Establishing Grid Patterns

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Earl used lights and sirens from the sheriff's truck to ward off boaters that came too close to SAR training operations. After a few near run-ins, it was decided that it is best to launch the boat right away instead of going for the time saving factor.





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Divers gather in the cool lake for a final run through of the day's plan.







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Les helps Charlie out with his search gear. Team members are accustom to helping  each other out with cumbersome search equipment. It is especially beneficial in rough conditions.





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Here, Steve accompanies a diver doing a last minute check of equipment.







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Earl uses a data scope to check the accuracy of the float positioning within the grid pattern. The scope gives information on range and bearing off a target object.






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Team members practice using the laser range finder and data scope for pin pointing accurate distance ranging and compass bearings of the markers making up the grid pattern.








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Technology such as the laser range finder and the data scope has allowed the team to become more efficient at setting up a grid pattern using mini-mothers to effectively cover a search area.







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This is a drawing of what a grid pattern looks like. The center circle is the "point last seen" (PLS), with other search areas expanded from that point. The center dot in each circle represents the mini-mother, and the circle itself is the area covered by the diver. The highlighted areas within the pattern show coverage overlapped by divers. Distances   between placement of mini-mothers vary depending on visibility. Each diver carries a 100-ft search line marked in 10-ft increments that is used to expand the circle pattern off the mini-mother.  


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James demonstrates the advantage of bringing a beach umbrella to team operations.







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The self-proclaimed "parasol divers" held a committee meeting to discuss the addition of beach umbrellas to the list of mandatory search equipment.







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A debriefing is held after each training session. Team members give input on what worked well for the operation, and what problems were encountered. Together the team strives to find ways to improve so that actual call-outs proceed smoothly and efficiently.


  Photos by Dominique Evans-Bye


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