As a refresher, police divers usually undergo drills and training exercises to consistently maintain their level of competence. New Haven police department conducts these exercises twice a month either by recovering dummy bodies or small objects.
This November, in order to perform an assessment focusing on diver buoyancy and simple motor skills, police divers were given order to carve a Halloween pumpkin underwater.
The task may sound like a piece of cake however if done 12 feet underwater with almost no visibility, making a jack-o-lantern requires a huge effort. Although divers wore dry suits during the exercise, the cold temperature still kicked in. The coldest water they have been in was 29 degrees and they needed to resurface after only 10 minutes.
The Underwater Search & Recovery Team successfully completed their mission by using rocks to prevent the pumpkin from floating. One of the divers showed his artistic potential by carving a pumpkin that resembles an octopus.
Police divers are usually under constant pressure considering most of their search and rescue operations involve recovery of lifeless bodies. Therefore, the department decided to make this particular training exercise lighthearted.