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Sheriff's divers combine cleanup, training

Search and Recovery Team divers use debris at a Dunedin Causeway bridge to hone their skills.

Published October 26, 2006


DUNEDIN - Divers with the county Sheriff's Office Underwater Search and Recovery Team did double duty Monday, combining an environmental cleanup with a training session.

The training and cleanup site, beneath a bridge on the west end of the Dunedin Causeway, was picked after an off-duty team member on a recreational dive noticed a lot of debris under the bridge.

The causeway separates St. Joseph's Sound to the north and Clearwater Harbor to the south.

The off-duty diver noticed fishing nets and lines, crab traps and other debris that can be dangerous, said Sgt. Glenn Wilson.

The exercise was to "give the guys an opportunity to get entangled and free themselves from the nets," Wilson said.

Five of the team's seven divers used the site to focus on underwater search patterns, line tending techniques and to identify and avoid underwater hazards.

Visibility was especially poor Monday morning, Wilson said, but the team did collect an anchor, a monofilament gill net with several hooks and lures in it, and other debris, Wilson said.

The dive team participates in monthly dive training sessions simulating real situations, Wilson said. "We try to give the divers as much variety throughout the year to keep their skills sharp," Wilson said.

Tamara El-Khoury can be reached at 727 445-4181 or

[Last modified October 26, 2006, 07:22:56]

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