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Norwalk, Darien Police Scuba Teams Conduct Rescue Training

Bruce Lovallo of Norwalk, Jim Martin of Darien, Dan Ehret of Darien and Michael Sellas of Norwalk performed a joint scuba training exercise Thursday. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue
Members of the Norwalk and Darien police scuba teams dive down to survey a submerged SUV and attach cables to pull it out. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue
The SUV is pulled out of the water by a tow truck from Nat's Garage. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue
The SUV is brought on shore, where police would continue their investigation. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

NORWALK, Conn. -- Members of the Norwalk and Darien police scuba teams conducted a joint training session Thursday to practice ways to recover a car that has gone into the water.

An SUV was submerged in the waters outside the St. Ann Club in Norwalk, and the teams donned their scuba gear to practice retrieving it on the chilly day.

Two divers are used initially to survey the wreckage, with a third diver nearby for safety, said Sgt. Thomas Roncinske of the Norwalk police patrol division. A police boat also was nearby, monitoring the training. The dive teams members work in the patrol division as part of the emergency services unit.

"They'll search inside the car, make sure there's no other people or no evidence inside," said Roncinske. If there's anything suspicious about the crash, the officers will take note of the odometer and the accelerator. "We have a camera they can bring down to take photos of the inside."

The dives were conducted with dry suits, which are designed to provide better insulation in cold water than wetsuits. After the teams surveyed the wreckage, they used cables and nylon straps attached to a tow truck to pull the vehicle from the water, where it would be further examined by officers.

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