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Splash in the Empire State

“New York is a diamond Iceberg floating in river water” – Truman Capote

New York State is richly endowed with freshwater lakes, ponds, and reservoirs, as well as portions of two of the five Great Lakes and thousands of miles of rivers and streams. These inland bodies of water serve as drinking water, provide flood control to protect life and property, and support recreation, tourism, agriculture, fishing, power generation, and manufacturing. They also provide habitats for aquatic plant and animal life.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) protects public health and the environment by supplying clean drinking water, collecting and treating wastewater, and by reducing air, noise, and hazardous materials pollution. The DEP manages and conserves the city’s water supply by distributing more than one billion gallons of clean drinking water each day to nine million New Yorkers and collects 1.3 billion daily gallons of wastewater through a vast underground network of pipes, regulators, and pumping stations. The wastewater is then treated in order to protect the quality of New York Harbor. As the primary agency responsible for New York City’s environment, DEP also regulates air quality, hazardous waste, and critical quality of life issues such as noise pollution. JW Fishers supports this mission by supplying the agency with the tools needed to successfully examine these waterways, such as the SeaLion-2 Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV). Their ROV is used for inspections of pipelines, waterways, and other bodies of water to limit a divers’ exposure to the elements. The ROV is small enough to fit inside of larger pipeline yet strong enough to withstand currents of up to 3 knots in open water. They also own a JW Fishers Side Scan Sonar which supports their team in searches and inspections. The Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office Underwater Search and Recovery Team is a public safety dive team whose major functions include “initiating search and recovery operations in underwater environments, locating and investigating underwater crime scenes, documenting and retrieving evidentiary items from the water, and assisting in the investigation of water related crimes. The dive team conducts both land and boat based operations in a variety of challenging bodies of water within Saratoga County.” In addition to multiple boats, the team also utilizes a SeaLion-2 with a manipulator arm and SCAN-650 Sector Scanning Sonar to assist with their most demanding jobs. The dive team must regularly investigate crime scenes in the harshest of elements and the ROV with sonar helps to make these trying times a whole lot easier. The City of Rochester SCUBA Squad “responds to all incidents of drowning, underwater mishaps, and underwater evidence recovery.” This department utilizes the SCAN-650 Sector Scanning Sonar as a standalone system to help aid in underwater searches. Fulton County Sherriff’s Office recently purchased a dual frequency 600/1200 Side Scan Sonar System. JW Fishers hosted several members of the dive team for a 1-day training seminar offered free to any customer who purchases a system. The first half of the day is spent in the classroom learning theory and developing an understanding of how the system works. The second half of the day is spent on open water allowing users to work with an operating side scan system. This hands-on experience allows operators to become comfortable with the technology before using their own system on a job. Fulton County will be using the Side Scan system to locate drowning victims, submerged vehicles, and sunken vessels in demanding search and recovery missions. Other agencies throughout New York that are using JW Fishers equipment are Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, Ulster County, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, Tonawanda Police Department, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, and Pittsfield Police.

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