World Oceans Day is an international event held every year in June to recognize and celebrate the role of the oceans in our lives.
On Saturday, June 9, the Point Pleasant Beach First Aid Dive Team participated in a celebration of World Oceans Day, hosted by Jenkinson’s Aquarium.
Team members, all volunteer SCUBA divers, created an exhibit focused on exploring the ocean and rivers of New Jersey. Hundreds of aquarium visitors got to see and touch underwater artifacts, natural and manmade, that were discovered while SCUBA diving. The display featured local seashells, bottles, and parts of old shipwrecks.
The Aquarium also allowed the team to conduct a SCUBA diving demonstration in the local waters exhibit, with the residents still in there! Visitors were introduced to some of the equipment and exposure suits that divers in New Jersey have to wear to explore the chilly ocean. (The tank was about 70 degrees F, not very warm, but still 10 degrees warmer that the ocean outside in June!)
Using hand signals, one team member outside the tank directed the two dive buddies inside to demonstrate some of the basic diving skills that allow us to safely explore the ocean. Divers simulated a few gear problems and how to solve them (like getting water out of your mask), as well as managing buoyancy underwater. The near-weightless divers could hover and flip almost as gracefully as the seals.
The divers even challenged the children outside the tank to two athletic events – a race and a high jump! Even with powerful fins, we saw that a diver cannot swim through water as fast as a child can run in air. However, a diver can easily jump much higher (with a little help from the water and the dive gear).
Then families always want to take a photo with you through the glass. We have our underwater camera too. How often does an exhibit take a picture of you?”