Search & Rescue Unit

The Daphne Search and Rescue Unit is an all-volunteer first-responder team based out of the City of Daphne. The team responds primarily to water search and rescue missions in an area covering approximately 300 square miles of waterways, including the northern half of Mobile Bay and the Five Rivers Delta areas. The unit also provides land based search and rescue services for Daphne and the surrounding areas.

Non-Profit


Incorporated in 1976, the Search & Rescue Unit has established itself as a non-profit (501c3) organization, with the majority of its operating funds coming from donations.

History


The Daphne Search and Rescue Unit was organized in 1974 in response to the drowning of a local fisherman in Mobile Bay. Concern grew due to the delayed water response to this tragedy by rescue organizations from other towns. Some members of the Daphne Volunteer Fire Department decided to organize a small rescue team for Daphne.

These founding members used their own personal boats and gear to provide emergency services and assistance to those who were missing or stranded in Mobile Bay. The team originally provided surface land and water rescue services to Daphne, but as the reputation of the team grew, the members found that there a was growing need for their services beyond the borders of the City of Daphne.

Building on this early success, Daphne Search and Rescue Unit was formally incorporated as an independent organization on April 9th, 1976. The team began to provide  underwater search and recovery services in the late 1970's. In the early 90’s the team responded to the Amtrak derailment in the Mobile Delta. During this tragic event, members realized there was an urgent need for divers to assist other agencies with underwater search and recovery.

Today, the team responds in an area of about 500 square miles of waterways including the Mobile Bay, Five Rivers Delta system, and a large region of Baldwin County between Spanish Fort and Fairhope and extending toward Loxley. The team has responded to calls from as far away as New Orleans, North Alabama and the Florida panhandle. We continue to provide mutual aid responses to any public safety organization that requests our assistance.

We rely heavily on donations to cover the expense of rescue operations, equipment and training. We conduct operations in any condition and have many members who are trained in advanced rescue operations. The abilities and knowledge of the team has been beneficial in the following publicized emergencies, among others: the Amtrak train derailment in 1993, aircraft crashes in the Mobile Delta, Dauphin Island bridge incident in 2008, and the Dauphin Island Regatta tragedy in 2015. We are sad to see such devastating effects in our community, but we will always do what we can to help victims get back to safety or to help loved ones find closure.

Please contact us for volunteer opportunities, donations or more information on our services.


Daphne Search & Rescue 1