Loudon County trains volunteer rescue divers for summer season

JILL MCNEAL-6 News Anchor/Reporter

LENOIR CITY (WATE) - With the start of summer families are flocking to the water, which means the Loudon County Dive Rescue Team is on high alert.

"Not only do we do search and rescue, but we also do recovery as well," explained Capt. Chad Tinch.

The team is all volunteer, mostly firefighters and police officers. Vance Wright, a corrections officer, is one of the newest members.

"I moved here nine years ago and the community really took me in and I wanted to give back," Wright said.

"Normally what we're diving in is known as black water. If you take your hand and put it in front of your face and open your eyes, you're not going to be able to see your hand," Tinch said.

And that means danger for the divers who are trying to help.

"There's trash down there from previous years. There's large trees, large stumps, fishing line," Tinch said.

But the members say it's worth the risk.

"I would want somebody out there with the experience and the knowledge to locate my family members if it was to happen," Tinch said.

Though the members are all volunteer, their equipment and training do cost money. You can learn more or make a donation through their website.