Friday, July 27, 2007

Dive... dive... dive...

The Police underwater search unit are used whenever water is involved, whether searching in boats or diving for search & recovery of victims or evidence. At the Carr Gate open day, they had their large incident support van, some canoes and a large container tank with viewing windows (hired in, presumably they have other training facilities that are not so eye catching to the Public. Officers are selected with a one week suitability course then an eight week national diving course.
Looking into the tank (which had a number of fake knives and pistols in it), the submersible camera swung round and came to the window and faced me. I waved and it flashed its lights back at me! It was capable of very delicate movement and had a claw arrangement at the front, although it proved not very adept at picking things up and needed a bit of help from the diver.

Looking in the support van, we found the mini-sub operator. The picture on the control box screen was very clear and sharp indeed, although in murky water I imagine it is a bit harder to see, especially as the thrusters will shake up the sludge on the bottom.

I'm always interested in the minutae of other jobs and seeing these storage bins, I was curious to know what strops are. (I thought it was something that you did with a razor blade on a leather thing, or something that people throw when they are very grumpy. It turns out it is a type of Lanyard).
Here is a demo of using a lifting bag, notice the mini-sub camera mooching round in the background.

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