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Underwater Search & Recovery (Dive Team)

The Sheriff's dive team is called out for underwater searches whenever a Sheriff's station or any allied agency within California needs to search a body of water (lakes, streams, canals, irrigation ponds, ectc.) for items of evidentiary value.

The team consists of sworn employees of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, employees of the Riverside County Coroner's Office, and several citizen volunteers. It provides underwater search and recovery services for the community, while working in partnership with allied agencies at the federal, state and local level. While there is no official requirement to be on call 24/7, members are required to have their gear ready and respond when necessary.

Certification & Training

An open water SCUBA certification is required to join the team but a certification of Rescue Diver is required to become an active diver on the team. Members are also required to complete certifications specific to public safety diving. All members, including citizen volunteers, are required to attend training one day per month and two one-week trainings per year in addition to call-outs. Training varies from month to month allowing the team to train with all the specialized equipment required.

All dive team members are trained in basic first aid, CPR, and specific training for dive emergencies including administering oxygen and arranging transportation to local dive chambers.


Each diver on the team is issued a hazmat dry suit, bouyancy compensator device (BCD), regulator set up, search spool, lift bag, and harness.  Divers are required to provide their own mask, fins, snorkel, and tanks.

In addition to personal gear the team has underwater metal detectors, a remote operated vehicle, side scan sonar, lift bags, and surface supplied air.

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