ROVs for rescue operations

Emergency services are turning to ROVs to improve diver safety during underwater rescue operations:

LAKE GENEVA REGIONAL NEWS, Connor Carynski, 08jan20: [Fontana Fire and Rescue Department] Fire Chief Wolfgang Nitsch said the [remotely operated vehicle] device — outfitted with a camera, sonar and remote-controlled arm — is able to begin underwater searches quicker than divers during critical moments when a victim may be submerged.

“With this device, we could get it in the water within two to three minutes, it doesn’t take long to set up, and with some training, it will be an even shorter period of time,” Nitsch said. “We can send it down and it can start search patterns, looking for individuals who might be beneath the surface.”

The ROV can also be used to scout areas that may be hazardous for divers or in low-visibility waters.

“We can send it down in areas for risk-benefit analysis where it might not be the best place for a diver to be,” Nitsch said. “A machine is replaceable if something happened to it, whereas a diver issue can be traumatic.”