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.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

New Years Day 2018

The team has always done our first dive of the year on New Year’s Day and for the last 23 years we have never missed a New Year’s Day. In years past we have had warm days and some cold days, but this year may take the cake!

    The air temperature this morning was 8 degrees and we had a wind chill of -4 degrees. But that did not stop Chris T, Evan S, Joe S and Joe S, Sue L and me from jumping in the water at Gull Island Park. We went to Gull Island mainly because a dredge was working the inlet and the foot of Bay Ave still pretty much blocked off because of the new boat ramp being built.

    We hit the water with the tide ripping out and with the full moon and the northwest winds the tide was really moving. It was so strong you couldn’t swim against it, so we went in on the other side of the bridge and drifted through the bridge and drifted down towards the docks.

   The visibility was nothing to write home about, maybe two to three feet, but all together we recovered 2.5 pounds of sinkers and you had to grab them as you flew. The water temperature was 37 degrees but that wasn’t that big of a problem, the problem was when we came out in to the cold air. The gear pretty much froze on you. But we did have warm water with us to melt the ice.
   We can be called any time to do a job so we need to be ready and it’s not always warm sunny days. Days like this test our stills and show us just how bad it can be. Did we have to dive today, NO! We wanted to dive.

    Just to show how cold it was we left a towel and a piece of rope outside after washing our gear and in a few minutes this is what we had

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Fishing net removed

 The team was requested to help in removing a fishing net that was a problem in Shark river inlet. The net was wrapped around the bridge piling in a area that was used by both divers (skin and scuba) and fishermen.
   At times it float high off the bottom and at other times it was close to the bottom and this wasn't one of those light fishing line nets, this was one of those heavy line one, almost like rope.
   Both Joes, Rich, Evan and I  headed up to the inlet and setup to remove it from the water. With a strong out going tide to keep the net from floating around us as we worked on it, a line was run from shore to the net.
   The plan was to tie the line to the net and put some small floats on it and then cut it free from the piling and the bottom and let it be pulled from the water. I hit the water first and ran the line out to the net and Joe(OJ) followed right behind me. We unwrapped what we could and tied the line to the net and then started cutting the net free. Rich and Evan came down ready to swim the net and guide it over to the rocks and help Big Joe pull it from the water.
   The plan worked better then we thought it would, once the net was cut free and guided around the piling the current just lifted it and swung right over to the rocks and Big Joe, Rich and Evan pulled it from the water.
   The fishermen were happy to see it come up and the team got many pounds of sinkers from it. Now the divers don't have to worry about it anymore. Not to waste a dive, we all swam around checking out the area that was covered by the net. Rich came out with six large brass bolts and the team recovered over 40 pounds of sinkers.
   We did shoot video of the mission and it can be seen on you tube, This is what we train to do, we work in less then good visibility and strong current and we do it safely. We can be called and have been to do many jobs and doing jobs like this help make us be ready to answer the call when it comes in!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

It's on its way!

The Point Pleasant First Aid Dive Team would like to say thank you to all who helped the team reach our goal. Sharing our posts and the go fund me page and making donations helped our campaign raise the money we needed to replace Rescue 34.

    We made our goal and the new rescue 34 has been ordered, these boats are custom made for what the team needs. As the team gets the status reports on the boat we’ll pass that on to everyone. So follow along with us on Facebook and our blog.

    Again THANK-YOU to every one!

Monday, October 02, 2017


    Saturday the dive team was at the Beachwood Elementary Schools bike rodeo. The team was invited to come down and set up our public education display and our touch tank which is always a big hit with the kids.

Here the kids and the adults get to see and hold some of the specimens that the team recovered on that mornings dive. Spider crabs, dog whelks, periwinkles, oyster drills, a baby horseshoe crab and hermit crabs and they also saw what grows on the rocks and bottom here along the Jersey shore, sea urchins, sponges, cold water corals and sea stars. But also got to see our shell board which hold all the sea shells you could see along a walk on any beach and also ship wreck artifacts and old bottles that have been recovered.

   The crowd kept the team members busy answering all their question, the only break the team got was where the Free-cycle bike running team did their show. These guys were so good we even had to watch.

   The rain had held off all day until just after the bike running team had finished their show. But the day was not over for the team, we had to return all the specimens back to their home in the ocean and clean and unload all our displays and equipment.

    It is not always about diving, we do these public education shows to just show how much alive the ocean is in our area and how anyone can help the oceans stay clean.


Tuesday, September 05, 2017


This past June, during a routine training drill, Rescue 34 suffered a catastrophic hull failure and was lost at sea. She sank in minutes. Luckily no one on the Dive Team was injured during the sinking. Losing Rescue 34 was heart breaking for the team, she was one of us and served us well for over 15 years.
            The Dive Team has setup a GoFundMe campaign to help us raise money for a replacement Rescue 34. The money raised will help us purchase a brand new 19’ Ribcraft. We are asking anyone willing to help our cause to go to to make a donation.
            Donations may also be made to:
Point Pleasant Beach First Aid Dive Team
611 Laurel Avenue
Point Pleasant, NJ 08742
Thank you to everyone for your support and generosity!


