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Sad start to the 4th....

Discussion in 'Ideas and Stories' started by RoonDawg, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. RoonDawg

    RoonDawg Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Newberry, Florida, United States
    We had a very sad start to the 4th of July weekend in our area. A member of a very large and well-liked family decided to celebrate the start of the weekend by jumping off of a family-member's boat while travelling at a high rate of speed on one of our popular local lakes. He jumped off, went under, and never came up.

    The first call went to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, who happened to have two officers on the lake at the time. They did a great job of working with the distraught family members, who had the wherewithal to circle back and throw buoys where they thought the subject had gone under. A few moments after arriving, FWC put in a call to our team, as the lake is in our jurisdiction, and also to an adjoining county who also has a very good dive team. Our first elements arrived on-scene at about 1915, with an original incident time of 1801, so we were just outside of the "golden hour," and with water temps of 83-84 degrees, it was unlikely that we were going to be able to affect a rescue. As the other team had arrived slightly before us, they were already in the water, but both teams were in and searching by about 2000hrs. after a few hours of little luck scanning with side-scan sonar, another, much larger team's assets arrived, along with their towed-array sonar. We pulled divers out of the water, and the search began again. After a few hours of passes, a target was located within about 75-100ft of where the family members had thrown their buoys. Our first diver in the water was unable to locate the remains, and came out after having expended a tank. Our second diver was assisted by the other agency's sonar,and was able to be vectored in to the remains after about 20 minutes down.

    All told, after locating, retrieving the remains and turning them over to the morgue, and the associated mop-up and clean up duties, we spent almost exactly 16 hours on the call out from dispatch to parking the boat after decon.

    Not a happy ending, but at least we were able to provide closure and dignity to the family in the toughest of times. As mentioned above, several other agencies contributed to our successful conclusion, and although I do not feel comfortable mentioning them by name, they know who they are, and they are all class acts, and we could not have accomplished our mission with out them.

  2. COWSskateGOOD

    COWSskateGOOD Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Venice, Florida
    Thank you for sharing this call with us....

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