Friday, July 27, 2012

Wooden Boat Festival ~2012~

Each year we are proud to be a part of the Wooden Boat Festival sponsored by the Toms River Seaport Society and Maritime Museum. The day includes a collection of wooden boats moored along the canal, vendors selling nautical goods, pirates and of course the
Pt Pleasant Dive Team touch tank and display.

The Dive Teams day starts at 5:30 am as we don our scuba equipment to collect our specimens for the touch tank. It takes about an hour to collect the proper specimens and enough water to keep our touch tank and our specimens healthy throughout the long day ahead.

Our displays at the festival included photos of various marine life found off the Jersey coast, a multimedia display showing artifact recovery, marine life and Dive Team drills, our brand new shell display case created by our fantastic Sue Lewicki, and of course “Dry Suit Guy” – a fully suited representation of what equipment we wear during our dives.

Of course the highlight of our display was our Touch Tank. Kids and adults alike had a great time learning about the marine life of New Jersey from members of our Dive Team. Our Touch tank included specimens such as the Sea Star (or Starfish as most would call them), Spider Crabs, Snails, Hermit Crabs, Star Coral and the Red Bearded Sponge. There were many smiles and a few shrieks as the Sea Stars would start walking along a childs hand!

12 hours after starting our day we are finally on our way back to the RR Bridge to release our marine specimens. As we know from the past, you never know when a call will come in and it did on the way home. No rest for the weary.

In the makes a for a long day, both for the Sea Stars and the Dive Team.
But we love every minute of it! We look forward to seeing our friends again at the Wooden Boat Festival in 2013.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jetty Training 2012

On July ?? 2012 the Pt Pleasant EMS and Dive Team, along with local lifeguards from Jenkisons, held a jetty rescue drill at Manasquan Inlet. Over 30 emergency personnel participated in the drill over the course of the evening.

The Manasquan Inlet can be a very dangerous and tricky area for rescue and recovery. The inlet handles a high volume of boat traffic on any given day, especially in the summer months. Combine this with swift currents, riptides and slippery jetty rocks and accidents can and will happen.

Our drill concentrated on locating and recovery of a victim in the jetty rocks and jacks. The jetty rocks and jacks create numerous caves and crevices where a victim can be lodged out of sight and even hearing. Locating the possible victim requires a systematic search of every possible hiding place. The rocks are slippery with algae, seaweed and water making every inch of the search dangerous to the rescuer if not executed correctly.

We split the lifeguards into several groups each lead by a member of the Dive Team. Meanwhile Chief Nesley had several of the Dive Team members hide in the rocks as potential victims. As we searched the inlet everyone was soon able to see how hard this really could be. The Dive Team can be very good at getting into those tight crevices.

But the lifeguards wee not about to be shown up. They proved their dedication and professionalism by finding very victim.

Once the victims were found, EMT’s were called to the location and the process of recovering the victim started. Victims were secured onto backboards and carefully extricated from the rocks and jacks. Imagine trying to secure an unconscious victim to a backboard while wedged into a space the size of the front seat of your car, while waves bash you into the rocks.

After all the victims were rescued, the Dive Team went for a quick swim around the tip of the jetty. This can be a tricky place as waves and swift currents can wash you into the rocks or out to sea. As we walked up onto the beach after our swim, tired and ready to discuss our evening..Chief Nesley had a surprise in store for all of us. The shout came to us on the beach, distressed swimmer in the water. Back into the surf we went! Pulling our “distressed swimmer” (actually it was Milton’s son) back to the shoreline. Safe and secure at last!

We would like to give a great thank you to the members of Jenkinson’s Lifeguard squad.
Everyday they are out there showing their courage and professionalism protecting the swimmers in Pt Pleasant. Great job everyone!