boulder field that caused upwellings and downwellings, plus 38F water temp and zero visibility ... all these factors caused us to feel more like underwater Spiderman than divers. To watch a video of the actual deployment, click this link. Colorado River.
This photo was taken during a 2003 DPS Dive Team training scenario in which a diver simulated being trapped beneath an underwater log. The DPS Dive Team acted in unison to provide him additional air, disentangle him, and then safely bring him to the surface. One critical issue is to recognize that such a diver may end up with a considerable decompression obligation. For example, this scenario took place at Blue Lake, Utah at a simulated depth of 50'. The altitude at Blue Lake is 3,750' which interpolates a 50' actual dive to a theoretical depth of 58' (round up to 60'). If the rescue took 60 minutes, the victim would require a 19 minute decompression stop and 134cf of breathing gas. These are issues which must be taken into account.  The following video shows the actual training scenario, including the victim being carried to the surface.  Blue Lake Diver Rescue.
This photo was taken of a father-daughter team who participated in the 2010 Special Olympics Polar Plunge at Deer Creek Reservoir on 20 February. There were numerous participants who took the plunge, taking over an hour for everybody to get their turn. The DPS Divers were in the 36F water for well over an hour. The ice was over 12" thick and the wind was blowing, creating a frigid wind chill for the people as they exited the water. Although the Divers got fairly cold, it was well worth it, watching these athletes being so brave. Here's a neat video of the event taken by a local news journalist. Polar Plunge Video.
The DPS Dive Team provides surface support to Triathlon swimmers at numerous events in Utah. This is a very interesting experience, although there never has been an incident in which a Diver has had to splash for a victim. The Sector-Scan Sonar tripod can be quickly dropped and the victim located. Then, the Diver can make a hasty recovery and offer the victim the best chance for survival.  Here is a short video of  Triathlon Swimmers.

This photo was taken of a local TV journalist, Nicole Hunter, who attended one of the DPS Dive Team training sessions to "... see what it is you guys are about ...." We launched our DPS Allmar boat in Strawberry Reservoir and introduced her to the Side-Scan and Sector-Scan sonar units. After an hour or so, she donned our gear and submerged with one of our Divers. Once she got comfortable, the comms system was uplinked to the TV station. She conducted her newscast while hanging onto the downline and us videoing her. The video was uploaded on-site to the station and the entire thing was aired as if live. Nicole Hunter Underwater Brroadcast.

[Last Update - Monday, 03-Mar-2014 15:48:49 MST]