Utah Department of Public Safety

Dive Team - Photos of the DPS Dive Team

On Friday 7 September 2012, the Weber County Sheriff's Office held a Search & Rescue Banquet to honor the agencies and individuals who assisted in the search effort for Corbin Anderson.  Shown in this photo are the members of the DPS Dive Team who attended the banquet.  Each member of the Dive Team was awarded a special commendation. 
On 28 April 2012 four-year-old Corbin Anderson fell into the Weber River and drowned.  The DPS Dive Team was requested to assist by diving the numerous crevices in the river.  As part of the search effort, the Weber River was re-routed so divers could more safely check the locations.  This photo shows several Dive Team personnel standing by while a DPS Diver swims into a cavern that was created as a result of the churning rapids flowing over these rocks. 

This is a photograph taken when the Utah State Senate honored the DPS Dive Team for its efforts during the investigation and recovery of five-year-old Danika Maestas who was unable to escape from her Grandmother's car as it plunged into the Colorado River.

The combination of frigid water temperatures, unpredicatable strong swirling river currents, a large boulder field, and absolute zero-visibility created hazardous diving conditions.  Danika's body was retrieved from inside the vehicle via a concerted effort between the DPS Diver and surface support personnel.

This is a photograph taken as the Dive Team uses metal detectors to search for a murder weapon in a roadside pond.  The image is self-explanatory.  Each time the operator got a beep from the metal detector, the Diver would drop down and attempt to recover it.

The pond was about two acres in size and 4' deep at its maximum. Over 100 objects were found, ranging from an entire car bumper to a AA battery, dozens of beer cans, numerous pieces of pipe and other assorted metal items.

We were finally driven off the water by approaching lightening strikes.  It was a cold and tiring experience, not to mention the hundreds of pounds of waterfowl feces we had to dig our hands through as we felt around beneath the metal detector unit when it beeped.

This image has tremendous meaning to anyone who was involved with this particular investigation.  This is the culmination of a 7-year-old cold case homicide.  This HazMat barrell contains a smaller barrel that was lifted off the bottom of a remote reservoir.  Within the smaller barrel are the burned and broken remains of a young Colorado woman, the mother of two young children.  She was killed years ago and her body was first burned, then the bones were broken into fragments, then placed in the barrel, then the barrel was dumped into a remote lake in Arizona.  The DPS Dive Team was able to locate the barrel via Side-Scan and Sector-Scan Sonars, then lift it to the surface.  DNA tests confirmed the remains inside were indeed the missing victim.

This is a photograph of a WMD training scenario in which a worker at a Utah dam reported a bubble trail that lead up to the dam, continued to bubble up there for about 10 minutes and then stopped.  When the DPS Divers were called to investigate, they discovered what appeared to be a WMD and a terrorist who drowned when he became entangled in his own rope delivery system.

The DPS Dive Team attempts to have every training session focused on a counter-terrorism Nexus.

See the Dive Team Videos web page to watch the video associated with this training session.

This is a photograph of a DPS Diver preparing to fly in a helicopter to a location at which he will perform a "helocast" entry into a body of water.  This training is highly specialized and must be conducted with utmost care, for the safety of the Diver.  This training allows DPS Divers to be inserted in and extracted from high altitude and otherwise inaccessible lakes in the Uinta Mountain range and elsewhere.

This is a photograph of three DPS Divers preparing for a body recovery in Bullfrog Marina at Lake Powell.  The two Divers are in the water getting last minutes instructions before descending to the bottom at 114' depth and the third (sitting on the dock) will soon enter the water and stay at the surface as a Safety Diver.

The dive was successful and the 3-year-old child's body was recovered.

This is a photograph of two DPS Divers functioning as Safety Divers for the Special Olympics Annual Polar Plunge in Deer Creek Reservoir.  This event is held to elicit financial support for the Special Olympics athletes in Utah.

The DPS Dive Team volunteers its Divers to assist at this even each year, in case one of the participants has a problem or becomes disoriented from the sudden immersion in the frigid water.

This is a photograph of two DPS Divers ascending with a drowning victim in Utah Lake.  The Divers were voice-guided to the victim's location after she was found using the Sector-Scan Sonar.  The photo is compelling to look at and offers a glimpse into the delicate nature of the services performed by the DPS Dive Team.

This is a photograph of a DPS Diver preparing to descend and video a simulated Weapon of Mass Destruction during an FBI Terrorist Training Exercise at Flaming Gorge Dam.  The Diver was able to video the simulated device successfully, offering the Explosive Ordinance Personnel important data from which to determine a safe response.

The video segments created by the Dive Team were taken back to Washington, DC to serve as a template for future training exercises of this nature around the country.

This is a picture of the DPS Dive Team as they prepare to perform a "Shotgun Search" of a section of the Quail Creek Reservoir  where a drowning victim of the 2005 St. George flood, was believed to have been seen. 

Shortly after this, the victim's body was found buried in silt and rocks up to his waist.  Dive Team Members submerged and dug his body out with their hands for over an hours until it was free of the rocks/silt and they then recovered it.

This was a joint effort with the Washington County Sheriff's Office Dive Team.

This is a picture of a DPS Diver exiting the water after a gruelling search along the bottom of a reservoir, checking out Sector-Scan Sonar targets.  This particular incident had multiple logs and stumps, which prompted an unusual amount of dives to determine if a particular viable target was indeed the victim.

It is amazing how similar a log with branches can be to a human body.  On this day the water was calm and the weather was warm. Cold, wet, or snowy weather causes the deployments to be much more challenging.

[Last Update - Friday, 08-Mar-2013 16:27:03 MST]