New Wave Media

March 5, 2024

Underwater Metal Detectors Help Solve Crimes

JW Fishers Mfg

JW Fishers Mfg

“Physical evidence cannot be wrong, it cannot perjure itself, and it cannot be wholly absent. Only its interpretation can err. Only human failure to find it, study and understand it can diminish its value.” – Paul L. Kirk

JW Fishers Mfg says that its Pulse 8X underwater metal detector has long been the “go to” for public safety dive teams, police departments, government agencies and other forensic teams across the globe who are tasked with locating missing evidence. This missing evidence can help solve crimes and provide families with closure.

It is a commercial grade detector that will locate any metallic object, which is key component to finding disposed of weapons, cell phones and any other items that criminals don’t want found.

According to the manufacturer, it was used in helping to recover evidence in one of the highest profile murder mysteries to hit the New York City area. In the Spring of 2010, a woman named Shannon Gilbert made a phone call to 911. She had been at an individual’s home on Long Island and said she believed someone was after her. She fled the known location on foot and told the 911 operator there were people trying to kill her. Then, Gilbert disappeared.

Police began their search with metal detectors across a large search area of Gilgo Beach, one detector being the Pulse 8X. The teams were tasked with finding remains or any evidence of Gilbert. Many units were already owned by Suffolk County and were brought in to help the search across many of the marshes in Oak Beach, New York. In December 2010, a police officer and his K-9 found human remains near Gilgo Beach. It wasn't Gilbert, but the bodies of four other women were located.

What started as a search for one missing woman led to the discovery of multiple bodies (10 in all) along the Gilgo Beach area. This resulted in the capture of a serial killer who was ultimately charged with murder in January of 2024, more than a decade later.

In another part of the United States, the SAR-1 underwater metal detector is in use by The Charles County Dive Rescue Team to search in zero visibility conditions. These detectors utilize the technology from the Pulse 8X and package it into a sleek, wireless design that vibrates upon location of metallic objects. Chief Porter states the team got a request from military dependent on a lost phone with special information on it. The team went to work with their SAR-1 metal detectors and found 18 phones, two fishing poles, knives, and other items. The unit was able to locate the correct phone that they initially set out to find.

The February 2024 edition of Marine Technology Reporter is focused on Oceanographic topics and technologies.
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