In the fall of 1996 former Columbia County Sheriff Steven R. Rowe began the process of creating the Columbia County Dive Team. A need arose for a dive team to be local and available in an emergency. For a long period of time, the Columbia County area has had to rely on dive teams from outside the county, although these dive teams did exemplary work and many times assisted the residents of Columbia County, the importance of a local team with a reduced response time to emergencies was needed.
The Columbia County Dive Team is primarily volunteers. Members of the dive team consist of volunteer community members as well as a Sheriff's Lieutenant who serves as a liaison and a Deputy Sheriff who serves as an assistant liaison for the Sheriff’s Office. The dive team operates on a county budget as well as public and private contributions. Members donate training time that helps reduce costs. Members of the dive team are dispatched by cell/pager in time of need. The team’s equipment trailer is taken directly to the scene of any operation.
The volunteer dive team has responded to many calls for service since its creation. The team specializes in rescue and recovery efforts. Automobiles, motors, prosthetic limbs, cash registers, safes, evidence, corpses, and many other articles have been recovered. Members continuously train in advanced recreational dive certifications. The team also trains in the advance realm of Public Safety Diving. Monthly meetings, training sessions, and equipment maintenance sessions keep members proficient.
The team is active in the community. Scheduled events include lake bottom and river crossing clean-up projects. The team offers various public water safety presentations and demonstrations year round. Perhaps you have seen us in local parades. While the team works to retain current active members, it also tries to attract new volunteer divers and support personnel. There are many tasks and functions to be performed both topside and under water.
For more information e-mail or contact Lieutenant Wayne A. Smith at