The New Hanover County
Sheriff’s Office Dive Team is part of the Underwater Investigations
Unit. The Unit consists of fifteen members all ranging in rank and
normal duty assignments. The Dive Unit members have a variety of
certifications including Rescue Diver, Search and Recovery, Dry Suit,
Equipment Specialist, Underwater Photography and others. The
duties of the Dive Unit range from but are not limited to: the
rescue of person or persons from water situations; the recovery of a
body or bodies from any area water; the search and recovery of submerged
evidence and the recovery of submerged vehicles.
The Dive Unit was
formed to answer the needs of the many calls for service where a diver
is required. This is largely due to the fact that New Hanover
County is virtually surrounded by different bodies of water which
include the Atlantic Ocean, the Cape Fear River, the Intracoastal
Waterway and the numerous creeks and ponds throughout the county.
The Dive Unit also
responds to calls from other agencies in the region when they need
assistance. The Dive Unit has assisted local state and federal
agencies in the area such as the NC State Ports Authority, the U.S.
Coast Guard, the U.S. Navy and others. The Dive Unit trains and
responds to calls in many area that are less than hospitable such as
retention ponds, creeks, the Cape Fear River, channels and marinas.
The unit responds in all types of weather conditions and any time, day
or night. Often, the unit dives in water most people wouldn't swim
in or even fish in due to contaminates and poor visibility.
The dive team, deploys
and trains in many areas that are less then hospitable, including but
not limited to black water ponds, creeks, and sometimes freezing waters.
The team often dives in water in which most people would not swim, or
fish due to the contaminates and poor visibility.
The unit is able to
dive in these conditions because of the equipment that is utilized, from
fully encapsulating dry suits, full face masks with underwater
communications, tended safety lines and an underwater metal detector.
The unit can operate at night with the trailer mounted generator and
The Dive Unit is
always in a "ready" state as the bulk of the specialized equipment is
kept in a rapid deployment trailer and is equipped to handle most
The New Hanover County
Sheriff's Office Dive Unit is ready to dive at anytime, day or night,
365 days a year.