Lt. George Becker
URU Commander
gbecker@rcsd.net



Master Deputy Derek Wilson
Marine Patrol
dewilson@rcsd.net

Lake Murray Special Property Check Request Form

 

 

 

Waterborne Operations Section


The Richland County Sheriff’s Department Waterborne Operations Section consists of the Underwater Recovery and Marine Patrol Units.

The Richland County Sheriff's Department Underwater Recovery Unit (Dive Team) was started in 1982 with approximately six members.

The team was started so the department could be more self-sufficient with the vast amount of waterways in our jurisdiction. During this time divers used their personal dive gear for the departments call outs.

The Richland County Sheriff's Department Underwater Recovery Unit is the first dive team to be typed in South Carolina. On September 20, 2012 the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division assessed the RCSD U.R.U and was typed as a FEMA approved Public Safety Dive Type II Team under N.I.M.S. 508-6.
 
This unit is an interdepartmental, all volunteer unit comprised of 24 deputies. This unit has 12 certified Public Safety Divers / Operators and 12 Tenders.
 
The Operators are equipped with the latest equipment which allows them to complete their missions, in what is often a hostile and dangerous environment. Most of the callouts are in adverse weather conditions with zero visibility. Operators work in a closed Dry-Suit with diver to diver and diver to shore communications.

The U.R.U. is called out at various times for the following, but not limited to body recovery, vehicle recovery, evidence collection, and assist the tactical team. They also respond to other jurisdictions when called upon.
 

The Marine Patrol Unit is an interdepartmental, all volunteer unit comprised of 9 boat operators which is a collateral duty for these 9 deputies. The unit was established as a cooperative effort between Richland, Lexington, Saluda, and Newberry counties, all bordering Lake Murray; creating the Lake Murray Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force.
Through federal grant funding, a memorandum of agreement was signed by the Sheriff’s giving all four Counties Marine Patrol Units jurisdiction on all of Lake Murray. The original Marine Patrol Unit was started with the purchase of two 20’ Grady White boats using grant funds.


 

In October 2008 the department added a third boat that enhances the response capabilities to the departments Underwater Recovery and Marine Patrol Units. The fire and rescue boat was purchased with special revenue grant funds through the Richland County Legislative Delegation. It is equipped with a dive platform to deploy Underwater Operators during search, rescue and recovery operations, with two 8’ foot doors that fold down electronically for dive operations and rescue transport.

In 2009 the Underwater Recovery and Marine Patrol Unit merged and formed the department's Waterborne Operations Section.

In 2009 the Marine Patrol Unit and department’s Underwater Recovery Unit joined together and are also used to support of our underwater operators in the waterways of Richland County.

In December of 2010 land was offered and a building was donated by a school district for a joint Marine Patrol Headquarters for our Marine Patrol Unit and the S. C. Department of Natural Resources, forming the Richland County Marine Patrol Task Force. The Task Force headquarters is located at Lighthouse Marina at 1925 Johnson Marina Road, Chapin SC.

In 2011 the department added a third patrol boat, which was purchased with special revenue grant funds through the Richland County Legislative Delegation. This purchase of this vessel allows more boats on the water during special events and holidays to cut down on boating accidents and violations through high visibility and enforcement.

Lake Murray is 78 square miles in size with 649 miles of shoreline (approximately 50,000 acres), 41 miles long, and 14 miles wide at its widest point.  It is one of our state’s most visited lakes. The Lake Murray community has grown exponentially, and on most weekends, hundreds of vessels take to the lake to enjoy a variety of fishing, sailing, skiing, and diving activities.  The Richland County Sheriff’s Department Marine Patrol Unit along with Lexington, Newberry and Saluda Counties and in conjunction with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources keeps Lake Murray safe by maintaining a visible presence, conducting safety and compliance checks as regulated by the state and federal laws, and conduct property checks to homes and businesses on Lake Murray.

 


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5623 Two Notch Road 
Columbia, South Carolina 29223 
(803) 576-3000 phone (803) 576-3195 fax
sheriff@rcsd.net

Copyright © 2006-16 Richland County Sheriff's Department