Dive and Rescue Team Gets Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Dive and Rescue Team Gets Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle

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Dive and Rescue gets a valuable new member to its team.

The Burleigh County Water Recovery Team welcomes a new waterproof gadget to help with rescue and recovery missions.

Team members train with the equipment at the Bismarck Aquatic Center before testing it outside on the water this weekend.

A new rescue tool makes a splash with the Burleigh County Water Recovery Team.

The Dive and Rescue team adds an Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle to its rescue equipment, and crew members are getting a first look at how to use the ROV to prepare for future recoveries.

"If there's a dangerous situation where we can't put divers in we can deploy this first and investigate it that way we take some of the safety factors away and help with recovering anything that we need." says Bismarck Rural Fire Department Lieutenant Casey Rogstad.

The ROVV takes live HD video and sonar images underwater and can travel a depth of one thousand feet up to four or five miles an hour.

It can even grab a drowning victim out of water.

"For us it's been a huge change for thin ice conditions where you're searching for a drowning victim through thin ice. We're no longer putting divers in. We're using this as our search tool." says Video Ray Instructor and St. Louis County Search and Rescue member Tom Crossmon.

Bismarck Rural Fire Department Lieutenant Casey Rogstad hopes introducing the technology will make recoveries faster.

"This gives us kind of eyes under the water where we didn't have before. When a diver goes in, usually the water's very dirty and you can't see very far ahead of you. This will actually give us the ability to see through that and help us just speed up the process a lot better."

He says the ROV could have been useful during the crew's recent recovery of a stolen truck in the Missouri River.

"We weren't positive on the exact location on that vehicle. This would have been a good tool for us to help speed up that process and let the divers know what the vehicle, how it's positioned and everything before they even get down there." says Bismarck Rural Fire Department Lieutenant Casey Rogstad.

On Thursday they train in an indoor swimming pool, and getting use to the controls is harder than it looks.

"There's a lot of buttons there's lights ... The sonar there's a lot of things going on so it's a little tricky at first."

Training outside will be even more difficult.

"Most of the water that we search in is gonna be water that you can't see in I equate it with trying to do scuba diving in a coffee cup.

But with practice, team members say the little machine can make a big difference.

"It's a great tool. It's gonna help the team in a lot of ways. It's gonna let us do things we couldn't do before."

The equipment costs nearly one-hundred and 30-thousand dollars.

It was purchased with grant money from the North Dakota Homeland Security program.

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