Saturday, August 12, 2017

Humphrey goes home

On August 8th the dive team was invited to help out the release of the first sea turtle to be released on the Jersey shore. This turtle was rehabilitated by Brandi Biehi and Bill Dear of the Sea Turtle Recovery located at the Turtle Back zoo in West Orange NJ.

   Humphrey, the turtle was stranded in Virginia back in December of 2016 and do to overcrowding in a facility there he was shipped up to Sea Turtle Recovery to recover from a respiratory infection and get some weight back on him.
    With help from mayor Stephen Reid of Point Pleasant Beach and Jenkinson’s Aquarium and the Point Pleasant First Aid Dive Team the release was set for Aug, 8. Because of the many news releases many people showed up to help send Humphrey back home and even the TV show The Cake Boss made a turtle cake for Humphrey’s big day.
    On release day the skies were overcast and it looked like it would rain at any minute but that didn’t stop many of Humphreys fans from showing up and as the beach filled with news crews and cameramen it took on a life of its own. Some speeches were made and many pictures were taken, with the dive team, the Cake Boss and the guy in the turtle suit and the young girls with the “We love you Humphrey” sign.

   Then Humphrey was driven onto the beach and was unloaded. He was carried down the beach and laid down just short of the wet sand. Then he was released and he started for the water. The crowd remained pretty quiet and just watched. Humphrey stopped and turned around like he was looking at the crowd and then turned back and kept going towards the water. He turned one last time and then headed right into the water.

   With the first hit of the water he start really moving into the waves and after two or three waves he was gone and for just a moment it was so quiet and then the cheers started.
   There were cheers and yes there were some tears. But Humphrey was home with a second chance.
   Now the Cake Boss took over and started filming for his show. The turtle cake came down the beach on a trailer and was placed in front of the crowd and the Boss said a few words and then it was time to cut the cake and enjoy it!

     It was a great job by everyone and even the weather held off. To get more information on the Sea Turtle Recovery check out their web site at To see a short video of the release check out

Monday, June 26, 2017

Jetty Rescue Drill 2017

The third Thursday of June is always the Jetty drill run by the Point Pleasant First aids dive team. Along with the first aid we also have the life guards from Jenkinsons beach patrol. With the official start of the summer just days away this drill helps coordinates the response of both the life guards and first aid to any emergencies on the jetty.

    With fishermen and bathers walking and fishing from the concrete jacks at the end of the jetty they don’t know how dangerous they can be. They can be very slippery and with the gaps between the jacks you can fall pretty far down in between the openings and some of the opening go down pretty far.

    The drill started out with the guards finding out how to move someone down the rocks on a back board. The back board is passed down a line of rescuers who are set in place down the rocks. This is done with a full size person on the board so they get a feeling for the real thing.

   After a few times moving the victim up and down the rocks. One of the squad’s instructors run through how a person is put on a backboard and how to lift and carry them. The dive team then shows everyone how to search the rocks, then the guards and first aiders are put in teams and sent out to find the victims who are hidden in the rocks.


 Once found the life guards and the first aiders work to recover the victim and get them up and out of the rocks and it’s not that easy. There is never enough room to work in and it’s never just a lift out. Here they get to use what they first learned, moving a victim across the rocks and in one case using lines to lift a victim strait up and then across the rocks.
victim found

last minute instruction before a victim lift

victim is up


and moved across the rocks   
A head count to make to sure everyone is accounted for

Point Pleasant First Aid and Dive Team and Jenkinsons Beach Patrol


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Boat races 2017

On Sunday the dive team and the first aid was on scenes for the offshore power boat races. The first aid is the lead EMS squad for anything that happens. The power boat people have medics and EMT’s on their rescue boats along with divers and anything that happen gets turned over to us on shore.

   The dive team is stationed on the jetty to watch over the people who watch the racers as they come out the inlet and into the ocean and we are also backup divers if anything major happens and more divers are needed. Over the years we have had people fall into the rocks and fall going down off jetty so this is a good spot for us and that’s why we have a EMT with the team and every year someone always needs a band aid for that flip flop jetty toe.

  We come down the beach with all are gear loaded in the squads 5 ton army truck and this is a big hit with the kid and their parents alike, lots of pictures have been taken with the truck and divers as a backdrop. The truck if needed can go over the beach anywhere along the whole race course and can carry whatever is needed.

    This year started out great with good weather and smaller waves out on the ocean. As the races were lead out of the inlet by the Coast Guard and the State police and people on the jetty cheered, but not for long. In the first turn on the first lap an accident happened that put an end to racing for the day and put everyone in rescue mode.

   The First Aid was at the Coast Guard station ready and waiting for the injured racers to be brought in and did a great job getting them off to where they needed to go. But the accident did put an end to the race. Boats needed to be recovered and one needed to found as it had sunk and no one was in a mood to do any racing.

