Drowning Accident Rescue Team

Reviewed by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation

$6,254 raised by 36 donors

42% complete

$15,000 Goal

Since 1980, the Drowning Accident Rescue Team (DART) has served the greater Sacramento region as the only all-volunteer public safety dive team and water rescue unit and as a provider of water safety education. DART is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization composed of public safety divers, dive tenders, swift water rescue technicians, rescue boat operators and an incredible support crew.

Our volunteer team members are on call 24/7 for any emergency call involving the water - whether it's a boating accident, a flood, or a drowning. We also work to reduce the environmental impact of pollutants in our waterways by recovering property such as vehicles that would otherwise not be accessible without our specialized training and equipment. When not responding to calls for help, our team members spend countless hours teaching kids and adults how to be safe on the water at community and school events, handing out free life jackets in partnership with Sacramento County, and proactively patrolling our local beaches and rivers. 

We empower our community to safely enjoy Sacramento's greatest treasure - our waterways. 


Our primary mission is to save lives and recover property from the various lakes and waterways in and around Sacramento County, as well as responding to support various Northern California jurisdictions. We accomplish this mission through numerous rescue, recovery and prevention activities for which we train and prepare all year long.



Last year DART acquired a dive and sonar platform and this year we are working to retrofit that platform for our unique operational uses and needs. Utilizing industry best practices, this platform will enhance our sonar capabilities, allow us to deploy divers more safely in difficult to access locations and enable multiple searches and recovery efforts in a single operational period. DART is seeking to maximize the impact of the donations made by our supporters by capitalizing on in house labor and fabrication where possible.


EQUIPMENT: Performing rescues and recoveries on our local waterways requires a variety of specialized equipment to operate in what can often be hazardous conditions (cold water, fast currents, steep levees, low to no visibility, water pollutants and debris). Maintaining and updating our equipment is one of the largest costs that our organization faces each year and is a core part of keeping our team mission ready and safe. Our equipment includes our water vessels, response vehicles, dry suits and blackwater dive equipment, swift water rescue gear, gear for dive tenders and shore support, and countless other pieces of equipment that are essential to our mission.

DIVE TRAINING: Enhancing the ongoing training for our rescue and recovery divers is another primary focus for DART. Blackwater diving (which refers to the zero-visibility conditions where divers often cannot even see their hands when held inches from their face) is a hazardous task, but necessary when searching for patients and victims in Sacramento-area rivers and lakes. Most DART divers join the team with a recreational diving background, and DART then provides them the additional training and equipment needed to safely operate in the blackwater setting during rescue and recovery missions. We train at several intervals: twice a month, divers practice skills at local pools and waterways; we conduct one to two "all day trainings" each year; and, once every three years all divers complete a national certification course from an outside training provider. As Sacramento County's only all-volunteer public safety dive team, our skilled divers are called upon frequently for incidents ranging from vehicles found in the river, to criminal evidence searches, to missing swimmer reports. A robust training program keeps our divers safe and ensures we're ready to respond when the community needs us.

GENERAL TRAINING: Our members are fully certified for their dangerous jobs. These certifications, such as public safety diver, swift water rescue technician, and rescue boat operator, require constant training, often with outside experts. Funding for training offsets costs that members otherwise may need to pay for out of pocket.

TEAM MEMBERS: As an all-volunteer organization, we rely on our committed members for everything we do. DART members come from all walks of life, some with prior diving experience and some without, but all find incredible personal fulfillment in protecting their community and empowering others to enjoy the rivers and lakes in our area. Whatever your background, there's a role for you on our team, and we'd love to help you find it!

Organization Data


Organization name

Drowning Accident Rescue Team

other names


Year Established


Tax id (EIN)


Mission Category

Public Safety & Disaster Preparedness

Operating Budget


Organization Need

Funding: Program, Volunteers, Funding: Unrestricted, In-Kind Donations

Demographics Served

Youth & Children, General population

Local Counties Served

El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Yolo


1601 Garden Hwy.
Sacramento, CA 95833

Service areas

Sacramento, CA, US





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