Diving operations performed
by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Underwater Search and
Rescue Unit will be conducted under the following guidelines:
Full-face mask (FFM):
Integrity of all connections (IE: second stage regulator firmly
attached, E/O connector, battery connection, activation of
diver’s communications unit).
require the use of a personal illumination device (IE: “Cyalume”
light stick, personal strobe, battery operated light stick,
In the event that a
communications link cannot be established with the topside tender,
the diver will be recovered from the water and an effort made to
remedy the cause of the problem. Should the problem not be able
to be rectified, the decision can be made to do any of the
Abort the diving
Should a mechanical
problem exist with the topside unit that cannot be immediately
A safety diver can be
placed into the water with the primary diver in order to establish
diver-to-diver communications. The safety diver will not descend
any deeper than necessary to establish and maintain communications
with the primary diver and will remain on the ascending /descending
line except in the event of an emergency involving the primary
In the event that
diver-to-diver communications cannot be established utilizing FFM
and Comm. gear, the operation can revert to the use of regular dive
masks and second stage regulators.
Each primary diver
can be tended by a safety diver stationed at the junction of the
ascending / descending line and the primary diver’s search line.
be maintained through hand signals (visibility permitting) and line
pulls. This is not an efficient deployment of resources.
Dive operations can
be conducted without the use of FFM and comm. when necessary and it
is reasonable and safe to do so.
It must be kept in
mind that not all diving operations are compatible with the
utilization of the FFM / Comm. system, and that in such cases, the
dive master can make the determination to utilize standard scuba
facemasks and second stage regulators with the concurrence of the
on-scene Sheriff’s Department SAR official.
above procedures and equipment checks are mandated except in those
instances where it might be possible to affect a rescue and save a
life. Rescue efforts must be closely evaluated after an elapsed
time of one hour since a victim was seen alive.