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Department of Behavioral & Community Health

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June 17, 2014        Print version

Dutchess County Medical Examiner Offers Aquatic Death Response Training
Local Response Personnel Receive Valuable Information for Evidence Recovery

This Friday, the Dutchess County Medical Examiner will offer law enforcement and scene response teams specialized training in the investigation of aquatic death incidents. Through an in-depth study of case histories, individuals will learn state-of-the-art procedures to investigate drowning, near-drownings, and other instances where recovery takes place in water. 

“When a motor vehicle fatality occurs, a crash reconstructionist with hundreds of hours of training is called to the scene.  Well-trained fire investigators are brought in when a fire occurs.  The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration assist with plane crashes,” said instructor Andrea Zaferes  “Yet when it comes to aquatic deaths in pools, bathtubs, rivers, lakes, buckets, sinks, boats, or bridges, detectives and investigators are on their own with typically no training specific to aquatic deaths and scenes.”

Zafares noted with body-found-in-water incidents, investigators are at a disadvantage due to the very effect water has on evidence availability and collection.

“As a result of Friday’s training, our investigators will be better prepared to respond, recover, and document deaths occurring in water,” said Zaferes. 
Zaferes is a noted international forensic speaker, researcher, and author who consults on homicidal drowning cases nationwide and is a medicolegal death investigator. 




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A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH,Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH
Commissioner of Behavioral & Community Health
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