Dive team trains at Clinton Lake

By Liz Zamora
Channel Six News – October 30, 2013


Members of the Douglas County Underwater Search and Recovery Team trained in Clinton Lake. Officer Mik Shanks has been on the dive team since 1988, after the dive team became part of the sheriff’s office.

“We’ve been lucky to evolve to a really top notch team in this region and it’s been great to be a part of that,” said Shanks.

On Wednesday diving down to 18 feet, the water was 50 degrees and the visibility was down to zero.

“In lakes around here we can’t see anything, so when we drop down, we can’t tell the difference if we’re closing or opening our eyes and that makes it that much more dangerous for things like entanglements,” said Detective Dean Ohman.

The team recently helped the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Department look for evidence in the Corey Brown murder investigation. Brown disappeared  January 3, 2012. His body was found two days later five miles west of Lecompton. They didn’t find evidence but found a car, a safe and an urn that authorities believed held ashes.

Earl Barnes of the Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical has been on the team for several years. He says the team members have become very close.

“It’s a very dangerous business that we’re in so you have a lot of trust in each other and part of that is developing a camaraderie,” said Barnes.

Deb Porter is the only female member of the dive team. She called herself a water baby.

“If we are able to close a case or give a family member back a loved one, then that’s what it’s all about,” said Porter.

The dive team is comprised of members of the Sheriff’s Office, Lawrence Police Department and the Lawrence-Douglas Fire Medical.


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