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About Us

     It is the primary mission of the San Marcos Area Recovery Team (SMART) to assist law enforcement agencies with underwater search, recovery, and evidence processing and documentation of the underwater crime scene.

     Our secondary missions include: providing services to individuals, non-profit organizations, governments, community service groups, public service agencies, and other entities with; lake and river clean up projects, underwater cave restoration and exploration, underwater archeology, scientific dive operations, underwater survey and photography, water sampling, recovery, and other underwater related operations that provide benefits to the community as needed.

     SMART responds throughout the State of Texas routinely and has traveled outside the State of Texas and the U.S. to assist other agencies.

Services Provided;

  • Search & Recovery for persons, property, evidence, vehicles, and watercraft.

  • Underwater crime scene investigations. See our Dive Log.

  • Underwater video and still photography. Visit our Photo Gallery.

  • Written reports, measurements, scale drawings, evidence preservation.

  • Annual clean up projects in lakes, rivers, and caves.

  • Water flow testing, bacteria analysis, sediment and water sampling.

  • Live feed underwater video links for school projects and classroom field trips.

  • Community service projects where divers are needed for support.

  • Public speaking engagements for your organization.

Our Members

photo.JPGAssistant Chief Matt Simkin is a NAUI Divemaster, and a Firefighter/EMT with South Hays and San Marcos/Hays County EMS. He has been diving for over 20 years, inlcuding work as an Air/Mixed Gas Commercial Diver, Hyperbaric Chamber Specialist, and Dive Medic Technician.. Matt has experience with underwater construction, inspection, HazMat diving, black water diving, and rigging.

Captain Jason Hedrick is a Field Training Officer and Paramedic with the City of Schertz EMS with 20 years of experience in Emergency Medicine. He has been diving since 1989 and joined SMART as a diver in 2004. In 2006 Jason took over training operations and in late 2007 became Captain of Diver Operations. E-mail Jason.

  Lieutenant Don White is a Brooks County Sheriff's Deputy.  He was with the Bexar County Sheriff's Department for over 20 years and has been assigned to the criminal investigation division homicide, burglary, and in the specialized gang unit. Don is OSHA certified as a HAZMAT technician and specializes in helping the team safely dive in the contaminated black water environment. He is an technical diver with NITROX certifications. E-mail Don.

 Diver Richard Kuehner is a paramedic currently working offshore for a Seismic research vessel in the Gulf of Mexico. Richard is an Advanced diver, and has been actively diving since 1984. Richard Joined the team in late 2006.

 Diver Russell Cain Licensed with Texas Department of State Health Services as a Health and safety professional since 1996 as a Professional Sanitarian, Team member since 2004 with over 30 years dive experience.  Russle is a Swift Water Rescue Tech.

  Diver Daniel Combs is an EMT with San Marcos Hays County EMS.


Our History

In 1988 SMART Divers was organized to assist public service agencies and organizations with underwater search, recovery, and crime scene investigations. SMART became a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization in 1997 and was incorporated into the South Hays Fire Department in June 2004.

SMART combines the unique skills of Police Officers, Fire/Rescue, and EMS trained personnel with the field of search and recovery diving to form a specialty team of investigators above and below the water.

SMART specializes in evidence recovery and documentation of the underwater scene with advanced video technology.

This highly skilled dive team includes; Dive Instructors, Dive Masters, Underwater Archaeologists, HAZMAT Specialists, Swift Water Rescue Technicians, Deep Technical Divers, Topside Technicians, K9 Handlers, Cave Divers, and other advanced specialty divers.