I am still in shock over the sinking of Rescue 34, our 16’ zodiac rescue boat. If I wasn’t there to see it myself I would never have believed it. To go from floating to swimming in a minute, it was that fast. One minute Rich G. is telling me “Hey Chet!  We got water coming in“, the next thing I know I’m watching the dive flag go underwater and the whole hull disappear. There was no time to do anything to save it.

The question that kept popping into my thoughts was “How could this happen?”. One thing I know the team did was take care of Rescue 34. It was washed and the motor was flushed out after every time it was used. If the owner’s manual said to do something, it was done. In the spring before putting the boat to hard use over the summer, Rescue 34 was gone over from bow to stern, motor serviced, tubes inspected, all equipment (IE life jackets, lines, lights, batteries) were thoroughly gone over and if it needed to be replaced, it was.  The boat was even kept inside out of the weather all year long.


After doing some research, I found a few cases online of the hull attachment points or other seams coming apart. This is exactly what happened to Rescue 34. During our preseason checks these points were checked and never showed any signs of failure. I was surprised that I couldn’t find more information about this catastrophic failure, but decided at least I understood the process that caused our boat to sink.


This weekend we decided to take a trip to the Bay Head Yacht Club to look at the kind of boat we are hoping will be our replacement for Rescue 34. We ran into Buddy who is the Dock Master and started asking questions about his Ribcraft. We asked how he liked it, did it hold up well, all the things you ask while considering purchasing a new boat. In talking to him, we shared what had happened during the sinking of Rescue 34 and he knew exactly what we were talking about.

            Buddy took us over to his fleet of 9 Zodiacs and said to take a look at the rear attachment points. Every one of his boats had the attachment point fail. He told us the failure rate was 100%.  I took pictures of the failures on his boats for our own records and each one reminded me of Rescue 34. Buddy went on to say he has to budget money to re-tube three boats every year. Five years was what he said the tubes last.


 His Ribcraft on the other hand was over ten years old and was still working well with no problems. The tubes were a little faded, but were not showing any signs of attachment problems even with the hard use of yacht club and being out all summer in the weather. I hope that our replacement for Rescue 34 will serve us as well as Bay Head Yacht Club’s has served them.
             I want to thank Buddy the Dock Master at the Bay Head Yacht Club for taking

Friday, September 01, 2017

Good bye old friend

When the Point Pleasant First Aid Dive Team was formed so many years ago we immediately saw the need for a rescue boat. With the surrounding lakes, ponds, streams, inlets and many miles of coast line, we knew this was a piece of equipment that was desperately needed. With little in the way of funding, we knew we had to go raise the money ourselves.
We set out to raise the money with car washes, donation jars in local businesses and even recovering sinkers from the inlet and selling them back to the fishermen. It was slow going but we were determined to get a rescue boat. Until one day we got a call from the local Zodiac dealer telling us to come down and pick one out. Someone was buying the boat, motor and trailer and it was going to be a donation to the Dive Team.
Lou Mercatanti of Nassau Broadcasting made that donation and gave the team the boat they needed. His generosity and kindness provided us with a 16’ Zodiac rescue boat that was to serve the area residents for over 15 years. Rescue 34 was used as a training platform for divers and for patrolling the areas waters. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall we were out training or patrolling in our red 16’ Zodiac.
That training paid off during hurricane sandy, the team was out at the height of the storm rescuing people from flooded homes. The flooding was so severe that we launched the boat next to the railroad tracks on Arnold Ave. Many of the people said how happy they were when they saw our bright red Rescue 34 coming down the street to take them to higher ground.
After hurricane sandy one story comes to mind how Rescue 34 helped people suffering from the effects of the storm. The storm surge had caused a house to be washed across the bay where it came to rest in the shallow waters. The team was out patrolling in Rescue 34 and came across the family trying to recover what they could out of their relocated house. The team helped load out what they could and then loaded a floating dock we found with the families personal items and towed the dock to a local marina using Rescue 34. It wasn’t a big rescue. Just the team helping people who could use an extra hand.
After sandy we were out just about every weekend doing beach sweeps and river sweeps and lake clean outs and using Rescue 34 on every one of them. If you go to our blog spot ( you can look up hurricane sandy and read the stories and see all the pictures.

            This past June, during a routine training drill, Rescue 34 suffered a catastrophic hull failure and was lost at sea. She sank in minutes. Luckily no one on the Dive Team was injured during the sinking. Losing Rescue 34 was heart breaking for the team, she was one of us and served us well for over 15 years.
            So, here we are again. 15 years later and we start the fundraising process all over again! The Dive Team has setup a GoFundMe campaign to help us raise money for a replacement Rescue 34. The money raised will help us purchase a brand new 19’ Ribcraft. We are asking anyone willing to help our cause to go to to make a donation.

            We would like to thank the community, local businesses and state and local authorities and for all of their support throughout the years. We look forward to serving you in the future.