Tuesday, November 27, 2007

M\S Explorer...


Many reports in the media last week about the M\S Explorer that went down after striking a submerged iceberg off Antarctica. Reports indicated that the damage to the hull produced a hole “the size of a fist” which sounds like the damage should have been controllable. As we all know the media tends to rush to press with whatever info they have without proper follow-up or a reading public that knows better. Photos of the damaged and sinking Explorer shows apparent damage to the hull and it appears that the hole is possibly the size of a fist but runs the length of about 40% of the ship.

Have not been able to find any follow-up stories or info on the damage but I am sure that reports will follow with time. Enviro-cruises have become popular in this area as well as Alaska in somewhat harsh conditions.

Suspecting that the Explorer settled on the bottom on it’s Starboard side, the damage to the hull should be very visible and a great wreck dive. As with any new wreck, plans are in the works for a road trip but problems have developed with locating established 7-Eleven stores along the route to provide the needed sustainable supplies… COFFEE !!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

2007 Underwater Pumpkin Contest...


Today we hosted our 10th annual Underwater Pumpkin Carving contest. This is to promote NJ Diving ,and to meet new divers. The wind was blowing and the water temp has dropped to 57 degrees but everyone had fun.
Happy Halloween

Members of the Point Pleasant Rescue Dive Team
Victims of the above mentioned Carving crew...


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Michelle K ~2004~


While conducting some research on the Manasquan Inlet for the blogpost concerning the lost “Kayaker”, I came along these photos of the “Michelle K” incident that happened in 2004...

Chief Diver Chet Nesley advised me that he was at the inlet when the Michelle K incident occurred and witnessed the clam boat running up to the South seawall of the inlet. Reports indicated that the Michelle K first struck the North jetty and then veered South ending up alongside the seawall.

Nesley stated that he was at the South seawall and saw the Michelle K veer across the inlet heading towards the seawall that had numerous fishermen at that time. He then warned the Fishermen of the impending impact and then helped the crew of the Michelle K as they exited the boat. Nesley then called back to the Dive Team that was gathering for a scheduled meeting and advised them of the incident and pending boat sinking in the inlet.

This resulted in a full response by the Point Pleasant Rescue Dive Team, the Point Pleasant First Aid team, the Fire Department, Police department, and Manasquan Inlet Coast Guard.

The Dive Team inspected the hull of the boat to determine the amount of damage and proper steps to secure the vessel to prevent further damage. They advised that the rigger should be tied off to keep the clam boat from rolling to far once the tide went out…

Following is a short report that appeared in a local paper:
Monday, October 04, 2004 The Sinking and Raising of the Michelle K
This is a picture taken of the Michelle K yesterday, after she was raised from the waters of the Manasquan Inlet. (I believe she is a clam boat.) Last week, as she was coming into the inlet, she hit the Northern Jetty and then proceeded across the inlet and sank in front of the parking lot on the Point Pleasant side. The Columbia was used to pump the water out of the Michelle K and raise her from the depths, while two tug boats kept the Columbia in position so she could do her job. This is all the information I have as of right now; most of it coming from my hubby and the talk down at the inlet. I'll keep you posted as I get more info!

Additional Copyrighted photos appear on the following website:


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Coast Guard "Full Service" Charity Car Wash...


The Manasquan Coast Guard Station had a charity Car wash this past weekend that attracted much attention from visitors to the Inlet on a popular weekend...

This highly visible location tends to attract much attention and is a good place for public functions such as a carwash and the likes... It also tends to attract just about anything that can climb over the sea wall and rustle up some spare change for a good washing...

The crew at the Coast Guard Station were good sports and took the time to clean up some of the locals before releasing them back into the Inlet...

Members and Crews of Coast Guard Station Manasquan, "Thank-You for your service to our country and community"...

Missing "Kayaker" recovered outside of inlet...


The Kayaker reported missing last week in the Point Pleasant Beach N.J. area last week was recovered about 1.5 miles northeast of Mannasquan Inlet after being reported by a transient boater.

The Point Pleasant Rescue Dive Team was requested by local authorities to search the jetties after the kayak was found approximately 9 miles offshore and found the entry point as reported.

The Asbury Park Press had the following story:

"The body of 52-year-old Frank D'Alessandro, a Florida real estate broker who had been reported missing since he went kayaking off Point Pleasant Beach last week, was found floating in the Atlantic Ocean near the Manasquan Inlet on Monday morning, authorities confirmed Monday night.
The county medical examiner ruled Monday evening that the death was accidental and the cause was asphyxia due to drowning, according to a statement from Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford."

This story also cross-posted at RightsideVA blog: http://rightsideva.blogspot.com/2007/09/missing-kayaker-recovered-mannasquan.html

Monday, September 17, 2007

Point Pleasant Seafood Festival ~2007~...

Busy weekend with the Seafood Festival and annual Tube-race held in Point Pleasant. The Dive Team provided support and assistance once again during the event and was welcomed by many...
Dive Team support was positioned all along the beach, in the water, and on the water in the form of "Rescue 34" beyond the surf zone...

