Search & Recovery Diving – with a HUGE reward!

Posted by Steve Holak & John Zyskowski

Part I – Saturday – Fun, Laughter & Sadness….

Like a thunderhead building on the horizon, the buzz had grown all week from the loyal IVS stay-at-homes that it was high time to get some diving in at the local “Quarribean.”  Bonaire?  Who needs Bonaire?  We don’t need no stinkin’ Bonaire…we got Dutch!   Thanks to our resident ambassador to the guys who eat frog legs and make tasty deep-fried potatoes — Brad “Rescue” Creveling — we come to find that “bon” means “good” in French!  Well, it turns out that the first vehicle in line at the Dutch Springs gate on Saturday morning is none other than our own J-Glo with Grillmaster sidekick Chis Perry, trailing that latest marvel of engineering, the IVS Dry Suit Demo Trailer.  Need “bon” air?  He’s got “bon” air: aluminum 80s, steel 100s, you name it, fresh off the Harleysville compressors and more than enough enough for a day of diving for the IVS crowd.  And who’s that with them?  Cozumel veteran Deanna Kuik, with a boxful of tasty treats from Dunkin’ Donuts.  Bon-air and donuts, what else does an IVS diver need?  Time to get the day rolling!

We’re soon joined over at the peninsula side by tequila taster Steve Holak, Deanna, Rescue Brad, the younger “Z” brother John, Frank “Cruise Control” Gabriel, Buxmont Prez Donna “Hugs” Raleigh, IVS kidney doner / Dive New-yaker and Scubaboard posting champion Sam Auyeung and her diminutive sidekick Keith, and . . . wait . . .  who’s that?  Our dear old friend and visiting Left Coaster Csaba “I come to Dive” Lorinczy!  The ATM-dive founder flew standby for a day and a half just to visit his old buddies!

The group claims tables, deploys the awning, rolls out the grill, and gears up, ready to dive.  Surface temps in the mid 70s, and temperature at depth . . . well, just a *little* bit cooler.  We tour all the attractions on the peninsula side on two morning dives, and come out to find that Chris has a treat cooked up : barbecue chicken and grilled corn-on-the-cob!  During the lunchtime surface interval (and between naps) Deanna gets some lessons from Csaba and a few others on breathing techniques to help improve her air consumption, and on the afternoon dive it pays off: a half-dozen of the group do a long dive from the peninsula across the quarry via the bus / firetruck, past the Koi stairs and down to the pumphouse  and back, and emerge back on the peninsula 70 minutes later; Deanna is all smiles as she comes up with 1000 PSI left in her 100 — what an improvement!

The only damper on the day was Mrs. John Z losing her wedding ring at the Aqua Park.  But in true IVS fashion, we turn a negative into a positive and gear up for some Search and Recovery training!  John doesn’t find the ring, and plans to try again on Sunday, but there’s a silver lining: John finds a dozen dollars or so in cash, (which can be exchanged for an IVS gift card at any time, no matter how damp the bills are), and a few pair of sunglasses, including a rhinestone-studded pair that prompted J-Glo to pause loading tanks and put on an eerie Liberace imitation on the back of the truck!

The day proved that even without IVS’s absent Fearless Leader, the crew knows how to do him proud and show a stellar IVS presence up there in “Quarribean.”

Part II – Sunday….Joy & Amazement!

All I can say is….IVS does it again. A huge THANK YOU to team IVS and the Search & Recovery Specialists –  Frank Gabriel, Chris Perry, John Glodowski, Bill Bobowitz, and Craig Bentley.

