The Dive Team got another call from Bay Head about another object in the water. (The last time it was an underwater mine, so now what?) Tom C. and I headed out to answer the call, ON THE SAME BEACH AS THE MINE, with the First Aid Captain right behind. On arrival, we spoke with the head of the beach patrol, who informed us of a pipe sticking up out of the bottom in the swimming area. The lifeguards had tried to pull it out, but couldn’t get it to move. But they did mark it with a float.
Tom and I suited up in dive gear and Sabrina suited up in her surface rescue gear to be our surface support. The “dive” part was easy – short swim, flat ocean, and good vis. Sure enough, attached to the float was a 2 inch diameter steel pipe, with about 5 feet sticking out of the bottom. We just had to get it out.
The lifeguards had tried to pull it out with no success, so we had no idea how long the rest of it was. They were thinking we might have to dig, but I was thinking about a WET PAINT sign that makes you want to touch something! I just gave it a pull, and it started moving. Being on SCUBA, we could get a good look at how it was inserted into the sand, so we just kept working it from the right angle, and 12-14 feet of pipe came free. We swam it in and handed it over to beach patrol.
In the meantime, Sabrina did do a bit of talking with people on the beach about the First Aid Squad and Dive Team. She assured them that, other than this random object, the swimming beaches are generally clean and safe.
A few days later the team got a call from Someone Who Wished He Hadn’t Dropped His Only Boat Keys off a Dock. He had apparently dropped his only boat keys off a dock and asked if we could help recover them. We got to the marina and suited up within an hour.
Someone showed us exactly where the keys were dropped, but he was concerned that they might truly be lost - it was only two keys on a large rubber band, the current may have taken them away entirely, and the bay bottom is incredibly muddy in that area.
Even with these challenges, the search area was narrowed down to one boat slip, so we decided to put one diver in at a time. I started out with maybe 4 INCHES on visibility. Even on this bright, sunny day, in 7 feet of water, you needed a dive light. It took 45 minutes, but got the keys back.
Never say Never!