The Marine Unit of the San Francisco Police Department recently equipped a patrol boat with a state-of-the-art Coda Octopus Echoscope sonar system. "It takes us out of the dark ages," said SFPD Sgt. Dan Laval. "It brings us into the 21st century as far as being able to do our job." The goal is to create a clearer picture of what divers will face before they take the plunge. Often, visibility is limited to just a few inches. "We are able to get a more accurate image of what we're potentially looking for on the sea floor," said SFPD Marine Unit Officer Stephen Hogan. With a range of over 200', the Echoscope creates a real-time 3-D image of what's below the bay.
Police on Monday showed KTVU detailed 3D maps of piers below San Francisco's Embarcadero along with live images of sea lions frolicking in the bay. Marine Unit members say the technology enables them to find drowning victims or evidence tossed into the water.