Eyes underwater with new technology

Published: Jul. 23, 2018 at 5:55 PM PDT
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Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is the only entity to have a remotely operated underwater vehicle in Lake Tahoe 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“It’s a submersible device that we can use to recover evidence or human remains from Lake Tahoe,” says Deputy Steven Schultz.

With an average of 8 to 12 fatalities a year, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office now has eyes underwater, hoping they will never have to use them.

“I can’t even imagine losing one of your loved ones in this lake and waiting years for them to even surface and someone to come across them or something like that. What our goal is, to be able to get to the scene earlier and try to give that closure to the family as soon as possible,” says Deputy Ron Skibinski.

Thanks to a Douglas County Sheriff’s Advisory Council donation, Lake Tahoe’s 1600 feet is now accessible, allowing law enforcement to also collect items of evidence from underwater.

“Anything that someone would want the law enforcement from having if they were to commit a crime, sometimes they think this is the perfect environment to try and get rid of them, that’s not the case anymore,” says Deputy Schultz.

The crew trains Friday through Monday, to keep the skills fresh.

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