Entry into and past the surf zone provided some interesting photos and reactions to some of the "newer" tubers...

Exiting the course thru the surf-zone also provided some interesting photos and reactions by the crowd on the beach...

The Dive Team provided numerous (Five) assists to participants who required assistance in exiting the surf once it was determined "Victory" was pretty much eliminated from the available options...

Congratulations to the members of the Point Pleasant Dive Team on their tenth anniversary...

Both the Team and the blogmaster just don't know what to say about this photo...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Search for "Kayaker" off Point Pleasant...


The Dive Team responded to a request from the Mannasquan Coast Guard station to assist in searching for a missing person last seen kayaking off the Point Pleasant beach.

Team Captain Chet Nesley provided the following information for this post and photos were provided by Flo Melo who also included the link to the Asbury Park Press story:

The dive team was called out by the coast guard station manasquan inlet today. To help look for a missing kayaker. The kayaker left the beach in point and was never seen again.
We had a good place to start cause you could still see the drag marks in the sand were he put the kayak in the water. It was off new york ave in the beach.
We did a surf line swim for 500yards up current from that point, we had 25 feet of vis. so it was easy going for the divers. We moved the search to the inlet and did a complete search above and below. But came up with nothing.
Will let you know if anything comes up.

Asbury Park Press coverage:
POINT PLEASANT BEACH — Coast Guard officials continue to search for a missing kayaker, who has been identified as a prominent developer from Fort Myers, Fla., who recently has been plagued by lawsuits.Frank D'Alessandro, 52, went missing Wednesday. The Coast Guard and the New Jersey State Police Marine Services Bureau began their search for him off of Point Pleasant Beach after a family member called authorities because he failed to meet her for a scheduled lunch date.

On Wednesday, the Coast Guard received the missing report about D'Alessandro at 1:30 p.m. and a helicopter was on the scene three minutes later, according to Petty Officer Nyx Cangemi.Soon after, the crew discovered an overturned orange kayak about nine miles off shore, he said, adding that authorities have not confirmed that the kayak belonged to the missing boater.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Bonnie Lea up on the beach...


Another Scallop boat has become victim of the season and this one ended up on the beach off of New York Avenue. Point Pleasant First aid team members responded but the Rescue Dive Team was not needed for this call...

The Captain reported that upon exiting Mannasquan Inlet he faced strong winds and decided to head back to the dock but lost power and steerage...

"The Bonnie Lee's ill-fated ordeal began more than 12 hours earlier. Matthews said he took it out of the Manasquan Inlet and headed south, only to meet up with high winds. Because of the weather, he said he decided to turn around and head back to the inlet, but on the way back, the boat's motor failed.
"I lost power and ended up on the beach," he said.
Police and Coast Guard officials received word of a vessel with engine trouble about 2:30 a.m., and about five minutes later, the Bonnie Lee had washed up on the beach, police said.
Both agencies said that when the boat's motor stalled, the two men on board were unable to get the anchor out, and jumped off as the vessel washed ashore".

Photos provided by Dive Team member Flo Melo...

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Smith Mountain Lake ~Virginia~


By chance I was at Smith Mountain Lake in southern Virginia last week to spend the day with a close friend and his family when a missing accident victim was discovered by my friend and his brother in law. I had elected to meet the group at the Smith Mountain State Park for a picnic lunch and arrived their by motor vehicle as my friends group came by pontoon boat with 6 adults and 7 small children aboard.

While enroute to the state park I received a cell phone call from Fred advising me that they would be late for they had discovered a body in the water by the R-17 marker and were awaiting arrival of authorities to take control of the area. He was calm and it was apparent that he had taken control of the situation and had followed common sense procedures during this unexpected and unsettling event. Reactions that I will discuss later in this post.

Fred described the situation to me by cell phone and I advised him it was important to secure and note location of scene for later review and advise authorities. He described a large amount of boat traffic in the area and having to reroute several other boats around the area to preserve the scene. He stated that upon first discovery of the body it was first thought that the victim was just recently injured by water skiing or personal watercraft accident and the immediate emergency actions that he and his brother in law had initiated. He then described how the situation changed once it was determined that the victim had been in the water a considerable amount of time and resuscitation was impossible.

It turns out this victim was not from a recent accident and in fact was the result of a boating accident that occurred four months earlier in April in very deep and cold water conditions…

"The body of a man who drowned nearly four months ago in a boating accident on Smith Mountain Lake was recovered in the lake Thursday, authorities said.
Officials from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries recovered the body of David Reynolds, 44, of Grottoes, after it floated to the surface and some boaters spotted it. The medical examiner's office positively identified the body today.
Reynolds had been missing since an April 4 boating accident that killed Richard Smith, 64, of Moneta. Two other men who had been in the boat were rescued.
Virginia game officials said the 33-foot wooden Hacker Craft overturned in the "S Curve" near channel marker R-17 as a result of high winds and a malfunction in the cooling system.
The body was found near the site of the accident."

Smith Mountain Lake is a large manmade lake which resulted from building a dam in a valley southeast of the lake. It has very deep areas of 200 feet or more with many debris fields including trees, structures, and submerged hazards.

