Thursday, April 27, 2017

Practical Training...

The dive team got to put its training to use this week end. Training is always good but putting it in use is the best way to see how it works. We got requested to survey and remove debris from some boat slips and a fuel dock. This fuel dock is used by the Coast Guard and many commercial fishing boat in the area, so it needs to be clear.

We suited up and hit the water at low tide and searched the dock and the slips, even for low tide we had 5 feet of visibility and even the water temperature was up in the low 50s. With five divers in the water the slips were searched and debris removed and the divers checked out one of the fishing boats that were in the slip.

 The captain was worry that he may have picked up some line in his propeller, so we checked it out and found nothing for him to worry about. But did recovered a lot of old line that was laying on the bottom and around the pilings.

After we finished up it was a quick stop at 7-11 for coffee and off to a marina to search for something that boat owners reported hitting. This was a small lagoon channel off the Metedeconk River. We set up a straight search pattern with a line running across the channel and sent a dive down and back along the line searching for whatever the boat could have hit.

Using one diver at a time and changing divers on every pass we got our newer guys a lot of search time and we covered over an hundred feet of channel by moving the search line with each pass. The search was stopped once we moved in to deeper water. We didn’t find anything that the boaters could have hit.
   We also got some lift bag training raising a twenty foot piling from the bottom of the lagoon and bring it around the channel and up on the beach. Where it was staked in place to help stop the beach from washing away. After all the work was done the divers were treated subs and sodas.
   The new guys got a good work out and were able to show off their search skill. It was a good lesson for everyone with changing jobs and getting to do a little bit of everything, shore support, diver, line tender or go for. Ever job is important and needs to be done and these guys did a great job.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Point Pleasant Beach Sea-wall...

The town asked if the dive team would check out the area around the wash out of the sea wall at Loughran Point. It took a few days for the water to clear up so we could get pictures and videos and we had to wait for the surge to die down too.

   Last Thursday with the ocean calming down and the surge dropping off and the visibility picking up this was the best time to get in. It was low tide with the tide just starting come back in when I dropped in the water from the center of the wash out. Before dropping in I took some pictures of the area from the surface, noting the broken tie backs for the sheet pilings.

   I swam out a little from the wall and dropped to the bottom. I had no idea where the sheet piling had gone and didn’t want to land on it. I found the bottom and all I saw was sand. I swam east towards the mouth of the inlet and came back to the base of the wall and slowly came back towards the wash out. The bottom here is around 15 feet at low tide and that’s what I had. But as I swam back the bottom started sloping up until I had 6 feet of water at the east end of the wash out...

   There is an old wooden bulkhead that the sheet piling laid against and that was still there but no sheet piling and the water depth came up to just 5 feet at the center of the wash out. As I headed towards the west east the water drops back to 6 feet.
   At the west end the sheet piling that is still in place it is being forced out away from the old bulkhead with a gap of about a foot and is full of sand that has washed down into the gap from above. In this picture you can see the slope of sand running downhill from the old bulkhead

    After surveying the base of the wall and the slope of sand I still didn’t find the missing sheet piling or the big piece of concrete that also fell into the water. That took some more searching. 

   It was found around twenty five feet out from the wall and just west of the wash out and folded back on its self, with the concrete still attached.