Above and beyond: Point Dive Team executes a most unusual “rescue”

    You’ve sat down for dinner at a waterside seafood restaurant with your spouse and child, placing your sunglasses on the table while you exhale and get ready to enjoy a peaceful summer evening. 

    Splash.

    That’s the sound of your shades hitting the water. And it’s not just any pair — there’s sentimental value.

    Gone forever, right?

    Hardly.

    Not unless an altruistic dive team is around.

    That’s precisely what happened Sunday evening at Red’s Lobster Pot on Inlet Drive in Point Pleasant Beach.

    Point Pleasant First Aid and Emergency Squad Captain Jerry Meaney, who also operates the popular Barnegat Bay Island, NJ Facebook page, arrived with his wife to enjoy lobster rolls and the view of commercial boat docks.

    “Just as we were getting our dinner, little Gabriel at the next table grabbed his dad’s sunglasses and threw them into the water,” he said. “The glasses were of sentimental value as they were a birthday present.”

    So Meaney spoke with the family and told them that the Point Pleasant First Aid and Emergency Squad Rescue Dive Team was on call just two blocks away and he would ask them to dive to retrieve the glasses.

    “I think they didn’t believe we could respond simply for a pair of glasses,” he said.

    The crew, consisting of Joe Southard, Chet Nesley, and Sue Lewicki, quickly arrived and “gladly sent Joe into the murky water for the search,” Meaney said.

    And as a team so well trained, it was a quick search.

    After 15 minutes, Southard surfaced with the sunglasses and a lobster claw cocktail for the ecstatic family.

    The significance of the response is not lost on Meaney. 

    “It may have been ‘only’ a pair of sunglasses but the divers used the search as another reason to get into the water and get some training and also help someone at the same time,” he said.

    “It was fun to watch the divers and for them to show people who may not be familiar with a volunteer first aid squad and dive team how our training can be used for small events like this, as well as lifesaving rescues and medical emergencies, too.”

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