The Merced County Sheriff's Dive Team began in 1985. The Sheriff's Department took over dive responsibilities when the Merced County Fire Department no longer could handle this additional responsibility. Since the Sheriff’s Office ultimately has responsibility for Search and Rescue, it was only logical that the Sheriff’s Office could handle this particularly dangerous responsibility.
The Team was headed by then Lt. Bill Blake (Now Undersheriff) and a about half a dozen deputy sheriff's who were already certified as open water divers. This Team used most their own equipment in the beginning.
Recent Equipment Advances
Over the years, newer and more modern equipment has been purchased as advances in technology for Scuba Diving Equipment were revealed.
Most recently, Sheriff Pazin has purchased underwater dive communications gear. He has provided each diver a communications/regulator face mask so that they can communicate while underwater. Sheriff Pazin has provided state of art equipment which will provide greater safety for divers while they search the dark and murky waters for victims of drowning or removing submerged vehicles or evidence.