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Vehicle Recovery

Discussion in 'Public Safety Divers/Search and Rescue' started by grasstrimmer, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. grasstrimmer

    grasstrimmer Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Clarksdale, MS
    18
    0
    0
    We had a call Saturday Evening about 8 p.m. for a vehicle in the lake at the boat ramp. Some guy forgot to put his 2006 GMC in park! Well that became the first official call for our new Dive Team. The truck was only in about 10 -12 feet of water so it did not take long until the waterlogged truck was being towed away by a wrecker. My question is would any of you waited until morning when it was light just to hook up a chain? The idea was brought up my some non dive personel but we felt that there was no need to wait as you wouldnt be able to see any better in the murcky water in the morning. Did we make the right call? Thanks to much training everything went very smooth for a first time Dive Team.
     
  2. woodsandwatertoo

    woodsandwatertoo Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sheridan, Arkansas
    207
    0
    0
    Wouldnt have made us any difference. We would have jumped on it more than likely and got it taken care of.

    We would have been more worried about other boats coming in at the boat ramp than about the dark. LOL
     
  3. Dragon Eye

    Dragon Eye Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Washington, DC Metro
    121
    1
    18
    Actually, if you put it in park at the ramp and forget the parking brake, the weight of the boat will break the parking pin free. (We almost lost a truck that way, and swore it was the dog, but that's what the dealership said- truck was two days old, so that would have been really bad. Good think the hubby ran fast!) So use that Parking Brake!
     
  4. ReefGuy

    ReefGuy Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Punta Gorda, Fl.
    3,225
    766
    113
    And don't forget to take it out of reverse before you get out. We did a recovery last year, and on finding the truck found that it was still in reverse.
     
  5. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    4,367
    45
    0
    In a scenario like that when no life was at risk we wouldn’t have even got a call. “Maybe” one of us would go do an inspection of the scene but that’s about it. “IF” the vehicle had value as evidence we would hook it up and impound it.

    We try hard not to interfere with private enterprise. In a scenario like the one described we have commercial divers who bill the insurance companies so we stay clear.

    Just yesterday we were called out for a vehicle in the lake that was discovered by a couple of divers. We went in, located it, determined it was stolen 122007 and had been on the bottom a while. So we notified the originating agency, who happened to be the City PD, who in turn will notify the registered owner. Then it is his and his insurance company’s responsibility to remove it.

    We used to do them all until a lovely law suit crossed our path one day. For some reason requests for large sums of cash seem to change one's attitude.

    Gary D.
     
  6. grasstrimmer

    grasstrimmer Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Clarksdale, MS
    18
    0
    0
    Could you explain the lawsuit any? And the other legal issues?
     
  7. ReefGuy

    ReefGuy Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Punta Gorda, Fl.
    3,225
    766
    113
    Gary, I'd be interested in that too. Our policy now is close to yours. We don't recover vehicles unless a crime is involved, but I'd like to know the generalities of the lawsuit to pass on to the team.
     
  8. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    4,367
    45
    0
    Many, many moons ago when the sun started rising in the east and setting in the west, in a not so litigation world we used to pull every vehicle that went swimming.

    Then on one of those mornings we received a Tort Claim and heard a lot of grumbling from the community about using “Public Funds” for “Commercial Enterprise”.

    So we saw our evil ways and quit the practice. When you think about it you are using Tax Payer Monies to benefit private businesses.

    Now I know some of you are going to say that you’re different because you’re a “Volunteer Team”. We WERE a volunteer team at that time. But you are still working under the color of authority of the department you are working for. UNLESS you have been totally released from the scene and ALL LEO’s and/or Fire have left the scene you are still spending “Public Monies” to assist the tow and insurance companies.

    Sure it’s cool to go do a recovery but how many businesses are getting in trouble for misuse of public funds now days. Law Enforcement and Fire are no different than any other business when it comes to money. It has to be managed properly and it only takes one person in a foul mood to screw things up for everyone.

    There are times we do a hook up when there is no value. But those are usually when a tow driver starts to strip down to do it themselves. To save his bacon or just assist a bit we will do it. BUT it doesn’t make any difference in the tow bill and a civilian diver would NOT have been called to begin with and no more overtime would have to be paid.

    Our guys are allowed to do commercial dives if they so choose to do so. But they are restricted to being on their own time and NOT USING ANY COUNTY SUPPLIED GEAR!

    Just be careful with it. :wink:

    Gary D.
     
  9. ChainSaw0069

    ChainSaw0069 Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Salisbury Maryland
    401
    3
    0
    That is something to really think about.
     
  10. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    4,367
    45
    0
    Wobbles and I just got home from a nice anniversary dinner with some friends who had their 8th today. Our 35th is the 8th (080808).

    During dinner they ask me about how I felt about cops doing lockouts for people who lock themselves out of their cars. I chuckled and told him bout this thread on SB. I told him I was against it for a number of reasons. One was that we are not trained to do it nor do we have the proper tools. So we should leave it to private enterprise to do it.

    My buddy and his wife own their own locksmith business and do a plethora of AAA work are upset that the LEO’s respond to “NON-EMERGENCY” lockouts and open the vehicles for people.

    He has been to the Sheriff, City Chief’s and State Police, all who are in Eastern Washington. He asked them why they use their non-trained people to do what he and his wife have been trained to do not to mention the money spent starting and running the business.

    They tried to explain that vehicles are more complex than they used to be and using the wrong tool may cause a lot of damage. He said they were met with deaf ears from all the agencies.

    So as a result they have been keeping tract of the amount of money they are loosing from this police practice. Over a several month period it has averaged just over $2000.00 a month from calls in their local area.

    The end result could have been much different had the agencies been a bit more receptive and/or understanding. But their weren’t so now they have an attorney working on it and if it doesn’t get resolved in the near future they will file suit to stop the practice and return it to private enterprise.

    Hummmm, Tax money doing a job designed to be done by non-tax payer money……How do you think the public will respond to that?

    Gary D.
     

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