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      Deputies dive team helping to keep the streets and water safe

      RICHLAND COUNTY (WACH) --The Richland County dive team hitting the water Wednesday morning.

      The underwater experts were diving into 70 degree water and searching for evidence in Lake Murray.

      Lt. Mark McColman says Wednesday's exercise is one of the many situations they face daily.

      "We'll look for bodies, we'll look for evidence, we'll look for anything underwater that needs to be pulled up," said McColman.

      In this exercise the underwater team is searching for a weapon to collect as evidence.

      The team will form a line in the area they're searching for safety reasons and a diver will swim to the bottom.

      Using their hands, underwater metal detectors and specialized search patterns the divers can find any item underwater.

      "All those searches are done by hand. It's all by touch so that's most of our job and that's why it may take us anywhere from 30 minutes to two weeks depending on what we're searching for and the conditions we're searching in," adds McColman.

      When divers locate evidence a tube is sent underwater, then they scoop the evidence and anything surrounding it. Then they send the tube back above water for forensics investigators,

      "Pretty much call ourselves underwater forensics investigators because that's what we're doing underwater. We're collecting that evidence and turning it over and with the special skills that we teach our operators and the equipment the sheriff's office has gotten us we can execute those searches," said McColman.