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 Post subject: Santa 'Rescued' In Mount Carmel
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 8:00 pm
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Location: From Schuylkill County, PA living in Phoenix, AZ
Santa 'Rescued' in Mount Carmel

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BY LARRY DEKLINSKI
SHAMOKIN NEWS-ITEM
September 7, 2009

MOUNT CARMEL TOWNSHIP- A dive team called to a local stripping pit Saturday on reports of a body drowned inside a submerged vehicle pulled an unlikely victim from the water after an extensive, two-hour search - a Santa Claus statue wearing a scuba mask.

Kevin Mains Jr., assistant chief at Beaverdale Fire Company, called the late-night discovery in the water-filled pit near Route 54 a "real good training exercise."

"It came out the best scenario it could possibly come out," Mains said.

The report of a body trapped inside a submerged vehicle was made to 911 by a family that had been rafting on the waters of the stripping pit, known locally as "Commissioners' Lake." Emergency personnel were dispatched at 8:30 p.m. over a scanner system for a "vehicle accident, down an embankment, with possible entrapment."

Divers from Sunbury, Schuylkill Haven and Mahanoy City - along with local police officers, EMS and fire personnel - responded to the scene. A safety officer and a representative from the Northumberland County Department of Public Safety were also present to assist in operations.

Firefighters used a rope system to access the shore and set up spot lights to illuminate the area. Before divers arrived, rescue swimmers from Mount Carmel Rescue 5 entered the water and began a shallow grid search, while firefighters performed a land search. The family that initially made the call then returned to the scene to better identify the area.

Divers initially focused their attention on two white spots submerged just below the water line. Conditions made it impossible for firefighters on shore to determine if the object was a bumper from a vehicle. The divers dove underwater and quickly discovered the spots were two porcelain toilets. Divers also discovered a large boat before finding Santa at 10:36 p.m.

Mains said he believes the people saw the boat and Santa. Still, better safe than sorry.

"We can't just disregard the incident," said Beaverdale Fire Chief Bill Ahrensfield. "People said they saw a body, so we have to make sure it wasn't a body."

After all emergency personnel were accounted for, the search was terminated.

"I think the scene went extremely well," said Mains. "Everybody had good communications. They (emergency personnel) work very well together."

In addition to Beaverdale Fire Company, divers and county safety personnel, responding to the scene were EMS from Mount Carmel American Hose, Mount Carmel Township police, fire police, Shamokin Rescue 62 and firefighters from Strong and Atlas.

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Last edited by miket145 on Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2007 3:40 am
Posts: 81
Location: Ranshaw
Thats good stuff, aint it?

The funny thing is, that hand was stuck up in the air like that when I took the photo. The photo wasn't staged.


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