Sunday, September 12, 2010

Rescue Dive Training then a Rescue...

Rescue class continued on Sunday, September 12 for Milton and Tom T. With the annual Tube Race coming up next week and some sloppy waves building on the beach, we began there with surf entries. We worked on observing the surf, timing waves, and making over and under approaches. We also practiced entries and assists with rescue cans, and assisting a victim out through the surf.

We then moved our operations further up Manasquan River at Gull Island. We revisited panicked and unconscious divers at the surface, and utilized several forms of egress.

We had just finished the session, visited the 7-11 across the street for coffee, and actually jumped into a real rescue! Another dive class was beginning with the tide still coming in strongly. Most of the class was sufficiently far enough away from the railroad bridge to function, but one pair of divers ended up in the center of the channel too close to the bridge and was swept underneath. All by itself, this presents no danger, but the tide washed them up against the marina docks. Here all they could do was hold on, as the current was still too strong to swim back against, and it would have been difficult to work back to shore along the docks from there while being washed underneath.

Milton and Tom headed down the marina docks to assist from above while Chief Nesley jumped in from the bridge for the quickest response from water. When contact was made, the divers were quickly tiring from hanging on in the swift current and at least one was becoming panicky. Chief Nesley held onto the first diver and had her float under the dock to the leeward side, making it easier for Milton and Tom to haul her up onto the dock fully geared. The second diver was instructed to also move to the downstream side of the dock, and the extraction was repeated.

Our Rescue Divers learn very quickly that class sessions are not just academic exercises - skills really sink in (no pun intended) when you immediately apply them. You never know what is going to happen!


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