Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Time to deliver the mail....

Saturday brought us a beautiful clear sky and a brisk wind. It also brought us almost zero viz! But since when has that ever stopped our Dive Team?

One of our friends lost quite a bit in hurricane Sandy. Flooded house…flooded business and lost gear. One of the items just happened to be a piece of underwater salvage equipment called a Mailbox. This is a large pipe approx 3’ in diameter and 6’ long, weighing in at 400lbs! And it was our job to find and recover it asap.

Chet lead the team of divers consisting of Joe, Bob, Gibby, Bond and newcomer Sammy. Chet and Sammy stayed topside to help guide the operation while 2 teams of divers used search lines to pinpoint debris that had been lost in the hurricane.

While searching we found items such as lawn chairs, drain pipes, rope coils and even a hedge trimmer! Joe and Bob found the Mailbox after several sweeps. They used our 500lb lift bag secured by running lines thru the pipe itself. No problem floating an item this large when you train for these kinds of things...but the big question was…how are we going to get it OUT of the water?

Our friend suggested he could get a crane over to lift it out. However we have Chet’s incredible knowledge as a rigger and quickly devised a plan of action. We setup our ladder as a ramp and used our winch from the Dive Truck to gently pull the Mailbox up onto the dock. With a bit of extra muscle from some members of the First Aid squad that showed up…success!

But wait ..what is that large white area over by the dock? What was our final find of the day? A commercial bathroom stall door! We all laughed and pulled it from the water. Just another piece of debris to add to the massive cleanup at Point Pleasant.

Driving back to the squad building we all remarked at the devastation around us. It was obvious that it was going to take a lot of time and a lot of help to get this town back to its old self. Today we felt like we were able to help…just a little bit.

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