CBDR was founded in 1972 in response to an increasing number of water-related accidents throughout the Mid-Columbia. Originally known as Lower Columbia Basin Search and Rescue, the team consisted of sport divers with a focus on recovery versus rescue services. In the 1980's, inspired by documented cases of cold water near-drowning incidents, the team shifted its focus to rescue. To do this , the team had to obtain specialized equipment and complete certified training classes. Over time, the team developed operational plans to provide the community with the safest and most professional dive rescue service available. Today, the team has established itself as a nationally recognized model for other dive teams, volunteer and paid alike.