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Dive Team FAQ

Dive Team Home Page

Diver Recovering Vehicle

For questions regarding Dive Team call: (813) 276-3716
Questions regarding public
demonstrations call:
(813) 276-3325
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Q.  What is a typical police dive like?
A.  Our dives are usually conducted in shallow water with limited or no visibility.  Our divers have to use their sense of touch instead of vision because of this limitation. 
Q.  How many weapons do you recover a year and what type?
A.  The amount varies from year to year.  We recover everything from pistols, long guns, and shell casings.  These recoveries are very important to criminal prosecution.
Q.  How many cars do you recover a year?
A.  Cars end up in the water because of accidents or to hide criminal activity.  The numbers vary from year to year.  Removing the cars from the water is important because of both evidentiary and ecological reasons.  In the past five years, the Department has recovered approximately 100 cars. 
Q.  How do you search for victims or weapons in water with zero visibility?
A.  We use formalized search patterns under water or the use of high tech side scan sonar.  They also utilize high tech scan sonar and underwater metal detectors.
Q. How do you bring a weapon out of the water without it rusting?
A.  The weapon is kept in the same water that it was recovered.  If we need to test fire the weapon it undergoes a process similar to how treasure hunters restore artifacts. 
Q.  What does it take to be a Police Diver?
A.  All police divers have at least two years on the department and hold an open water certification.  The most important attribute is the ability to work as a team. 
Q. Is it hard to learn to scuba dive?
A.   No, in fact, it's probably easier than you imagine -- especially if you're already comfortable in the water. An entry-level diver course is split into knowledge development, confined water (pool) skill training and four scuba training dives. The course is "performance based," which means that you progress as you learn and demonstrate knowledge and skill.
Q.  Is scuba diving dangerous? 
A.  Statistics show that recreational scuba diving is about as safe as swimming.  There are potential hazards -- which is why you need training and certification -- but like driving a car, as long as you follow the rules and use common sense, it's pretty safe.
Q.  How old do I have be to get scuba certified?
A.  Most certifying agencies requires you to be at least 10 years old.
Q.  Why do I have to get certified to dive?
A.  In the scuba class, you will learn how to dive safely and correctly. Your SCUBA certification card is proof that you have taken and passed the SCUBA course. No reputable Dive Shop or  instructor will rent you gear, fill your tank , or let you dive at their facilities unless you are a certified SCUBA diver
Q.  For how long will I be certified?
A.  Your SCUBA certification does not expire. It is highly recommended that you keep in practice. You should dive more than once a year.  Continuing with your SCUBA education is an excellent way to keep in practice and learn more safe diving skills.
Q.  How long does a tank of air last?
A.   People breathe at different rates, and you breathe faster when you're swimming than when you're resting. Also, the deeper you go, the more you use your air, and, you can get different size tanks. So, the answer is "it depends;" this is why divers have a gauge that tell them how much air they have at all times. As an approximation, a diver sightseeing in calm, warm water at 20 to 30 feet deep can expect the average tank to last about an hour.
Q.  My ears hurt when I dive to the bottom of the pool.  Will they hurt when I scuba dive?
A.  Your ears hurt because water pressure pushes in on your ear drum. In your scuba course, you'll learn a simple technique to equalize your ears to the surrounding pressure, much like you do when you land in an airplane, and they won't hurt at all.
Q.  What are the "Bends"?
A.  A long time ago when the workers were breathing compressed air while working underwater, sometimes they would get decompression sickness or "the Bends". Their joints would hurt and make them bend over. This is caused by staying under water too long and coming up too fast. Tiny bubbles would form in their joints, something like the tiny bubbles form in a soda bottle when you open it. Just like the soda bottle, if you shake it and open it too soon or fast too many bubbles will form. With all the new technology "the bends" is easily avoided and very rare. 
Q.  Will fish bother me?
A.  Most fish are afraid of you or will ignore you. It is very exciting to see fish. The larger the better. The prettiest and most abundant fish are in the ocean. The best place to see fish is near shipwrecks and reefs. Some fish will let you get close to them but will stay out of your reach, other fish are curious and will follow you around.  The sharks and eels are very shy and are difficult to see. Barracudas are curious and might follow you around making it easy to photograph them.
Q.  How deep may I go?
A.  The maximum depth for a recreational SCUBA diver is 130 feet.  You should not dive deeper than 60 feet without proper training.  In the Advanced Open Water course, divers are shown the correct and safe way to make a deep dive.

  • Florida is home to more divers, more dive stores and more dive boats than any other dive destination.
  • More divers visit Florida every year than any other dive destination.
  • With over 1,300 miles of coastline and thousands of rivers, lakes and springs, Florida has more dive sites - and a greater diversity of dive sites - than any other dive destination.
  • Florida is the only major dive destination most USA divers can either fly or drive to.
  • If you lined up Florida’s six most popular wreck diving sites end to end, they would stretch for nearly 3,000 feet. (The hundreds of diveable wrecks the state offers would stretch for miles.)