Search and Rescue

Commander Larry Howard (605) 881-3049

Office Location  Basement of Law Enforcement Center P.O. Box 12 Watertown, SD 57201

Phone (605) 882-6272

Fax (605) 882-6277


To have a trained team of volunteers to perform search and rescue of persons, assist in the recovery of bodies, assist Law Enforcement with evidence recovery, and promote safety.


  • February 1993 – Pat Culhane and Jay Grandprey agree to start dive team as a result of drowning incidents in the area.
  • April 1993 – Watertown Emergency Services accepts proposal promoting concept of Search & Rescue team.
  • May 1993 – Search & Rescue team organized. Grant equips team with dry suits.
  • June 1993 – Codington County agrees to sponsor Search & Rescue team under Emergency Management. Watertown City Council agrees to support team efforts.
  • July 1993 – By-Laws written, training begins, board members elected.
  • October 1993 – Area merchants purchase 6 pagers for team.
  • December 1993 – Donations purchase 4 complete sets of dive gear for team.
  • February 1994 – Donation purchases inflatable boat and 25 HP motor.
  • March 1994 – Donations purchase underwater communications equipment.
  • April 1994 – Fundraiser to pay for Dive Rescue International training.
  • May 1994 – Sheriff’s Department transfers GMC Jimmy to Emergency Management for Search & Rescue team use.
  • January 2005 – Search & Rescue Endowment Trust Fund established through Watertown Community Foundation.
  • July 2006 – Search & Rescue Support, Inc., a tax exempt 501(c) (3) public charity, was established as a fund raising arm for the team.
  • Present – Codington County Search & Rescue has continued to grow through funding from Codington County, City of Watertown, Watertown Community Foundation, Watertown United Way, Thrivent for Lutherans, Search & Rescue fundraisers, and various private donations from the community and the surrounding area.

Command Structure



To view the previous impact Search & Rescue has had on our collective communities please check out the 2006 cumulative statistics, 2007 cumulative statistics, 2008 cumulative statistics, 2009 cumulative statistics, 2010 cumulative statistics, 2011 cumulative statistics2012 cumulative statistics, 2013 cumulative stats, 2014 cumulative stats, 2015 cumulative stats

K-9 Unit