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Search Patterns


Search patterns are like tools in a toolbox. You need different tools for different jobs. If you need a screwdriver and all you have is a pair of pliers, you are not very effective. Many teams are overly dependent on one pattern and that pattern is usually the arc search. When I go around the world and talk to teams or divers on a team, many times I will ask them what search patterns they use. The answer is usually, "the arc". If that is all you use or a variation of it, you are telling me you are in kindergarten. The funny thing is, many so called "experts" (they call themselves that) in public safety diving go out of their way criticizing those that use other patterns, not thinking that maybe we have other missions besides body recovery. If all you do is train to find something the size of a body, good luck with finding the pocket knife. But if you can find the pocket knife, finding the body is easy. How about putting some other tools in your tool box. There's a thought!

The following are some of UCI's favorite search patterns and some things you need to know to work them. This information will give you an idea about the pattern, but to truly understand them, you need proper training from someone who knows how to use them effectively.


WARNING - What you are about to read DOES NOT take the place of qualified training!!

Arc Search




Circle Search


Compass Search



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