Tune-ups and Drills Continue
August 6, 1999 turned out to be another excellent day for diving off the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The relatively calm conditions continued today, and we made our way out to the Lansing. The tune-up dives for today were planned for 150 fsw for 20 minutes and 15 minutes. The divers were again divided into two teams. The first team, Terrence Tysall, Chris Cote and Michael Ott, performed a free-drop descent with a line and float ball. They tied off on the wreck and began their dive. Visibility was about ten feet, and they made a simple survey of the condition of the wreck toward the bow.
The second team, Kyle Creamer, Doug Kesling, Ken Johns and Lance Horn, descended down the line the first team had deployed and made a simple survey toward the stern of the wreck. On each team’s second dive, more high level tasks were practiced like taking measurements and data collection. All dives have been concluded by the teams deploying a lift bag and utilizing that line for ascent and performing a drift decompression. The lift bag is also used as a visual reference for the surface support teams, Mike Smith in the chase boat and Dave Dinsmore and Dan Aspenleiter on board the R/V Cape Fear.
After the divers practiced gas shut downs, which are done after all decompression is completed and still floating in open water, a lost lift bag drill was executed. We also continued some of our emergency drills today. We performed an unconscience diver drill. These drills and dives continue to strengthen the team and prepare them for the upcoming dives on the Monitor. Our plan is to continue tune-ups and drills for two more days, and then the fun will begin!