Los Angeles Port Police have dispatched a six-member dive crew and specialized sonar equipment to Santa Barbara County to assist federal, state and local officials in search and recovery efforts after a tragic boat fire that claimed the lives of 34 people.
The Port Police crew from the Port of Los Angeles arrived on Tuesday with a 70-foot dive boat and state-of-the-art sonar equipment that can scan the ocean floor and relay video images to the crew on the dive boat. Port Police are assisting in gathering evidence and documenting the debris area. Port Police divers are also assisting with dive operations.
“Our hearts go out to the victims and the surviving families and friends of this terrible accident,” said Port of Los Angeles Police Chief Tom Gazsi. “It is a privilege to provide allied assistance along with the many public safety agencies who are working hard to locate those lost and support the investigation of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.”
The Port Police has acquired sonar equipment with federal Homeland Security grants and in addition to its ongoing security operations, it has been used by Port Police in a number of search and rescue operations in recent years.
As one of the few police forces in the nation dedicated exclusively to 24-hour port activities, the Los Angeles Port Police is responsible for patrol and surveillance of the Port of Los Angeles and neighboring L.A. Harbor Area communities.
As California peace officers, the Port Police enforce federal, state, and local public safety statutes as well as environmental and maritime safety regulations. Highly regarded among specialized law enforcement agencies, the primary mission of the Port Police is to maintain the free flow of commerce and produce a safe, secure environment that promotes uninterrupted Port operations.
Sea News, September 5