First, the background: My wife Loyda, my son Miykael, and myself spent July 4th weekend camping at Dutch Springs, for the purpose to celebrate, kick back, barbeque, hydrate and have some fun. I spent the mornings diving and my family and me spent the afternoons at the water park,splashing andenjoying the cool water on the hot summer days. Saturday July 3rd was a great 1st dive as some geared up and planned a dive with Csaba.We, John Glodowski, Frank Gabriel, Chris Perry and myself made a 70 minute dive out to the west wall. What a trek, I thought I was a yellowfin tuna we went so fast, what a blast! I have never been to the west wall. When we got out there Frank was making a gesture like driving a vehicle to Chris Perry, Chris made the same signal in return, and I thought they were making an argument as to whom was going to lead the dive on the return trip back to the dock, only to find out that that was the signal to lets find the sunken pick up truck! Chris started but no one made the effort to go with, so we just turned the dive.What a blast, to find out that all that huffing and puffing on the dive and I came out with plenty of air left in my tanks! That afternoon was eventfull as well as I doffed my gear to dry out, had some lunch with my family and spent the afternoon playing in the waterpark. What a blast! Loyda my wife was making a determined effort to get on the slip and slide raft, and I was no help because I was on the other side looking at her struggle, when all of a sudden her hand slipped and she fell back into the water. She was upset, because she forgot to take her wedding ring off, get the picture, the water was cold and refreshing but it made her finger shrink in size, so it easily slipped off. She was crying and very upset, because of sentiment and value of the ring. I tried to console her saying I am going to go over to the guys a the IVS trailer and see if they can help me in a search and recovery, don’t worry we will find it,” I said”. I got permission from the life guards at the water park to look for the ring, and was told I could but to make sure not to surface in the water park area.I went over to the IVS trailer and every one but Jglo had gone in for a dive. I rounded up my gear and waited for the team to see if any one was up for a SAR. Frank and Tony came out and said they would help out to fing the ring. After they off gassed, we geared up and headed for the dock.We made a plan to meet back at the dock, and to make sure we did not suface at the waterpark.We surface swam half way, and before the park we dropped to depth and began our trek in. The depth was 55′ to the bottom, and the first 40 or so was soup, there was a cold layer of water at the bottom making the visiblity 30’+. There was not a good SAR plan in place since I could not point out the exact location, So that afternoon I only found a $ 5 bill, five $1 bills, and 2 pair of sunglasses.Not a bad start, but hardly what we we searching for. After we came out we made a plan for Sunday morning 8 am.

The next morning we had enlisted more help,Frank Gabriel, John Glodowski, Chris Perry, Bill Bobowitz, and Craig and a nudge from Franks wife Isabel. She said to Frank you better go and help John Z. find his wifes wedding ring. Frank obliged! Once again Team IVS rose to the challenge. We made a new SAR plan. I said that we would either find the ring right away or not at all. Since the waterpark was not open for 2 more hrs.I was able to show the exact location, at the surface my wife had slipped and the ring came off, and that it was located between the 2 yellow straps at the slip and slide. We all surface swam out to the waterpark.Frank and I were at the exact location my wife and I were that day. We both dropped down right from the slide through the soup to the layer of clear water on the bottom. We were all careful not to disturb the sediment.I went left from our location, and Frank went right .We circled back toward each other and I saw Frank reach into the layer of silt and green algae. I thought to myself he either found the ring or he is going to make for some bad visibility shortly.He pulled something out and stuck it in his glove sleeve. I tapped him on the shoulder and made the gesture like well??? What did you find? He pulled the ring out! Thats the ring!!! A big hug was in order and I just about pulled my reg out of my mouth, as we broke away. Next thing Chris came over and it was high fives all around!!! Lets round up the troups and back to the dock we went. We came out at the ramp between the 2 docks, and some one made the comment that it was a 4 minute dive when Frank found the ring. Now while on the dock Wisdom may have gotten out and taken the ring up to my wife, but we were so excited to see the ring that Frank took it out and placed it in my hand, and while describing the way it was sitting on the bottom and how the 2 piece ring was halfway out when he saw it, there it goes into the water again, my heart just sank. Chris still had his mask , so he put it on and reached in and pulled out the ring once again.The Zebra Mussels had filled the gap on the dock preventing it from sinking to the bottom. Chris put it in my hand and every one charged me to go and give it to my wife immediately. So up the hill I went right to Loyda and as she saw the ring and placed it on her finger she began crying, and she hugged me tightly, and gave me a great big kiss, she didn’t care that I was soak and wet, making her clothes wet.I knew that we had made her day! A heart felt Great Big Thanks to Team IVS. As I came back to the dock, there was a suggestion that since I scored some serious points, some new gear was in order, possible dive trip, new reel for some more SAR. I agreed. So back in the water again for some more SAR to finish the dive. What a great day!! Way to go Team IVS.

Thanks again
John Z.

What a DOG Day it was at Dutch!

