Is this typical of such circumstance?
No, it’s not SOP, but it’s a kid, and they’re probably continuing the search so the family has a body to bury.
Lake Lanier can by very murky with a soft silty bottom. A fin kick can stir up a plume of sediment dropping visibility to zero. A lot of the searching my essentially be by feel.
To add to the fun, Lanier was formed by a dam. In areas of the lake the trees are still standing. They only cleared trees that would rise to near the surface of the lake. The kid could be caught in the tree branches and well off the bottom.
The article says:
They need to bring in one or two search-and-rescue dolphins. If there’s a body to be found, they’ll find it approximately immediately.
I used to be on our Fire Dept. dive team for many years.
Running a recovery operation 9 day’s would be very routine. I can remember 14 day searches without a recovery but that one was found about a mile away dead on dry ground a month after he went missing. We worked the lake because two different search dogs indicated on the lake. One of the same dogs pinpointed a body on a different lake a couple months prior.
The depth/temp are a big factor in a lake not giving up the dead. A body might never gas up enough to bring it up.
A good dog might still indicate even though the body stays down.
One thing about the statement about the blackness of the depths, most lakes have a thick layer of silt that one can in many cases swim down into and not be aware of other than everything totally blacking out when we previously thought it was black!
I have used sliced potatoes to see a bottom that one could not confirm was the bottom unless i was within arms length or close enough to bring something into focus. The potatoes would allow me to see the bottom from 15-20 ft giving me a much larger field of view.
I do not know how dark the depths of this lake is and much of the searching today is done by electronics with divers going in after a marker is set.
Recovery diving is the most stressful duty i ever preformed in over 30 years in Fire EMS.
After every recovery mission our team would get together and do a recreational dive in Lake Superior.
I will have Prayer for all in this tragedy.
When a little girl drowned in Lake Michigan 2 years ago where I live, the search for the body lasted about that same length of time, IIRC.
Body was found, diver’s comment in the story about the dangers of searching in the area.
The Sheriff made the statement;
Not to take anything away from the exceptional commitment and dedication of that dive team but there will not be any climbing of submerged trees. We have submerged trees in many flooded mine pits and we just swim in amongst them.
When I was doing my qualification dive for my Ice Diver card i was negotiating a submerged tree and just as I was swinging my safety line over the tree I got my 3 min safety tug from the line tender. The line was attached to my BCD and left arm at the wrist. I had issues with the hardware the dive school was using and the 1st tug pulled the line off my arm and on the second tug the line left my BCD and away it went to the opening.
I had no trouble seeing the opening in the ice as we learned to stay well below the ice to get the largest field of view and we had a buggy wheel shoveled out in the snow with the hole being the wheel hub.
However it caused a commotion on the ice when the rope came back empty.
For what its worth, the hardest part of ice diving is keeping the regulator in place with a freezing mouth.
This sounds silly on the surface - Lake Lanier is obviously fresh water - but is something like this even possible? We’ve all seen that dolphins have been trained to find mines, sunken bombs and similar items. I’m sure they could find a body in the dark.
A reservoir lake bottom is a tough room, though. Basically a flooded valley full of trees and debris. Could a dolphin deal with freshwater for a few minutes, then re-hab in a salt pool for a while? Are river dolphins trainable like bottlenose?
Seems like if you have Jethro on call with Bloodhounds when prisoners decide that the institution no longer has anything to offer them, perhaps we might be well-served to have some Botos hanging out at Seaworld waiting for The Call.
So, Cetacean nerds: are lake rescue dolphins possible?