On Saturday morning, April 30th, NYC police received a report that a man was stranded a mile off of Coney Island Beach. His kayak had almost sunk, and the man had been dragged out to sea after hooking up with a fish. Here are the details.
The NYPD Aviation Unit spotted the man, and two public scuba divers were deployed to rescue the man and get him safely onboard a police boat and back to shore. After jumping into the water, the divers proceeded to pull the victim onto an NYPD Harbor vessel, and even retrieved the kayak.
The man was exhausted, but conscious and alert, and did not even require medical attention. A large section of the event was captured on video, and quickly made a splash on area news networks and papers, including the New York Daily News and the NY1 cable station.
And while this recent event was one of the more publicized instances in the past few weeks of an urban water rescue, it’s certainly not the first time that scuba-trained police officers have stepped in to save the day.
Many communities along major bodies of water use scuba training for specialized police officers to be able to handle such rescues and calls as they arise, as well as provide other invaluable services for metro police departments.
From scouring for evidence at the bottom of a lake or river to inspecting ship hulls during narcotics investigations, police divers have become a major asset to law enforcement agencies all across the country.
And while some NYC residents were surprised to learn their police department had a highly specialized and trained scuba team on the force in New York, police diving isn’t a new phenomenon.
In fact, the New York State Police SCUBA Unit is the oldest public safety dive team in the United States and has been in operation since 1932. Boasting more than 60 members, the team performs more than 1,000 dives annually and has assisted in more than 100 rescues in the past several years.
Responding to boat accidents, flood emergencies, accidental drownings, swift water rescues and a multitude of other water related emergencies, this highly trained scuba team deserves to be in the spotlight more often.
And NYC certainly isn’t the only major city to have such a specialized component of their police force. From Florida to California, Great Britain to the Mediterranean, many regions of the world where everyday life happens close to the water have top-notch police diving teams to address any on-the-water or underwater emergencies as they arise.
At Scuba Toys, we’re proud to provide highly specialized diving equipment for these underwater heroes who help them perform their duties in all water conditions, and in all corners of the globe. Rescue and emergency diving is a dangerous profession, but this crew of underwater professionals – as demonstrated by the recent NYC rescue – are indeed worthy of praise and recognition.
And we’re delighted to join NYC residents in congratulating the scuba police team on a job well done on this recent late April rescue.
Want to learn how you can help your local police diving team? Check out our website to contact us. If you live in the Dallas area, swing by our shop in Carrollton, and we’ll be happy to chat with you about scuba!