Scuba divers survey the Chattahoochee

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  Columbus and Phenix City leaders are moving forward with some on-going projects, including the Riverwalk and restoration to the Chattahoochee River and you may notice a few of the surveyors along the river.

It's not uncommon to see people fishing or wading in the Chattahoochee River, but if you've seen some divers there, you might wonder what they're doing.

Owner of Chattahoochee Scuba, Josh Blair, told News Leader Nine, "We're surveying the Eagle-Phenix dam to see what the structures are like under there, making sure everything down there is safe, checking the bottom contours and verifying the existing maps are accurate."

Chattahoochee Scuba divers have been surveying for the past few weeks for some upcoming river restoration projects, including Ready2Raft 2012.

"We do this so we can make the project safer when they breach the dams for white water rafting. We want to make sure it's safe for rafters to go through," Blair explained.

He is also using GPS and maps to grid the locations of the old dams, "Columbus was started in the 1830's. The river has had a lot of construction projects over the years. We want to verify the old construction is gone or needs to be taken out."

And sometimes the divers luck out and find weapons or evidence from crimes under water. Since Josh Blair is trained in underwater crime scene analysis, he takes the proper precautions, "What I'll do is mark it, get with the boat operator and he'll mark the GPS locations then we'll bring that up and contact the police department and hand it over to them."

The divers have been surveying parts of the Chattahoochee River for about a month and just a couple weeks ago they discovered a round of ammunition that they turned over to police.

They tell us that even though they have a job to do, sometimes they run across some interesting things underwater.

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