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Hanging up my fins...

Discussion in 'Ideas and Stories' started by james croft, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. james croft

    james croft Solo Diver

    1,633
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    Influenced by watching Sea Hunt I began diving in 1967 with a Voit double hose reg, a j-valve 72, Voit Viking fins, Sea Hawk knife, a round mask and a depth guage. I wore a pair of cut-off jeans when I dove. I speared fish and brought up brass from WW2 wrecks in the Philippines. I was 12 years old at the time.

    Beginning in the 70's I began diving with a couple of public safety diving teams. I began diving with no certifications and continued like that for 20 years. I got my first open water card by trading a pony bottle and five bucks to an instructor friend who needed a bail-out bottle for his commercial diving. He just asked me to take the final written exam which I passed, missing only one question.

    Since then I have gotten dozens of certifications with many agencies including Dive Rescue International, TDI, SSI, PADI, PSI, etc. And I actually took that training...

    Over the years I have seen a whole lot of changes in training, gear and procedures. Most of them were for the best.

    Over the years I have been involved in recovering a lot of victims, a lot of stolen evidence and many dozens of crime guns. My gear got more sophisticated as time went by with drysuits, computers, full face mask with comm, and side-scan sonar. I helped get my current team get started and had a lot of fun doing so. We mainly did underwater criminal investigations.

    Half the fun was scrounging the gear when we got started. We got a lot of navy surplus equipment. Once in a while before we got a dedicated dive team budget a friendly captain would find a few bucks to purchase an AGA mask for an officer. Over the years I built up a bunch of good gear that was dependable and met my needs.

    A couple of months ago I gave up my supervisor's position to another diver as my current position is keeping me traveling and I could not devote the time to it or be available as necessary. Due to structured training days I knew with my uncertain schedule I would most likely not be able to meet them.

    Last week I decided I had had a pretty good run with the dive team and decided to retire from it. I have had my fun and felt a lot of satisfaction seeing that the dive team is in good hands. l turned in my gear in with mixed feelings but I am glad someone else will be using it for good things.

    I will still be diving as much as I can. The only difference will be that the sites I pick will be clearer and warmer and the things I find now I will be able to keep. Even more satisfying will be that the gear I will be diving will be my lovingly restored Voit double hose reg, j-valved 72 or triple tank set up, Sea Hawk and my big old depth guage. I just need to find a larger set of cut-off blue jeans.

    I wish you all as much satisfaction from public safety diving as I have gotten out of it.
    Dive safe !

    Jim Croft
     
    sheeper and Menk like this.
  2. ditch-diver

    ditch-diver Instructor, Scuba

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    Take a deep breath, relax and enjoy yourself..., you've earned it.

    I salute you

    DD
     
  3. fedfirediver

    fedfirediver INSTRCUTOR ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: southeren maryland
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    Pop a top. Enjoy the warmer waters, relax. Dont turn on the scanner because when you here your old team go out you wish, BUT you will be some were warm and with the one you love. No black water and cold dives.

    Kick it back you earned it

    Jim
     
  4. gypsyjim

    gypsyjim I have an alibi ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: capital region of New York
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    Nice story. Thanks for sharing.
    I now wish I had kept my first gear, from '70. Be real fun to dive it again.
     
  5. Boater Dan

    Boater Dan Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Western PA
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    Jim:

    Congratulations on your retirement and thank you for your service. I hope that you still continue to enjoy diving in the warmer waters for MANY years to come!

    Good luck!

    Dan
     
  6. Pelagicsal

    Pelagicsal Dedicated Dive Bum

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: A half-mile norte del Centro, Cozumel, Mx.
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    You scared me there! I thought you were giving up the fins completely - not just professionally. Enjoy the pleasure dives! You have earned them.
    Happy bubbles to ya~~~~~~~~~
     
  7. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
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    I'm not all that far behind you Jim. Every day gets me a little more mentally prepared to hand it over to the next generation. 51 years of blowing bubbles and 35 as a PSD takes it's toll.

    Enjoy that retirement.
     
  8. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
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    Jim,

    Thanks for all you have done and even continue to do. Congrats on being able to do it "just for fun" agaion. I am guessing that your public service still had a lot of fun associated with it.
     
  9. Puffer Fish

    Puffer Fish Captain Happy ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: Knoxville, TN
    8,072
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    Jim, I started the year before you did....what a tremendous amount of change has taken place since then..

    My thanks also for all the work you have done...
     
  10. BladesRobinson

    BladesRobinson ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Jim,

    I have experienced your agony first hand and wish you the very best! There comes a time when we all need to hang up our PSD fins and pass the torch on to someone who has the passion to serve and move the team forward. You know you have done a good job when the transition goes smoothly and the team continues to function well when you are not there in person.

    Know though that you will always be there in spirit and the piece of you that you leave behind (with the team) will help others stay focused, stay safe and stay committed to the job of public safety diving.

    As you have shed your responsibility to the team, work hard to rid yourself of the bad dives and the bad memories and focus on the knowledge that you did your job well and many are very appreciative of your public service. I too appreciate the fact that you have served your community well and represented the PSD community in the highest regard. I am honored to know you, to have shared e-mails with you and to call you a "brother."

    I join many in wishing you warm clear water and the very best in the future.

    Fraternally,

    Blades



    PS - Selfishly, thank you for your business and for supporting Dive Rescue International! ... Now, go have some fun diving!
     

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