Friday, April 29, 2016

Lost & Found...

If you have been diving long enough you will find things, Old bottles, sinkers, fishing lures and if you’re lucky enough good things too. Like old coins and paper money, jewelry and dive gear. Some of these things we do get to keep, but we do to try to return the things we find.

We post pictures and stories on our blog site and face book page of the things we find and sometimes we get to return them. In one case a pocket book was recovered from the inlet and was turned over to the police and was waiting for the owner when she came to the police headquarters to report the lost.
 A week later the team was down at the inlet getting ready to dive and this same woman came up to thank us for recovering her pocket book.

 In another case that happened just a few weeks ago and a spear gun was recovered from the inlet. We took some pictures and we posted them and low and behold the owner contacted us and we were able to return it. Luckily the owner had marked the gun with red paint and you could still see the paint on it. The spear gun had been in the inlet for months.

After hurricane sandy team members Steve K and Joe S and I were on Gull Island and came across the remains of some benches and found these brass plates embedded in them. We recovered the plates and posted pictures of them and the pictures got posted to New Jersey Hurricane news also. A few weeks later we got a call about one of the plates and we were to meeting up with the owner and return one of them. We also found out the benches were from Spring Lake boardwalk.

There are times the team gets asked to try and find things lost in the water, we do our best to find the time and the divers to go have a look. Once the coast guard station at Manasquan inlet asked us for some help in looking for a wedding band that was dropped in the water at their dock. I answered the call that day and spent four in the water looking. The bottom there is very soft mud so it was a very slow search. Having used up what air I had I told them I would be back tomorrow with more help and we would do our best to find it.
I returned the next day with Sue L and Joe S and then team member Brandon C. This time we were able to talk to the guy who dropped the ring and found out the true area to look in. I had spent the whole day before in the wrong area some twenty feet from the rings location.

But Sue and Joe had no trouble finding it and were in and out of the water in maybe twenty minutes and returned it to one very happy and surprised guardsmen who thought it was gone forever...


It’s not always small things either. After a northeast storm the team was asked to try and find a large section of steel pipe lost behind a house on Inlet drive. The owner had divers out looking for it but they came away with nothing. After checking out the area we planned a search pattern and found the pipe three quarters buried in the sand. Not only did the team find it, we recovered it and raised it out of the water and set it back in the owners yard.

The best one was a call for help by someone who lost his ice boat in the ice during one of the years that the bay iced over. On the way to the marina we would be working out of we came up with a plan to find the ice boat. After getting geared up we headed out to the water and found that finding it would be no problem at all, as the sail was sticking up out of the ice by seven feet. The hard part was chopping the boat out of the six inches of ice.

The weather was not helping us out. The air temperature was 5 below zero and the wind was blowing over twenty miles per hour. But we got the mast and sail down and off the boat and chopped a hole in the ice big enough to get the boat out. As we put the boat down on the ice the wind tried to blow it down the bay, but quick thinking by Doug H, Tom C and Sue L stopped it before it got too far.

These are just a few of the thing we have done over the last nineteen years. We do try to help out and we never ask for pay, if they want to make a donation to the team that’s OK. To us this is a way to show off what we can do and it’s good training for the team.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Shark River pre-Summer

With the coming of summer things change at the shore, you have to pay for parking, if you can find a spot, so many fishermen on the wall and the rocks and as of May 1st you can’t dive in Shark River Inlet during the day. So this last week end before the band the team headed up to Shark River to get in one more Sunday dive.

It was a good call as we had the south side of the inlet to yourself, no fishermen, tide just slowing down and bright sunshine and fairly clear water. 10 maybe 15 seconds on the shell drop. Big Joe was our surface support today, Lisa from Middletown Twp SAR was diving with Sue L and Rich G was teamed up Evan S and Joe OJ and I round out the divers in the water.

Getting everyone in the water down the jetty rocks is a lesson in team work and this is something we work on constantly. As everyone got in and headed down the tide went slack and we had a good hour of current free diving.

Sue and Lisa were first down and headed towards the mouth of the inlet. They didn’t have a tube so this was a look around and check out this area dive. Rick and Evan were next down and headed out behind Sue and Lisa but they had a tube so for them it was looking for sinkers. Both of them are fairly new to this so this is training on how and where to look. OJ and I were last in and we both knew where we wanted to search. 

In the past we have covered an area from the bridge out to about a hundred feet down the jetty so we headed farther out the jetty into new areas and we were rewarded with easy pickings. There were sinkers everywhere, we got so many I had to get a second tube as I fill the first one. OJ filled his also and had a fight with a lobster who though the sinkers were his. All together we came away with 143 pounds of sinkers.

After an hour and twenty five minutes under water it was time to come up and make that climb up the rocks. With all the training we do we know what to look for in an exit point. It all so helps to have people up on the jetty to pull up the sinker tubes. Rich and Evan and Big Joe all helped getting both tubes up the rocks and Evan found out just how slippery the rocks can be.

Everyone had a great dive, Lisa said she never saw so many fish in her life, two days ago you couldn’t find a fish and now they are everywhere. The water was 50 degrees down to twenty feet, below that it dropped a little. Visibility was 10-15 feet and as the tide turned it got a little better.
It was a surprise to see how many fishermen were on the rocks when I came up, but all worked out as they stayed away from the divers.