Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wedding Ring Recovery....

When someone needs help in the ocean, they call the U.S. Coast Guard. When the Coast Guard needs help, they call us. At least they did on Tuesday, June 14, 2011. No one was in immediate danger, except one crew member whose wedding band dropped off the dock at Station Manasquan. (We don't know if his marriage was in actual danger, but we all wanted to get his ring back just the same.)

Chief Nesley reported to the station that day and spent two-and-a-half hours down with an underwater metal detector, with negative results. He discovered afterwards that he had not been directed to check the correct area off the dock.

On Sunday, June 19, we brought a second crew back to the station, and this time we got to speak directly with the crew member who lost his ring. He pointed right to the spot where the ring dropped off and added that tide had been running out 2-3 hours at the time. We dropped an anchor to mark the center point of the search area, followed by a quarter to observe how a small object would interact with the substrate. Vis was good, but the sediment there is like pudding. The coin plopped halfway into the muck (and didn't go any further), but every touch of the bottom erupted a silt cloud. We figured that the underwater metal detectors might be necessary, so we adjusted the sensitivities to pick up small objects.

Joe and Sue first drifted over the entire search area for a rough visual scan. Not seeing our target, they came back to the dock where Chet and Brandon assisted in getting them both outfitted with the underwater metal detectors. They returned to the bottom to begin the tedious process of sweeping a pattern. Within a few minutes, Joe returned to the dock, seemingly fed up and frustrated. He choked and complained to the Chief about the job, right before he "coughed" the ring up onto the dock!

At some point, Joe went back down to recall Sue. We were glad to complete another successful search & recovery mission, and one Coast Guard crew member was glad to have his wedding band back

Monday, June 27, 2011

Atlantic Traveler wreck at Mannasquan Inlet

Today, June 26th, the Dive Team took another stab at cleaning up the debris leftover from the wreck of the Atlantic Traveler from several weeks ago. After the salvage company removed the bulk of the wreck, we had surveyed the area and shot some underwater video, revealing that several masses of netting and at least one metal pipe were sticking out of the sand south of Manasquan Inlet jetty, encroaching on the swimming area. Since the event, the lifeguards have been keeping people out of that zone. We were all looking forward to clearing this area.

Conditions were less than ideal, with 3-4 foot waves (sometimes bigger) rolling in sets and heavy surge tossing us back and forth. The only saving grace here was that, in those moments you weren't getting thrown around like a rag doll, the vis was good. Tom, Milton, Sue and Chet entered the water to clean up what we could while First Aiders Max, Sarah, and Sean helped on the beach with lines.

Sue and Tom first located the metal pipe sticking straight up out of the sand (within 2 feet of surface), so the flag was tied on to this as the center point of our search area. Pivoting around, they found several hunks of net sticking out of the sand and worked as best they could to cut away the masses for removal. After the bulk of the nets were removed, Milton and Chet proceeded to use a hacksaw to cut the pipe down to sand line. The first aid shore tenders pulled this pipe and Milton back to the beach. Sue tried to work on one last batch of netting on the swim back to the beach, but Chet finished the job with the hacksaw.

With everyone safe on shore, we showed all the debris and pipe to one of the lifeguard Captains and Jenkinson's staff, reporting that everything we found was cut back down to sand line and removed. They were pleased with these results in that a little more beach can be opened up safely for use again.

The vessel sank outside the south Jetty in an Ocean Environment in an upside down position. After more than three weeks of inclement weather, Donjon Marine was able to mobilize its 400-ton capacity Derrick barge Columbia, NY from its home base in Port Newark, New Jersey to perform the wreck removal of the vessel.

June 10 - Donjon Marine mobilised its 400 tonne capacity derrick barge, Columbia, NY, to salvage the fishing boat Atlantic Traveler, which had sank after hitting the South Jetty of Manasquan Inlet off Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, USA.

F/V Atlantic Traveler
Manasquan Inlet, NJ 2011-May-11
On May 11, 2011 at 0451 EDT the 64' fishing vessel Atlantic Traveler sank outside of Manasquan Inlet, N.J. The vessel has 3,150 gallons of diesel onboard. This is about 600' from shore. Light sheen has been reported emanating from the vessel. All three people on board were removed safely.

Incident Details
Spill, potential spill, or other: Oil Spill
Cause of incident: Sunken Vessel
Products of concern: Diesel
Total amount at risk of spill: 3,150 gallons

Latitude (approximate): 40° 5.90' North
Longitude (approximate): 74° 1.80' West

Saturday, June 11, 2011

World Oceans Day ~2011~

World Oceans Day is celebrated this week, so last Saturday, June 4, 2011, Jenkinson's Aquarium invited us to join their local celebration. This has become an annual event for us. This year, "1-2-3 and the Seas" and a Dr. Seuss theme in the aquarium's classroom made sure that, if nothing else, Sue would get a fun souvenir.

We first set up our table display with shells, bottles, and other artifacts, all collected from local waters. Display boards were also up about the First Aid Squad and Dive Team. Families stopped by throughout the day with questions about what lives out there and how we have to dress to dive throughout the seasons. "Drysuit Guy" was again a popular photo op. For one family, the exact minute we were explaining how we locate bottles, one of our archive videos of fanning for bottles rolled around - great timing! We could stop talking and they could see for themselves.

The Aquarium scheduled us to conduct three dive demonstrations in the seal tank over the course of the day. We always start with who we are and what it's like to dive in New Jersey. From the front of the seal tank, families then watched us perform some basic skills (mask flood-and-clear, mask removal and replacement, regulator recovery, hovering, etc.). Chet and Joe went first. Joe's first time in here went really well - it helps to have a theater background! Teams of Doug/Sue and Tom/Milton took their turns too, including videotaping from the inside of the tank. (How often does an exhibit take pictures of you?) The divers in the tank also challenged kids outside to a race and a high jump with Flo and Sue as referees.

It was an all-around fun day at the Aquarium with a lot to learn about the ocean. And Sue did get a Dr. Seuss crown.

Visit to see how others around the world celebrated.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Fishing Boat Wreck ~Manansquan Inlet~

The crew, who were aboard the Atlantic Traveler, were unable to control the vessel after its hydraulic hose broke, and they lost their clutch and steering and began drifting toward the rocks, the spokeswoman said. The men had left port here, but it was unknown how long they were at sea before the boat capsized.

They were taken back to the station in Manasquan, where they received medical attention and were released, a Coast Guard spokeswoman said