Numerous newspaper articles described the incident and continual search for the missing boater…

"The boat overturned in the "S Curve" near channel marker R-17 as a result of high winds and a malfunction in the cooling system, Martin said.
The cooling device was pumping water into the boat, but not out of it, he said. The accumulating water weighed down the back of the craft and made it unstable in the high winds, which were gusting up to 30 mph."

The Crash
"The boating nightmare began midafternoon on a Wednesday, police said.
At the time, Curt was driving his new 2007 HackerCraft. The wooden boat was a replica of a 1940s skiing vessel that had a top speed of about 45 mph. None of the boaters wore their life vests as they cruised the 20,000-acre lake, located 20 miles south of Roanoke.
Then, tragedy.
Although the incident is still under investigation, police don’t suspect that alcohol or speed was a factor in the wreck, nor did the craft hit anything. It simply "overturned while it was running," according to police reports.
Shortly after the boat overturned, a father and son boating on the lake spotted Curt and Zimmerman clinging to the wreckage, and helped them into their boat. The pair also recovered Smith’s body nearby.
Rescue workers treated the survivors for hypothermia and dehydration, friends said.
As the day went on, Reynolds was nowhere to be found. Divers searched around the mostly submerged boat but couldn’t find him.
At 7 p.m. the boat sank."

The Search
The next morning, searchers used helicopters and sonar to look for Reynolds’ body because at 170 to 200 feet deep, the water was too deep for divers.
Winds churned the waters, and tall trees below the surface complicated the search, police said. For days, they searched to no avail.
Eventually, the search was scaled back.
"There’s literally forests, fields, cow pastures, barns and old houses under this lake," Sgt. Bryan Young of Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries told the Daily News-Record in April.
Although they scaled back, the searchers never gave up.
Every day, for four months, officials with Smith Mountain Lake State Park and its Marine Volunteer Fire and Rescue continued looking.
Divers used inflatable airbags to raise the vessel, bringing it up from depths of the lake. After towing it to shore, authorities put the boat in a secure location and began searching for clues.
Curt bought diving robots and computers for volunteers to better their search. He brought in experts from Minnesota to train the men."

After speaking with my friend Fred and others involved I noticed three distinct reactions to the discovery by those aboard the pontoon boat.

Upon initial discovery of the victim in the water Fred advised me that he was immediately in the process of entering the water to retrieve the victim for CPR if needed. His reaction was a immediate response and preparation for immediate life saving procedures… Fred is a longtime friend and it is his house in New Jersey that I stay at when I make trips to NJ to dive with the Point Pleasant Rescue Dive team to train with. I believe and hope that his knowledge of my training and history of the Dive team may have assisted him in his initial reaction to the situation.

Another reaction to the discovery was the reaction by Fred’s brother in law who secured the deck of the pontoon boat and the boats occupants while supporting and assisting Fred’s initial response. The brother in law viewed the situation in a different manner and in more of a valuable support position. Being in this position he was able to assess the situation in a different frame and observe that the victim had been in the water for sometime and immediate retrieval of the victim and emergency life saving actions were not required.

The third reaction to the incident was that of another family member who took control of the pontoon boat and maneuvered it into the appropriate position. This person also took caution and actions to shelter the children on the boat from directly viewing the victim in the water and keeping other boaters clear of the area. It was also noted by this person the numerous people\boaters in the area that obviously should have seen the same victim in this much traveled waterway.

It appears now that my friends group was probably the first to come along the just surfaced victim for none of the other numerous boaters in the area had responded as of yet. By chance or fate it was Fred’s group that was to be the first to report this incident and also to provide examples of the numerous responses that occur in situations like this…

It has been reported in the numerous newspaper reports of this incident that the victim was a volunteer fireman in the town of New Hope and was one to “React” as Fred did in a emergency situation. One of quick response in a controlled and trained manner always willing to help others in need.

He name was David Reynolds and he was from Grottoes Virginia which is just 15 miles or so North from where I live. The numerous links to reports of this incident go into further detail and can provide valuable knowledge for future reference…

Friday, August 03, 2007

Follow up to Story...

BREAKING NEWS: Body found in ocean identified as missing artist
Posted by the
Asbury Park Press on 07/31/07

Friday, July 27, 2007



The Dive Team went on "Stand-by" status this past Sunday after receiving notification from the Coast Guard that a body was recovered in the water 4 miles NE of the Manasquan Inlet. Numerous Dive Team members responded to the building to prepare equipment and review dive\search plans in the event of being dispatched to the scene.

From the Asbury Park Press story that appeared several days later:

"The body of a man found Sunday about 4 miles off the Jersey Shore might be that of Jeremy Blake, a rising star in the modern art world who was last seen wandering into the ocean off New York's Rockaway Beach a week after his girlfriend had killed herself.
The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office announced that suspicion Wednesday afternoon after a New York City police officer contacted investigators who have been attempting to identify the body since a fisherman found it four days ago."

The team remained on stand-by for most of the morning until it was determined that a underwater search of the recovery area was not needed. Of course with all that equipment and personnel prepared and ready for assignment a training dive in the Inlet was called...