Each season the folks at DUI, manufacturers of some of the world’s finest drysuit systems, take a note from the Indian Valley Scuba Demo Tour, and run around the country conducting demo day events.  Known as DOG Days, named for the DUI Owners Group, these events historically bring out as many as 1,000 divers to test dive the latest in drysuit offerings from DUI, get a great lunch, talk face-to-face with the DUI factory folks, and socialize with many other DUI owners and wanna-be’s.  They also learn about new options, upgrades and other promotions that DUI is running.  And the event is staffed by local participating dealers, so once the divers have been convinced that a DUI is in the future for them, they know just where to buy one.  How amazing is that?

This weekend found the DUI folks at Dutch Springs for a three day event.  Friday was devoted to Public Safety Diving, and the tent was full of firemen, police officers, commercial divers and rescue divers from teams all over the region.  Faith Ortins was the MC and lead speaker for the event, educating, informing and getting the crowd involved in hands-on demonstrations of the latest PS Diving suits, swiftwater rescue outfits, decontamination products and equipment, and new government regulations and standards that impact this industry.

Saturday and Sunday is dedicated to the general public for test diving DUI suits, and test dive they did!  Over 150 people showed up for the opening of the event on Saturday morning, and the crowd remained steady all day long.  For anyone who has never attended a DUI DOG Day, it was truly an eye-opener with the efficiency of the process that has evolved over the years.  From registration to fitting to diving, each step is handled at a separate station, in a logical order, so the numbers of divers that can be run through in the course of a day with minimal delay is absolutely amazing.

Hmmmmm..wheels are turning here……maybe my blue shirted friends from the TSA should attend a DOG Day and learn how you can be both thorough and efficient at the same time!  But I digress……

Indian Valley Scuba was well represented at the event this weekend, with Dave on site Friday for the PS Diving seminars, then Joyce Kichman, John Glodowski, Chris Perry, Steve Holak, Felix Gryn, Frank Gabriel, Bill Zyskowski, Mike Parzynski, Tricia Arrington, Pam Schools, Chris Muller, IAHD Diver  Karen Swisher and her son Christopher, and others joining pitching in to help make this event a great success.  We thank each and everyone for helping us this weekend.

The event this weekend was one of the busiest yet, so busy in fact that the DUI folks ending up borrowing gear off the IVS Dueling Drysuits Demo Trailer! How’s that for cross-pollination?  Ooops, I meant cross-promotion!  In any case, it just helps illustrate how different members of the industry can work together to build a better diving community for all.  Remember, a rising tide floats all ships…..yet some shops and dive industry professionals just never get it!

More than 150 divers test dove DUI suits on Saturday, and 75 or so more did it on Sunday.  This was one of DUI’s biggest weekends ever, and boy was the energy and activity non-stop in the demo tents.  The crews worked well together, and in spite of a little rain Saturday afternoon, and a lot of rain on Sunday morning it still was a great weekend for all.

Camp IVS was busy too, with divers joining us all day long on both days.  And of course training was rampant, with Brian Laspino and Amir Stark completing their Rescue Diver certifications, Joyce Kichman, Mike Parzynski and Rich Peterson wrapping up their Intro to Tec cert, and Doug Ellis getting some of his Open Water Instructor Development Course training out of the way.  Multi-tasking – it’s a way of life at IVS!    And our own Steve Holak stepping into the line of fire as grillmaster for the weekend, and his meat-handling skills were top shelf.  Now, we need to get his “fixins bar” setup skills in order!  What a great weekend of laughter, good food, local diving and friends – does life get any better than this?

The Ladies of IVS show their stuff at Dutch Springs

This weekend marked our third checkout dive weekend of the season at Dutch Springs. Yes, our third time there already this season, starting right on opening day this year.

So you ask, is Dutch ready to dive already….no friggin’ way – it is 45 degrees in the water! But does that stop our divers from jumping in? Nope!

This weekend’s class was an all-girls outing, with Briana Reinoso, Kaitlyn Ott, Deanna Kuik, and Cathryn Hardin all needing to get those pesky checkout dives completed before they headed to more exotic locations later this month. So they all opted to take the Drysuit class in conjunction with their Open Water program, and they dove dry all weekend long. I am still amazed that they wanted to do this, let alone come out and complete six dives with us, and still ready to go for more!

