Search Equipment




Huey helicopters


Radon Dive Boat


Hysucat Dive Boat


Kongsberg Scanning Sonar


Kawasaki PWCs (loner program)




Dive Support Vehicle


ScubaPro Full Face Masks/DiveLink Underwater Communications



A vital element of search and recovery diving is proper equipment. Inadequate equipment can cause a search to be haphazard and a fruitless waste of effort. The equipment required for our SAR divers is listed in three sections:

1. Personal dive equipment required on any search and recovery dive;

2. Ancillary equipment to support the SAR diver;

3. Specialized search equipment.


  Personal dive equipment

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1. Gear bag

2. Mask

3. Snorkel

4. Fins

5. Buoyancy control device

6. Power inflator

7. Scuba tank (two-minimum 72 cu.ft.)

8. Regulator

9. Alternate air source (octopus, Air II, etc.)

  10. Console containing:

  • Tank pressure gauge

  • Underwater compass

  • Depth Gauge

  11. Dive computer (may integrate pressure and depth gauges)

  12. Exposure suit (wet or dry including hood, booties, gloves)

  13. Weight belt (2 - salt and fresh water) or weight system with quick release

  14. Knife, sharp (two recommended)

  15. Signaling Device (s) (whistle, flares, flasher)


  Ancillary Equipment

  1. Underwater light (two recommended)

  2. Side Cutters (dykes)

  3. Marker buoy (pelican float, etc.)

  4. First Aid Kit

  5. Lift bag (s)

  6. Small "goodie" type bag

  7. Decompression tables and worksheets (waterproof)

  8. Spare parts kit


  Specialized search equipment

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1. Six foot buddy line (snap w/swivel on one end - ring on other)

2. Ringed search line (2 each) snap w/ swivel w/ 10 1" brass rings 30" apart

3. Wrist bungee w/ snap

4. Double ended snap

5. Mini-mother & mast, w/ 25 lb. base weight & 4 lb. counter weight, w/ 2 foot chain w/ swivels at each end

6. 3 each reels with 100 foot (min.) line attached

7. Perimeter marker & anchor

8. 1 each (small) area marker with weight and counter weight



It is extremely important that all equipment be properly maintained (inclusive of proper washing after a dive, proper storage between dives, periodic inspection, and necessary servicing). It would serve you well to remember that the gear you fail to take care of after your last dive ... may not take care of you on your next dive


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Six Foot Buddy Line

Used to keep buddy teams together in low visibility.


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Ringed Search Line

Used for low visibility circular searches. Line between rings works out to be length of an arm sweep.


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Wrist Bungee with Snap

Used to clip in to a line on a straight line search. Enables diver stay on a line hands free and to disengage when necessary.


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Double Ended Snap (brass)

Multipurpose- an indispensable part of a public safety diver's search gear.


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Anchor point for circular search patterns.


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100' Search Line

1/4" polypro line, marked in ten foot increments, useful for a variety of search patterns.



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Perimeter Marker

Used as a place marker on circular search patterns.

Area Marker

Used as a sign that area has been searched. Once deployed, Mini-Mother can be removed and used on new area.

Illustrations by Larry Butgereit and Karen Giles-Buell. Photos courtesy of Les Meredith and Charlie Curtis


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Copyright 2000 Ventura County SAR Dive Team The Ventura County Sheriff's Star Logo is copyrighted by the Ventura County Sheriff's
Department. Any reproduction or use of this image without prior consent of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department is strictly prohibited.