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We're not overdue any more.

Discussion in 'Public Safety Divers/Search and Rescue' started by Gary D., Apr 1, 2006.

  1. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    4,367
    45
    0
    I’m snuggling with my sweetie in a nice toasty waterbed when at 0309 I hear the dreaded Beep, Beep, Beep.

    I jump up and grab the insulting little black box and read: “VEH. IN WATER HONEYSUCKLE BEACH 2 SUBJ STILL IN VEH RESPOND ASAP”. Page 2 “VEH IN WATER HONEYSUCKLE BEACH SUBJ STILL IN VEH OVER 10 MIN ROAD IS VERY SLICK USE CAUTION”.

    In goes the toothbrush as I get sort of dressed. Kiss the wife and out the door. Into the car and out the driveway but now its HOLY POO, my gear is in the house.

    Back in grab it and load the car. Now I’ enroute. Time 0316, way to slow for my liking. It’s 10 miles to the boat ramp with ice and construction along the way. I arrive at 0326 and I’m the fourth diver on scene.

    I’m the third suited and I take the safety position. I let the three go as they all need the experience. For one it is his first real rescue and the other two have one or two each.

    12 feet down is a Ford Exposition with two young females inside. Both were on the left side, one near the driver’s position and one behind her. A young male was able to escape on his own.

    The doors were locked so using a Spring Punch the windows broken and the two gals removed and handed over to medical.

    What was troubling was the presence of to child seats in the vehicle. At first you just don’t know if little ones were there or not. They weren’t.

    Later I had the FNG do the tow hook-up. It took all the trucks cable plus two long chains to reach it. But during the haul out the vehicle decided to go under the dock.

    A second truck arrives and I hook it up and out comes the rig.

    About the time the rig comes out we learn that neither gal made it. This sucks. We were well within that “Golden Hour” to the hospital; they were young, healthy, in 39df crystal clear water. We don’t know yet but alcohol may have been involved and may have contributed to their deaths.

    There is a disturbing twist to this tragedy I am not at liberty to disclose yet. But when I can I will.

    Some people on this forum have called me anal about the way I keep my gear. Maybe I am but I would have been on scene three minutes earlier had it been the way it normally is. In total between four and five minutes were lost because I hadn’t repacked my gear after the dives on Wednesday. I almost did it Friday afternoon but got distracted with other things.

    Everything is next to the wood stove right now and will be repacked later today. It doesn’t take many little things to go wrong to FUBAR an operation.

    The rescue went well and I’m, as usual, very proud of my teammates. The FNG responded like a pro that has been doing this for years. Not bad for being a diver for less than 6 months. All total we had 6 divers and the team leader on scene. Good responce.

    I going to finish sucking down my Hefy with a twist and go back to cuddling. ;D

    We are not off to a good start again.

    Gary D.
     
  2. DennisW

    DennisW Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sebastian, FL
    3,711
    29
    0
    Sad. And most likely unnecessary. Take care Gary and keep up the good work.
     
  3. Don Burke

    Don Burke Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: southeastern Virginia
    2,155
    6
    0
    My profound sympathies for the loss.
    I would like some more details about how you keep your gear.

    Can you aim me in the right direction so the search for a post will not take a long time?
     
  4. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    4,367
    45
    0
    Here are some old pics of my car set up. The only thing different is my spare tank sits between the door and my set up unit. Also I’m in a DUI 50/50 instead of the TLS 350.

    I don’t know how to do the thumbnail thing.

    http://www.scubaboard.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/13168/cat/500/ppuser/2714

    http://www.scubaboard.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/13169/cat/500/ppuser/2714

    http://www.scubaboard.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/13170/cat/500/ppuser/2714

    http://www.scubaboard.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/13167/cat/500/ppuser/2714

    The guys that were getting upset about my car didn’t think I should be carrying any gear because it took up prisoner room. They had that Cuff and Stuff attitude. They didn’t think anything should take up back seat room. With K-9 units they can’t transport anyone. I can still transport two they way I’m set up and it allows me to get dressed in under three minutes.

    Gary D.
     
  5. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    4,367
    45
    0
    I just heard it on the news that all three were 22 years old. One of the gals was married with a child. Who belongs to who is still a mystery for now.

    Here is the sat pic of the area.

    http://terraserver.microsoft.com/image.aspx?T=1&S=10&Z=11&X=2591&Y=26444&W=1

    It is the same place we recovered the guy from on Christmas day. But for distance covered the gals win.

    Here is the view of the ramp as you approach from the road.

    http://www.scubaboard.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/39870/cat/500/ppuser/2714

    Just a guess but I’ll bet we have lost around 20 or better at this ramp. It has to be more than that. We have had 4 from one crash, several doubles and lots of singles. Most drunk and/or suicide.

    Gary D.
     
  6. Willie

    Willie ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Clifton, TX
    976
    0
    16
    Thanks for the post Gary. As I read your post I am thinking FNG=Florida National Guard. It wasnt until was down about 3 replies that I remembered you werent in Florida and I of course knew the alternate meaning.

    Willie
     
  7. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    4,367
    45
    0
    Update from the news.

    The three were on their way to Missoula Montana to visit family. How they got to where they were is a mystery.

    Now the sad somewhat disturbing twist I mentioned earlier. One of the girls was a future LEO. She was in the process of being hired by our areas biggest PD. One of the divers that actually made the recovery is from that same PD.

    I’ll post the news articles when they come out.

    This is the fifth death at that ramp in the past 5 years.

    Gary D.
     
  8. ItsBruce

    ItsBruce Solo Diver

    2,331
    167
    63
    Gary, thanks for the info and thanks for the fine efforts. I made my 14 year old (AOW and soon to get his learner's permit) read your report. It provides far more impact about DUI than I could ever. Thanks for that. If you are ever in the neighborhood, it would be my pleasure to take you and your sweetie out to dinner.
     
  9. Gary D.

    Gary D. ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Post Falls, Idaho
    4,367
    45
    0
    Thanks Bruce.

    ______________________________________________________________________

    All the gear is back in my car except my suit. That new 50/50 takes a bit longer to dry, OK make that a lot longer but I can't get out the door without seeing it. I’ll be darned if I make that stinkin mistake again.

    I know my procrastination didn’t make a difference in this case but it sure could have endangered my guys or made a difference given another scenario. I stress being ready for that call 99.9% of the time and guess who almost blew it.

    Gary D.
     
  10. mike_s

    mike_s Solo Diver

    20,027
    3,343
    0
    Gary,

    does your area just get more vehicles in the water than the average area?

    was this at the boat ramp that you had posted previously about drunks running into the water? how do people keep running into the water here in the middle of the night?


    BTW... i'm surprised they don't have an SUV for you to carry your gear in (the back of) instead of having your gear potentially in the back seat with someone you might have apprehended for something.
     

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