Firefighters Prepare for Submerged Vehicle Water Rescues

POINT PLEASANT-Firefighters in Point Pleasant performed water training this week that could one day save you from one of some people’s worst fears, being trapped in your car, underwater.

With miles of rivers and bayfront, the possibility at the Jersey Shore is real.  It doesn’t happen often, in fact rarely, but what if your car drove off a bridge or a dead end on a canal or lagoon?

A department-wide water rescue drill took place on Bay Avenue in the Bay Pointe Condominium neighborhood. The drill simulated a vehicle submersion in the mouth of the Point Pleasant Canal with a victim trapped inside.

“Under the direction of Dive Captain M. Remig, units were dispatched and launched our 2 flat-bottom rescue boats, with SCUBA Divers Ebeid and Cusack and Rescue Swimmers Waterson, Cook and Kavanaugh arriving on our Water Rescue Unit,” the department said. “Within minutes, divers located the submerged vehicle and made entry through the vehicle window. The victim was extricated and turned over to the rescue swimmers who initiated patient care in the water.”

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The patient was then transported to the boat ramp at the base of Bay Avenue where he was turned over to members of Point Boro EMS for further treatment and transport to the emergency department.

The drill was not only for rescues in the town’s many waterways, but the department said, in light of recent storms and flooding, it could even happen on the roadways during a flash flood.

“We would like to remind the motoring public that they should not travel through flooded roads or should definitely not attempt to turn their vehicle into a vessel,” the department said.  “If you find yourself in a vehicle submersion scenario, we urge you to attempt to escape the vehicle as quickly as possible through a window before the vehicle sinks.”

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“If you are unable to, we are coming for you!” the department said.

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