South Summit Dive Team training in Green
|Photo courtesy of Matt Craddock|
The team practiced their skills at the Lifestyles pool at Akron General Health and Wellness Center — Green, pictured at right. Craddock said during the sessions, five new divers were certified. The team trains together once a month.
“The team was formed because there are so many bodies of water in this area,” said Craddock. “We respond to 9-1-1 calls involving a drowning or when someone goes missing [in or around bodies of water].”
Craddock said the team recently responded to search for a 15-year-old male missing in Jackson and found him in 5 feet of water wearing a heavy coat that likely made it difficult for him to swim.
Craddock said the team works with the Summit County Technical Rescue Team (TROT), which has equipment such as sonar to make searches more efficient. He also said the team has had cooperative efforts from area fire departments for about 20 years.
“This has been our busiest year for awhile,” said Craddock. “We have responded to seven call-outs so far, compared to an average of two.”
Craddock said the long spell of good warm weather probably contributed to the high number of incidents this year. He urged people to learn to swim in a safe environment and always wear a personal flotation device.
— By Maria Lindsay
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