NR-Naval Experimental Diving Unit plunges into Shedd Aquarium
Naval Reserve Naval Experimental Diving Unit (NR-NEDU) aboard Naval Station Great Lakes, was invited to perform a series of dives at the Shedd Aquarium, Caribbean Reef Exhibit Aug. 16. The dives provided a public demonstration of U.S. Navy diver capabilities during Navy Week in Chicago who hosted the Bi-centennial Remembrance of The War of 1812.
To ensure the safety of the divers, the team used U.S. Navy life-support equipment that included, seven aluminum 100-cubic foot tanks, three full-face Mk-20 masks for breathing and underwater communications, four buoyancy compensators, and all personal dive gear for the seven-person dive team.
NEDU personnel also brought Mk-V, and Mk-21 museum grade dive equipment mannequins to display while divers demonstrated some of the equipment in action. The Mk-V was used by the Navy for years for operations and featured in the movie “Men of Honor” starring Robert DiNiro and Cuba Gooding Jr.
Swimming inside the 90,000-gallon circular tank in the grand rotunda, NDCS K. Bridges and GM1 C. Ernst fielded questions from the audience.
GM1 M. Panek assisted in the demonstration to ensure the safety of the divers. Over 2,500 visitors mingled and watched the displays during the presentation, enjoying a rare opportunity to watch a Navy dive team work up close and personal.
The Caribbean reef contains about 70 species of animals, including sharks, eels, a green sea turtle and stingrays. Aquarium goers get good overview of all the life of a Caribbean reef from behind the glass windows.
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