Being a member of the Police Diving Squad – Zane Smith.

Date: 1/2/2007

Zane started diving when he was 15 and spent his holidays with his family, boating, diving and fishing mainly in Tauranga and Whakatäne. He became interested in a possible career with the police when he picked up a brochure about the Police Dive Squad. Since joining the police force Zane has found the opportunity to be on call for the Diving Squad to be extremely interesting, challenging and rewarding.  It has allowed him to visit parts of the country that not many people have seen plus the adventure of diving in some unusual places such as Huka Falls, hydro dams and the Chatham Islands. He also appreciates the opportunity to train with police in different countries. When Zane is not diving with the Squad  he is a Detective Sergeant running an Investigation Squad in Wellington.

The Dive Squad consists of a full-time team of five and 10 part-time members.To become a member you have to be a serving member of the Police force based in the Wellington area. You can apply to join the squad by first having your supervisor nominate you. Once ed, you go to Devonport to complete a month’s Navy Defence diving course. If successful you then commence a six-month trial period with the squad, before becoming a full member. Once in the squad, you do additional training with the Navy, including SSBA courses and Dive Supervisor courses.Zane finds the work very rewarding and satisfying especially the ability to be part of the team that helps to bring closure for family members who have lost one of their own or recovering lost items that have strong family links. He is particularly proud of finding the second body at the end of difficult and lengthy search at 30m from a crashed Convair plane off the Kapiti Coast and recovering a watch which had sentimental family value from a plane that had crashed in a shallow bay near Thames. For Zane and the close knit diving squad members the thing that makes the job so rewarding is working with a team that usually brings results and that they all enjoy the team spirit within the diving squad. Many members are close friends when outside their working environment.

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