Burleigh County Sheriff's Department Dive Rescue and Recovery team in North Dakota recently completed training on their new VideoRay Pro 4 Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). The Dive Team's system came equipped with Teledyne BlueView multibeam imaging sonar for searches in near-zero visibility water.
The Dive Team tested their new equipment on the Missouri River and at the Bismarck Aquatic Center with the help of VideoRay consultant Tom Crossmon. As the longtime captain of the St. Louis County Sheriff's Rescue Squad, Tom has completed hundreds of VideoRay missions in conditions similar to what the Burleigh County team expects to face, such as search and recovery missions under thin ice.
VideoRay Pro 4 ROVs have proved especially useful for ice missions, which can pose serious challenges for human divers. "For us it's been a huge change for thin ice conditions where you're searching for a drowning victim through thin ice," said Crossmon. "We're no longer putting divers in. We're using this as our search tool." Using the real-time video footage from the Pro 4's camera, divers can figure out a recovery plan much more efficiently, drastically reducing dive time.
Dive Team Leader Troy Fleck also remarked that using the VideoRay Pro 4 ROV "will be a lot safer for our public safety divers...which is going to help everybody's morale, because it is a stressful thing, put a diver either under the ice or in the river being cold and dark and high current."
The sheriff's department funded their ROV through a grant from the Department of Emergency Services.
NEWS ARTICLE & VIDEO: "Dive and Rescue Team Gets Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle" (via KXNet.com)