On YouTube: Diver reflects on experiences in Niagara River
Great Lakes Coastal Youth Education - News

Amherst, NY, October 18, 2017 - New York Sea Grant's Helen Domske looks at an underwater animal she caught off the shores of one of the Great Lakes she was diving in.  The veteran diver has spent more than 25 years below the water's surface, going on hundreds of dives in waters around the world including the Niagara River.

"It's a very treacherous stretch of the river," said Domske to WIVB Channel 4 News reporter Ali Ingersoll. "You have the flow of Lake Erie so it has this incredible speed and power. And secondarily, you have a lot of underwater terrain."

Domske says she's never been in a dangerous situation in the river but thinks the water is very intense.

"When you're in that current, you really have to worry about how far along you're going and if you're going to run into things."

The longtime diver says the issue is - you can't really see when you're diving there as the visibility is very poor.

"It's not unusual to stick out your hand an barely be able to see it," said Domske. "So I cannot imagine what it's like for the searchers to go into that environment."

Domske says she won't be going back into that stretch of water but understands that those who are part of rescue teams, don't have that choice and that's why they train there. It broke her heart hearing, though, about what happened to Officer Craig Lehner and knowing he died doing something he cared about so much.

"Those men are really heroes - that they're willing to risk their lives in treacherous areas to save people."

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 33 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube links. NYSG produces a monthly e-newsletter, "NOAA Sea Grant's Social Media Review," via its blog, www.nyseagrant.org/blog. Our program also offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/nycoastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly.

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