New Technology Helps Dive Team - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

New Technology Helps Dive Team

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Dive rescue and recovery teams need the latest technology to find objects and people underwater as fast as possible. A new grant is helping the Burleigh County Sheriff's Department do just that.

Small but mighty, a little remote-operated vehicle is going to make search missions a lot easier for the Burleigh County Sheriff's Dive Rescue and Recovery team.

"The robot can be used to go underwater. It uses a sonar camera and has its own built in lighting so you can search for cell phones, safes, people underwater," says Burleigh County Sheriff Deputy Tom Schroeder. 

The sheriff's department received the robot through a grant from the Department of Emergency Services.

It can go up to 1,000 feet underwater and be used in all conditions.

"It'll help us on ice missions. If we have somebody who goes through the ice, we can use the robot to go through the hole and check the area down below the ice," says Schroeder.

Plus, the robot's camera can capture picture and video. That helps divers figure out a rescue or recovery plan before jumping in.

"The pickup that we had to pull out of the river just a couple weeks ago, we really didn't know if it was upside down or on its side or how it was oriented, so one of the things we'd be able to do with this is go down and take a look at it first. We could see what our divers have to deal with," says Dive Team Leader Troy Fleck.

And it helps the divers keep their head above water.

"It will be a lot safer for our public safety divers also 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," says Fleck.

Every second counts when you're on a recovery mission, and this vehicle will cut those seconds down.

Operators will continue learning how to use the new robot over the next few days, testing it out on the Missouri River and other outdoor spots.

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