Huge diving response team to simulate plane crash exercise in Detroit River

In what's believed to be the largest-ever diving team exercise staged in the state of Michigan, rescue teams from 21 counties convened for a simulated plane crash response in the Detroit River.

Police from the Oakland County and Wayne County sheriff's offices joined the coast guard, border patrol, several other local police agencies and dozens of divers at the Grosse Ile airport Wednesday to conduct the mock operation.

As many as 50 divers and rescue teams -from the Southeast Michigan Dive Group- participated in a simulated plane crash on the Detroit river and Lake Erie. Wednesday's training was all about working together, coordinating teams, and getting prepared.

The Southeast Michigan Dive Group responds to specialized water-related incidents for the purpose of rescue and recovery of victims. They also aid investigators in the recovery of property and evidence. The Oakland County Sheriffs Office coordinates the team.

The scenario used "several hundred pounds" of simulated plane wreckage during the operation. Divers will also get practice using sonar and lift bags. 

"I am extremely proud of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team and the work they do in staying prepared for an emergency," says Wayne County Sheriff Raphael Washington. "Being able to share information and resources with other Southeast Michigan stakeholders ensures the quickest response and the highest level of service should there be a serious incident in our area."

The drill is timed with the return of boating season. 

Recently, police also showed off their new $1.4 million marine unit dock in Trenton. It enables police to better monitor the Detroit River and surrounding water bodies.