Dive Search Rescue and Recovery Team


The Alaska Dive Search, Rescue and Recovery Team (AK Dive Rescue) is an all-volunteer, unpaid, 501(c)(3) non-profit public safety water rescue/dive search and recovery, team that exists to provide the Department of Public Safety (DPS) a statewide capability above and underneath the waters surface. The team is activated by the State Search and Rescue Coordinator and is ready to deploy for recovery missions anywhere in Alaska usually within two hours of notification.

In addition to the above the Alaska Dive Search, Rescue and Recovery Team is dedicated to preventing as many tragedies as possible through public education on boating and water safety.

Why We Need Your Help:

According to the State Office of Boating Safety, Alaska has 10 times the national average of drowning deaths, but despite the high numbers of water fatalities the bodies of most victims are never recovered. This is in part to the remoteness and make up of most populated communities in Alaska who do not have water rescue or recovery teams do to funding issues.

Why We Exist:

We are working to change these stats buy: First educating the public on water, ice and boating safety and second buy having a team that can respond anywhere in the state with specialized tools and training not only to locate missing subject but also to recover them. We are activated through the Alaska Department of Public Safety's (DPS) Search and Rescue Coordinator.


  • State wide response (At the request of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) State Search and Rescue (SAR) Coordinator)

  • Four season, day or night operating capability

  • Ability to operate in-field for 72 hours without resupply

  • Stand-alone radio communications (Line of site, LMR and UHF/VHF)

  • Incident Command System / Mission Management (Built into the team)

  • Committed, Professional Search and Rescue volunteer

  • Side Scan Sonar: Used to search large bodies of water for locating evidence, bodies of missing subjects and documenting underwater crime scenes.

  • Sector Scan Sonar: (Kongsdberg MS 1000 Sector Scanning Sonar) Used to locate evidence, bodies of subjects, documenting underwater crime scenes, and used for diver safety. Can be used from a boat, land or through the ice. (300 feet of cable but more can be requested if required)

  • ROV: (VideoRay Pro 4 with sonar and manipulatar arm. Used to verify targets of interest, search for subjects in hazardous environments and recover subjects in conditions to hazardous or out of the reach of traditional Public Safety Divers.

Surface to Diver Communication: We use full face masks, hard line communication from tender to diver and through the water communication. All members are trained to use a tag line in the event of voice communication failure.

Dive Capabilities:

Black Water Diving

Under the Ice Search and Recovery Operations

Heavy Lift Bag Capability for the Recovery of Vehicles, Small Boats and Aircraft

Limited Deep Diving Capability (over 300 feet) (5 Divers)

Current Diving (in current up to 2 knots)

Confined Space Diving Capability (to include caves) (5 Divers)

Wreck Diving

Underwater Body and Evidence Recovery: All divers are trained in body recovery procedures and some divers are trained on the documenting evidence underwater to include pictures, sketch, measurements and packaging of evidence and material underwater.

Surface Search Operations: Fully trained and equipped to do Surface Search Operations on swift water, lakes and coastal water.

Ice Rescue Operations: Fully equipped and trained Ice Rescue Team.

Under Ice Recovery Operations: Fully equipped and trained to do under Ice Recovery Operations.

Swift Water Rescue Operations: Fully equipped and trained Technical Swift Water Team (Day/Night Operations)

Medical Capabilities: Team of EMT-3A and ETT trained personnel. BLS medical kit. DAN O2 Kit, 2 Hypothermia bags, Sked backboards, immobilization splints, and we operate under State of AK medical protocols.

Capable of Deploying from:






Example of one of our new capabilities, the Kongsdberg MS 1000 Scanning Sonar.

Activating The TEAM

CALL 911 IF YOU HAVE A WATER OR BACK COUNTRY EMERGENCY! Request for the team must come through the Department of Public Safety (DPS), as we can only be activated at the request of the Alaska State Troopers or federal authorities.