Rescue Recovery Task Force – Canine Recovery Task Force

  Rescue International’s Rescue and Recovery Task Force is a non profit unit of RI, that provides trained special resources for SAR and Recovery operations during and after a disaster or other major incident.  Our water search teams use highly trained personnel and canines joined by the latest in rescue and recovery technologies, like custom built boats with Side and Down scan sonar, drop cameras and Mini ROV.

Our canine teams can locate the area of a drowning victim, the canine uses it nose to locate the scents of a body both in the early non decaying timeline and later in the decomposition phase if one takes place,  They can be accurate to with in 20 feet to an area of a few hundred feet in worst working conditions.  Our K9s have had hundreds of water finds over the past 44 years.  Our current dogs have various levels of confirmed finds, with most having three to the most seasoned with 17 overall finds, of that, eight are water related.

The concept of water search with dogs was found in the 80’s by RI and other canine community members, resulting in RI’s Water Search With Dogs Training program.  The base concept is that the body gives off oils and lighter than water fluids, if there is trauma.  In the early hours to even days in cold water or deep water locations, no decomposition may happen for extended time, if at all in some conditions.  BUT the oils on every ones skin and clothes are lighter that water and will rise to the surface and vaporize, many times chemicals are released like adrenalin as well as others and become air borne when hitting the surface,  were a specially trained canine can tell their handler that  they have scent of interest.  As with most canine use, deploying the canines sooner is always better than doing it later as conditions and scents may decrease the scent for canines to find.  

The use of canines should always be used, as there is always a scent released , even for many years.  Water Search with dogs is another tool in every agencies tool box.  Other resources are needed to access the body for recovery.

 Many times that may be next to impossible or even to dangerous to attempt.  Please contact us with any questions or concerns, if we do not have a team near your mission area, we can many times refer resources to help.

RI can provide training classes for handlers and agency members on the use of canines for water recovery.

Call 866-420-1818 for questions or call 800.426.3647 urgent dispatch requests ONLY.

Hudson River K9
Rescue One

The RRTF also can provide water rescue crews and boats for support of search and regional rescue operations. 

Our Deployed Technologies Unit can provide communications and data services to responders and local displaced residents. DTU can set up Starlink and FirstNet data networks, Wi-Fi services at responder camps or local relief centers, portable towers with Interoperability radio repeaters and radios to support responders in areas were communications system are not working, and much more.