Saturday, November 17, 2018

Evidence dive, mutual aid

Tuesday night the team got a call from Chief Diver Rick Pullen with the Berkeley Township Underwater Search and Rescue asking for a little help on an evidence dive his team was asked to do. Since it was short notice and a week day I told him I could make it and would meet them at 0600 the next day.

   We met at their building and loaded up Rick’s truck and headed to Tobyhanna State Park in northeastern Pennsylvania. It was some ride as it was at the peak of rush hour! But we made it and were met by members of the D.A. office, state park police, a local police officer and TV cameras and one more member of the Berkeley dive team.

  After a briefing from a detective from the district attorney’s office the teams suited up and checked the water out. The visibility looked to be fairly clear so two divers set out to drift on the surface over the search area. Within minutes the first phone was found.

   It’s not a just pick it up and bring it in. You mark the spot and take measurements from shore and then you take underwater videos and pictures and then you recover it in special evidence container. Going from the bottom to the diver to the detective on shore.

   The next find was a battery cover from a cell phone right along the shore found by one of the team using a metal detector. Again measurements were taken and photos shot and then handed over to the detective on shore.

  Now the search area was moved over to the area were one of the phones was thrown in a month and a half ago. The detective gave us a location and the team started searching. This water was a little deeper so two divers suited up with scuba gear and worked the area. As to not dirty up the visibility for each other the divers worked apart. One working each side of the area. Working from the deep water toward the shallows. This paid off 45 minutes later with another piece of a phone being found and recovered and a few minutes later the battery of the phone was also recovered.

  At this time the team took a break, two hour out in 45 degree air with a pretty good breeze blowing and in 49 degree water it was needed. Even with dry suits on you do get cold and the hands are the first to go. Underwater searches are a very slow process so you don’t get to build up any heat.

    After the break is was back in the water, two divers in gear and one with the metal detector working in the shallow areas and two along the shore line and shallows. But the last piece of phone was not to be found. With the light fading and the cold really setting in it was time to call it a day. The detective from the district attorney’s office was happy with what we recovered and thanked us for doing a great job.

   Then it was time for a few pictures with the crew and Rick pulled out his phone for the picture. Packing all the gear in the truck and then getting in dry clothes was a great feeling. But not as good as knowing we got the job done
  Thank you to the Monroe County District Attorney's Office, Park Police and the local Police in having the faith is us to invite us to help out with this recovery.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Divers make a splash at Jenkinson’s Aquarium

      World Oceans Day is an international event held every year in June to recognize and celebrate the role of the oceans in our lives.


On Saturday, June 9, the Point Pleasant Beach First Aid Dive Team participated in a celebration of World Oceans Day, hosted by Jenkinson’s Aquarium.

Team members, all volunteer SCUBA divers, created an exhibit focused on exploring the ocean and rivers of New Jersey.  Hundreds of aquarium visitors got to see and touch underwater artifacts, natural and manmade, that were discovered while SCUBA diving.  The display featured local seashells, bottles, and parts of old shipwrecks.

The Aquarium also allowed the team to conduct a SCUBA diving demonstration in the local waters exhibit, with the residents still in there!  Visitors were introduced to some of the equipment and exposure suits that divers in New Jersey have to wear to explore the chilly ocean.  (The tank was about 70 degrees F, not very warm, but still 10 degrees warmer that the ocean outside in June!)

Using hand signals, one team member outside the tank directed the two dive buddies inside to demonstrate some of the basic diving skills that allow us to safely explore the ocean.  Divers simulated a few gear problems and how to solve them (like getting water out of your mask), as well as managing buoyancy underwater.  The near-weightless divers could hover and flip almost as gracefully as the seals.

The divers even challenged the children outside the tank to two athletic events – a race and a high jump!  Even with powerful fins, we saw that a diver cannot swim through water as fast as a child can run in air.  However, a diver can easily jump much higher (with a little help from the water and the dive gear).

 Then families always want to take a photo with you through the glass.  We have our underwater camera too.  How often does an exhibit take a picture of you?”

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Helping out and using our skills

On Friday a few of the newer members of the team got to put their skills to the test. We were requested by a local business if we could survey the area around his fuel dock and boat slips for any debris that can be dangerous to boat in the area.