Saturday was perfect, sunny, warm, calm……very alluring to come and dive into the pretty pond!  We got our three dives and the ladies did nothing short of fantastic.  The drysuit training paid off in spades as they were comfortable on each dive in the mid 40 degree water. Sunday came along and boy what a difference a night can make…….it was raining like a son of a gun, cold, dreary, and overcast, but did that deter our divers?  Well, heck yes, it really sucked!  But we had a job to do, and we did it, getting in not only three more dives, but actually then a fourth dive to explore the wreck known as the Silver Comet.

Another great weekend, lots of smiles, and four new divers welcomed into the IVS family – perfect!

A little rain can’t keep the divers away!

Another weekend and another great chance to get wet in a local way, at Dutch Springs, of course!  It was another checkout weekend and Dueling Drysuits Demo day at the local quaribbean, and it started off as one fine looking weekend for sure!

Saturday we had about 35 IVS divers in the camp, and Sunday found the total for the weekend up over 50!  How cool is it to have so many of our diving family stop by, get a dive or two in with old friends, make new ones, grab a burger, and plan the next dive trip!  And we made even more new friends as the popularity of the Dueling Drysuits demo program continues to grow!

Saturday’s weather was perfect, and with grille-mistress Donna Raleigh in charge, no one went hungry or unsatisfied around the food table.  On Sunday we have Jerry Melissen take over the grille meister duties, and again, the bellies were filled, the smiles were wide, and the IAHD-Americas contribution jar was nicely filled!!  Thank you everyone for supporting our cause. 

Sunday morning the rain came down…and down…and down…….what a torrential storm we experienced.  Lord knows how much rain we got, but we sure got it in a hurry!  But what comes after the rain – you guessed it, a beautiful sunny afternoon to cap a great weekend of diving!

Congratulations to Meghan Grant, Mike Weiderhold, Wyatt & Chuck Brumm, and Paul Haverfield, on completing their National Geographic Open Water certifications! And Rich Seier, who completed his Advanced Open Water & Drysuit Specialty certifications! Wow!

Celebrating America’s Birthday in DBD style – Dutch, Bainbridge & Dutch!


Team IVS is popping up like the gopher in the carnival game this weekend, with simultaneous diving, grilling & drysuit demo’s at Dutch Springs and Bainbridge Sportsmen Club. 

We started off Friday at Dutch, setting up the big tent and grille, and getting the Dueling Drysuits Demo weekend going.   Wei & Chris from Washington DC journeyed up to dive with us, and eleven divers test-dove our suits on Friday, alternating between the Whites Fusion and the Waterproof Draco’s and Aquila’s.  Lots of great experiences, lots of smiles, and some new friends!

Saturday Donna Raleigh, Jarred Rogers, & Frank Gabriel, along with a big gang from the ScubaBoard Dive NY group, represented IVS at Dutch while John Glodowski & Dave V hauled the demo trailer to Bainbridge Quarry for our first ever visit to this dive site.  Located in Lancaster County just southeast of Harrisburg, we could not have been more impressed by the friendliness of the staff and all the divers we met there.  So unpretentious, no egos or other acts of silliness.  Instructors and divers alike lined up at the Dueling Drysuits pavilion to learn more, get a chance to try our suits, and even to talk about our Poseidon rebreathers which we were diving today. 

About a dozen divers tried our suits, and every one came back smiling and asking when we were coming back – very cool indeed.  The longest distance traveled award goes to John Jannone, who drove in from the Pittsburgh area to dive with us and try a Fusion!  John G & I got a couple of dives in after escorting some of our demo’ers, and finally it was time to call it a day, pack it up, and head back to the Center of the Scuba Diving Universe, Harleysville.

Sunday a.m. I drove the demo trailer back up to Dutch and we spent a glorious July day doing demo’s, talking about drysuits, diving and of course grilling!  Donna Raleigh flips a mean spatula on the grill, and we enjoyed her efforts, including the fajita’s, wraps, grilled corn-on-the-cob, and of course burgers & dogs.  Mike Parzynski brought out some carnivore delicacies, including chicken and steaks, marinated and delicious!  The ScubaBoard Dive NY gang, led by ScubaSam, Hobo Diver, CJM, Letter Boy, OhmDiver, Betty Rubble, ParzDiver, Dbuggy66, QRPC, and the rest, added an even greater element to the day – so cool to spend a Sunday diving and meeting new friends! 

Csaba, Niki & Sylvia Lorinczy visited us, and enjoyed the Aqua Park for the afternoon.  It was a busy afternoon of demo’s and finally we packed it up and headed home, back to the grind, until next weekend!