Marion County Dive Team Practices Lifesaving Drills - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/25/03 - Longview

Marion County Dive Team Practices Lifesaving Drills

     A lake drowning or emergency no longer means East Texas has to call in a dive team from another area, now there is the Marion County dive team. Sinking a car in Lake O the Pines is part of an essential lifesaving drill for the dive team.

    The men and women of the 12 member volunteer unit gave up their own time to train Saturday for future rescues.

"There's nothing more embarrassing than standing on the shore and not being able to do something for somebody out there. We started working on this last March, and we want to our first recovery in may, and we've stayed busy this past summer." said dive Captain Bob Gibson.

Their aim is to save lives, and being in East Texas they can get to a scene right away.

"In any kind of medical emergency or drowning you've got a golden hour to recover that body and try to revive that person," says team member Joe Hart.

The drill was to try and rescue victims from a submerged car, something that is very common with boaters as they back their craft too far down a ramp.

"We've also had incidents where people have driven off the bridges in Marion county," says Gibson.

Diving has its dangers, hypothermia from frigid water, becoming tangled in hidden objects, having enough air in the tanks, and air pockets can form in cars making them bouyant, but they can quickly sink taking a diver with it. The team is funded by public support.

Bob Hallmark reporting.

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