Underwater Search and Rescue
The Hall County Sheriff's Office Underwater Search and Rescue Unit, generally referred to as the "Dive Team," was first formed on March 1, 1979. As such, it is the oldest paid law enforcement dive team in the state of Georgia. Consisting of 11 deputies, the team responds primarily to calls for service on Lake Sydney Lanier and smaller bodies of water within Hall County. However, the teams' services are frequently requested by agencies all across the Northeast Georgia region.
The primary mission for which the Dive Team is called upon to recover drowning victims, but they are also frequently used to search for and recover evidence of crimes. Additionally, the Dive Team may be called upon to conduct security operations such as those they performed for the 1996 Olympic rowing events.
All of the team's members are at a minimum PADI-certified Open Water Divers, with many holding advanced certifications ranging from Advanced Open Water Diver through Dive Master and Dive Instructor.
Additionally, several members hold specialty certifications such as Public Safety Diver, Search and Recovery Diver, and Rescue Diver. This level of experience and expertise brings unique capabilities to the Sheriff's Office, whether utilized to recover a victim so that a family may bring closure to the loss of a loved one, or recovering a critical piece of evidence to assist in the prosecution of a crime.
Dive Team Commander