    It is not my place to go into details about what happened, not here anyway. I can tell you that everything that could have been done was done. What a great job by the rescue divers, EMTs, Medics U.S. Coast Guard and state police. Racing is racing be it car, boat, drag, downhill skiing there is danger in all of them. We can only do our best to make them safe and be ready if an accident happens



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Always check the camera

              Always check the camera

  On a recent dive In Manasquan Inlet I did something really stupid. I always wear my Gopro camera on my mask so I can video everything that happens. One thing I have to do in fill the space between the lens and the color filter with water. I do this by leaving the filter up in the frame and push it down after I am in the water.
   The dive started out just like any other, I dropped in and pushed the filter down and started looking around. I found a few sinkers and some fishing lures hung up on a piling sitting on the bottom, I stayed on the piling and swam down along it.
   The visibility was only 3-4 feet so it was slow going, just moving slowly over the bottom seeing what I could find. Just pass the end of the piling I came across a very large hand gun. It was a smith & Wesson 357. Just like the one Dirty Harry used in the movies.
    I thought what a great training video this was going to make. I started doing everything we learned in our evidence recovery class. I marked the location, I was video taping everything, I handled the gun like it was loaded and ended the dive.
    I swam the gun to the exit point and climbed out of the water and as I put the gun on the seawall I pulled off on mask and found out I had turned the camera off when I pushed filter down. So I got nothing!
   I radioed the police and they came down and I turned the gun over to them and filled them in as to where I had found it. Luckily I had done all the measurements from fixed points and could give a exact location.
   Lessons learned do as you are trained and always check the camera

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Practical Training...

The dive team got to put its training to use this week end. Training is always good but putting it in use is the best way to see how it works. We got requested to survey and remove debris from some boat slips and a fuel dock. This fuel dock is used by the Coast Guard and many commercial fishing boat in the area, so it needs to be clear.

We suited up and hit the water at low tide and searched the dock and the slips, even for low tide we had 5 feet of visibility and even the water temperature was up in the low 50s. With five divers in the water the slips were searched and debris removed and the divers checked out one of the fishing boats that were in the slip.

 The captain was worry that he may have picked up some line in his propeller, so we checked it out and found nothing for him to worry about. But did recovered a lot of old line that was laying on the bottom and around the pilings.

After we finished up it was a quick stop at 7-11 for coffee and off to a marina to search for something that boat owners reported hitting. This was a small lagoon channel off the Metedeconk River. We set up a straight search pattern with a line running across the channel and sent a dive down and back along the line searching for whatever the boat could have hit.

Using one diver at a time and changing divers on every pass we got our newer guys a lot of search time and we covered over an hundred feet of channel by moving the search line with each pass. The search was stopped once we moved in to deeper water. We didn’t find anything that the boaters could have hit.
   We also got some lift bag training raising a twenty foot piling from the bottom of the lagoon and bring it around the channel and up on the beach. Where it was staked in place to help stop the beach from washing away. After all the work was done the divers were treated subs and sodas.
   The new guys got a good work out and were able to show off their search skill. It was a good lesson for everyone with changing jobs and getting to do a little bit of everything, shore support, diver, line tender or go for. Ever job is important and needs to be done and these guys did a great job.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Point Pleasant Beach Sea-wall...

The town asked if the dive team would check out the area around the wash out of the sea wall at Loughran Point. It took a few days for the water to clear up so we could get pictures and videos and we had to wait for the surge to die down too.

   Last Thursday with the ocean calming down and the surge dropping off and the visibility picking up this was the best time to get in. It was low tide with the tide just starting come back in when I dropped in the water from the center of the wash out. Before dropping in I took some pictures of the area from the surface, noting the broken tie backs for the sheet pilings.

   I swam out a little from the wall and dropped to the bottom. I had no idea where the sheet piling had gone and didn’t want to land on it. I found the bottom and all I saw was sand. I swam east towards the mouth of the inlet and came back to the base of the wall and slowly came back towards the wash out. The bottom here is around 15 feet at low tide and that’s what I had. But as I swam back the bottom started sloping up until I had 6 feet of water at the east end of the wash out...

   There is an old wooden bulkhead that the sheet piling laid against and that was still there but no sheet piling and the water depth came up to just 5 feet at the center of the wash out. As I headed towards the west east the water drops back to 6 feet.
   At the west end the sheet piling that is still in place it is being forced out away from the old bulkhead with a gap of about a foot and is full of sand that has washed down into the gap from above. In this picture you can see the slope of sand running downhill from the old bulkhead

    After surveying the base of the wall and the slope of sand I still didn’t find the missing sheet piling or the big piece of concrete that also fell into the water. That took some more searching. 

   It was found around twenty five feet out from the wall and just west of the wash out and folded back on its self, with the concrete still attached.