For those that aren’t aware of my CSI dive, here’s a brief history: Back in January, there was a retaliatory shooting done in my local area. During the shooting an innocent woman was killed. After the shootings occurred, the alleged suspects stayed at a KOA campground North of our area. At this campground is a football field sized pond and the rumor was, they might have thrown the weapons into the pond to get rid of them. So, we were called in to dive the pond and look for the weapons. We dove it back in April with only 3 divers and one surface support person. The water temp was 53 degrees and visibility was zero. And, of course, we found nothing. So, this time, we went prepared. We had 12 people show up for this dive. We met at 1000 at our LDS to load tanks and then we headed to the site. After we got to the site, we grouped and got our briefing about the case and then I briefed the group about water conditions the last time we were there. I was the only diver that did the dive in April and was back for this one.
For dive 1, we had 6 teams of two to work the grid that was laid out for us. Basically, the surface person would guide the diver from point A to Point B with a rope. Once a point was reached, they would tug the rope to alert the diver to stop and turn around. As the diver turned around, the surface person would dole out another arm’s length of rope and would lead the diver back to the starting point. Back and forth until their part of the grid was complete. The first dive took about 45-50 minutes for everyone to complete their part of the grid. We found nothing. Water temp was 59 degrees below the thermocline and depth was around 20 feet. I was glad I was diving dry this time around. Again, visibility was zero. Nothing but blackness after about 8-10 feet.
Dive 2 was a bit more hit and miss. The shore didn’t allow for the rope buddy teams, so the second dive was just, whatever diver wanted to get back in the water, head to the far shore, drop down and search the area best they could. The area was shallower but just as dark in places. The second dive was about 30 minutes for the few of us that did it. Water temp was, again, 59 degrees, max depth of about 15 feet and still black as night at the bottom. We did the best we could but still found nothing.
The water temp and visibility was basically the same on this dive as it was back in April. The biggest difference, however, was the smell. I’m not sure what the hot sun had done to the water from April to July, but the smell of the water was ungodly. We didn’t really notice it until we started stirring up the bottom. Once we started stirring everything up, the surface workers could smell the odor coming out of the water. Then, as we surfaced, we had the stench on us from head to toe. It was a very bad smell and it was all through our gear. I’m just hoping the stench came off my gear. I’ll see when I get home tonight. All in all, most people said it was absolutely the worst “non-current” diving conditions they have been in. And, the fact that we didn’t find what we were looking for didn’t make things any better. But we were glad to help out the local Police Department. I don’t know about the rest of the folks, but I’ll do it again if they ask. I’ll just hope for a new location.
We even got a mention in the local newspaper and were on the 11:00 news last night. Kinda cool, but since we didn’t find anything, there was no fanfare about it. Just to be involved was cool for me.