   Perry B and Evan S and I headed down to see what we could do to help out. Evan and Perry jumped in behind Red’s Lobster pot to check the boat slips there and I jumped in over at the fuel dock to survey that area. After a survey of the fuel dock and marking all the things to move I got out to check on Evan and Perry.

   They had found a few things and were removing them from the water. A large lobster pot, floor mats and a lot of line that Perry had a hell of a time cutting it free (2 inch line is pretty hard to cut on dry line and its only harder underwater) The biggest job was helping the boat crew from the fishing boat Lady O Margaret getting a large piece of piling out of the water. Working together we were able to get the piling out of the water and off the dock.

   Then it was over to the fuel dock to remove a large box (that later was found to be a very large sink) and a few tires and many feet of lines. Here the ends of the lines couldn’t be freed from the bottom and had to be cut at the mud line.

   We planned on using a lift bag to move the sink and tires to an area away from the boats and people. After rigging the lift bag we put just enough air in the bag to float the sink just off the bottom. Then our human tug boat Evan swam the sink to the area that we used to put the sink and the tires in. We weighted them so they would stay right where we put them!

   With the moving done and one last swim through the area it was time to get out of the water. Evan made the last find coming out of the water with a pretty nice fishing pole. The New Jersey State Marine patrol stopped by to see how we were doing and it turn out the officer was a student of mine from 31 years ago (it’s a small world).

Sunday, March 04, 2018


   Well we just got word that Rescue 34 is now done. There was a hold up on the light bar, but its in and done and has had its in water test.


Big Joe and I will be going to pick it up Monday and Tuesday we should be back later in the day on Tuesday. Again the team would like to thank everyone for your support, for without you this day would have never happened.

Monday, February 19, 2018

2018 Fishing Flea Market

Sunday was the Ocean Fire Company’s #1 fishing flea market at the antrim school in Point Pleasant Beach. The school was taken over by all things fishing, hooks, poles, lures, shirts and sinkers. Vendors lined the hall ways and filled the gym and the cafeteria, if it had anything to do with fishing it was there.

   As in past years the fire company did an outstanding job setting up and running the flea market and manning the kitchen selling food, sodas and coffee. The weather tried but failed to put a dent in the turn out. The customers came and filled the hallways and many found the deals they were looking for!

   The dive team was there selling their 3000 pounds of sinkers that were recovered this year and also the many anchors and old bottle they had recovered. Deals were made and the many customers walked away with bags, buckets and jars of sinkers. Fishing lures that were recovered and cleaned up by Joe S. were the first thing to sell out, there was a line to get to the rack that held them.

   By the end of the day it was an easy load out for the team, we came with buckets full of sinkers and went home with empty buckets.

   I would like to thank Ocean Fire Company #1 again for giving the team their tables and for running the best fishing flea market around and to all the fishermen who came out to support the fire company and the dive team.

       Let Hope for a safe fishing season with many big fish and many tall stories to tell.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Rescue 34 update

Just got word on how the boat was coming, This e-mail just came in with pictures from Ribcraft.

Hi Joe!

Happy New Year. My apologies for the radio silence - I literally was coming in this morning to give you an update. Attached are a few photos of the boat. The boat is now scheduled to be complete the first week of February. We had a fabric delay with the tube, but as you can see the tube is installed with the exception of the lifeline and boarding patches. The last item we're waiting on is the Whelen Lightbar which has been on backorder, but we're scheduled to have that February 1st.

As we're about two weeks from finishing, you will likely be receiving a final invoice in the next couple of days. Is your plan to pick the boat up or would you like us to deliver? 

Let me know if you have any questions. 


Monday, January 15, 2018

CPR/AED training

Januarys dive team drill is the teams recertification is CPR/AED. This is something we need to do every year even if our CPR cards are good for two years. With one of the squads CPR instructors ( Rachel G.) going over all the things we may need to do on a dive or first aid call.
Using  the adult, child and infant CPR manikins everyone got to do both one and two person CPR and then going over setting up and  using the AED.

Then to finish out the days training Captain Brian S came over to help out Rachel in setting up and using the squads Lucas CPR machine. The Lucas is not hard to get set up and takes over doing chest compressions from the first aider. These are all skills that the team needs to be up to date on. Cause we never know what's going to happen and we need to be ready for anything.