LIFE SAVING diving tech was trialled for the first time at Gartmorn Dam, in memory of a man who lost his life there before Christmas.

Search-and-recovery diving team, Beneath the Surface, were awarded the position of first British Ambassadors for the new tech.

The tech, called AquaEye and owned by VodaSafe, is a mobile search-and-rescue device. It uses sonar and AI to locate people in bodies of water, trimming down recovery times considerably.

Gartmorn Dam was chosen to showcase the AquaEye in action as Beneath the Surface helped demonstrate how it works.

Only a couple of month ago, Beneath the Surface helped in the search-and-recovery of Greig Stoddart, who sadly lost his life in the dam on Christmas Eve.

As reported by the Advertiser, Greig had been fishing alongside Ian McBurney before the two encountered difficulties and were lost in the water.

The Stoddart family reached out to Beneath the Surface after feeling let down by Police Scotland’s efforts to find their loved one.

The family came along to the presentation to help highlight this lifesaving technology and make more people aware of it.

Thomas Stoddart, Greig’s cousin, said: “The AquaEye is going to change things. Let’s get as many units as possible in the UK.

“It’s 2024. Every [rescue] team should have a piece of kit like this.”

Brand Ambassador, Phillip Lloyd and Marketing Manager, Wylie Spencer, came from North Carolina and Canada to present the AquaEye.

Costing roughly £6,000, AquaEye is an affordable piece of equipment that has the power to save lives.

Spencer mentioned that even if it is too late to save a life, the AquaEye can bring closure to families sooner.

Spencer said: “Drowning is a global problem. 250,000 people lose their lives every year around the world to drowning.

“It’s sad that it takes a tragedy of this magnitude to bring us all here and to drive change. Hopefully [the change that we are driving to make] can be Greig’s legacy.”

Phil Jones, a founder of Beneath the Surface, added: “It’s an honour to be asked to be ambassadors.”

He remarked it as being a “humbling experience”.

“Both Ian and Greig, we will do our very best to make sure everybody’s efforts [pay off, and] use it to try and help more people,” said Phil.

Trialling the device for the audience, Lee, a member of Beneath the Surface, dived out into the dam.

Lloyd held the AquaEye in the water by the shore. In 65 seconds, he had a rough target; in one minute 45 seconds he had a definite location.

Beneath the Surface continued their training with the device the next day, eager to learn all about the AquaEye.

“It’s an amazing piece of equipment”, said Phil.