NEWS

Firefighters dive in to clean up marinas

By ARDEN BASTIA
Posted 5/6/21

By ARDEN BASTIA To celebrate Earth Day, the Warwick Fire Department dive team took to the water to conduct an underwater cleanup of Safe Harbor Cowesett, the former Brewers Marina. The team, Divers Against Debris, is part of Project Aware, an initiative

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NEWS

Firefighters dive in to clean up marinas

Posted

To celebrate Earth Day, the Warwick Fire Department dive team took to the water to conduct an underwater cleanup of Safe Harbor Cowesett, the former Brewers Marina.

The team, Divers Against Debris, is part of Project Aware, an initiative from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). For the past 28 years, Project Aware and PADI have aimed to raise awareness of the importance of clean, healthy oceans through clean ups and education.

For the Warwick Fire Department, the project served two purposes: it gave firefighters a chance to practice their dive rescue skills while also giving back to the community.

“We consider marinas to be target areas where we could have an incident,” explained Battalion Chief Tom Brady. “It gave guys an opportunity to dive in the area without having boats overhead and familiarize themselves with the underwater environment. And it was a show of goodwill for the community.”

Brady has been a certified PADI diver since 2009, but has worked as firefighter since 1990. He currently teaches diving courses, and has done so since 2015.

He explained that a training session like this one is more difficult and dangerous when the marina is filled with boats, and Brady wanted to give his team a chance to get familiar with the water.

“The water was shallow and 46 degrees, but we conducted our dive and collected several wheelbarrows of debris,” said Brady in an interview on Monday.

While firefighters didn’t pull any treasure chests from the docks, they did recover several cell phones, tires, sunglasses, beer bottles, traffic cones, and a ladder. Brady said the team recycled what they could, and disposed of the rest.

Brady had originally set a goal of two dives in April, but so far the team has only completed one. Brady wants to get in at least two more before the boating season officially starts on Memorial Day weekend.

In the past year, the fire department dive team has conducted 46 dives to test their skills.

“We have a really great group of guys that want to get in the water as much as possible,” said Brady. “It’s all about getting people as comfortable underwater as they can be.”

The dive team has been part of the WFD since 1996, when three incidents in a calendar year signaled the need for a water rescue team. Brady explained that a young kid fell through the ice on Spring Green Pond, and two drownings occurred later in the year, one of which occurred at a marina.

divers, marinas

Comments

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TheCaptain

This is the biggest crock of BS yet.

First of all, these guys are totally unqualified for water rescue, and to suggest that going into a privately owned marina which is owned by a multi billion dollar hedge fund to clean up debris and call it "A TRAINING SESSION" is an embarrassment in itself.

Then to do this on the clock and be paid and hours counted towards overtime (as seen in the front page of the Projo today) as other employees come in to cover them at overtime is egregious. So in the end the taxpayers paid the Warwick Fire Dept. to perform janitorial activities on private property of a private business. Real nice. Make no mistake, they do NOTHING without being compensated and this just stinks worse than the muck on the bottom of the marina.

In addition, to suggest that you are performing a "practice session" for water rescue is such an insult to professional divers and educators. I can see what's next, they will take out the fire boat to go dig clams for a cook out and call it a "training session". This is yet another example of pigs at the trough.

" a training session like this one is more difficult and dangerous when the marina is filled with boats, and Brady wanted to give his team a chance to get familiar with the water." That statement is laughable. I'd like to know what rescue techniques were practiced? What kinds of search patterns were practiced? By evidence of the "dive teams" record of successes, I would offer that they are completely unqualified. I bet none of these guys can even pass a basic watermanship test or basic water survival skills test. What a joke. I wont even get into the incompetence that the "dive team" showed at Hope Island many years back when they were unable to find a diver that perished in 20 feet of water. By the way guys, do you know what PADI stands for??? Put Another Dollar In.

Rob Cote

45 year dive veteran

NAUI Instructor

Instructor Trainer

Nitrox Instructor

Rescue Instructor

Tactical Vessel Assault Instructor

Cousteau team member

20 years as chief experimental test diver for the largest equipment manufacturer in the world

12,000 logged dives

Trained over 1000 people, no accidents, no incidents, no lost equipment

Sunday, May 9