Newberry County Water Rescue and Dive Team: Saving Lives in South Carolina

January 10, 2023

Motivated by a tragic drowning on Lake Murray that occurred just a few months prior, first responders from across Newberry County came together in January 2006 with the goal of creating a specialized team trained in various water rescue techniques. As a result, the Newberry County Water Rescue and Dive Team was formed.

As of today, under the leadership of Captain Glenn L. Hamm, II, the Newberry County Water Rescue and Dive Team has become a crucial asset on and under the local waterways. Captain Hamm states, “The Water Rescue and Dive Team plays a vital role in our emergency services here in Newberry County, and we are always prepared to assist those in need, whether it’s a drowning, a crime scene, or a rescue.” This team is trained and equipped to handle different water rescue scenarios including underwater search and recovery, swiftwater rescue, flood water rescue, and surface rescue.

The Newberry County Water Rescue and Dive Team is made up of dedicated and highly trained volunteers who are committed to serving their community. “I’m proud of the work that our team does,” says Captain Hamm. “These men and women serve bravely as they venture into treacherous waters to save lives or help bring closure for grieving loved ones that are left behind. I’m grateful to be a part of such an amazing group of people.”

“The team has been called upon to respond to a variety of emergencies, both within the county and beyond. They have been deployed for state-wide rescue missions, such as during Hurricane Matthew in 2016, as well as more frequent callouts for incidents such as boaters in distress, missing persons, and drownings at local bodies of water like lakes, rivers, and ponds. Captain Hamm notes, “It’s moments like that, when we’re able to make a difference, and that makes all the hard work and training worth it.”

Throughout its history, the Newberry County Water Rescue and Dive Team has seen steady growth and expansion of its capabilities. According to Captain Hamm, “We started out with a vision and limited resources, but today our team boasts an array of equipment, such as several boats, a trailer full of technical dive gear, sonar, jet skis, and more. We are always looking for motivated individuals who want to make a difference and help others during their time of need.” Captain Hamm emphasizes the importance of team members, stating “Our team members are our most valuable resource, and we are continually working to improve our ability to serve the community. We are excited to welcome new volunteers who are interested in joining our team and expanding our capacity to respond to emergencies and provide top-notch water rescue and dive services.

In times of crisis, the Newberry County Water Rescue and Dive Team is there to help. Whether it’s a major disaster or a more routine call, these brave men and women stand ready to serve and protect their community. The team’s contributions to the safety and well-being of the community are immeasurable, and serve as a great asset to Newberry County and The State of South Carolina.
For more information or to learn more about the Newberry County Water Rescue and Dive team, contact Newberry County Emergency Services at 803-321-2135.