II/Ed Bogaert Memorial Reef
UPDATE: August 8, 2008
Great news! On Friday, August 8, 2008, we were able to deploy Smoke
II/Ed Bogaert Memorial Reef on the Sea Girt Reef about 4 miles from
Manasquan Inlet. The weather was bright and sunny and we had about 1
foot seas. After some preparation on the vessel from the tow boat team
including marking the site selected by the reef commissioner, the sea
cocks were opened and she very slowly started to take on water. The
winds were probably 5-10 knots blowing Smoke II off the buoy. She had
to be towed back a few times and finally sank bow first, about an hour
and a half later. The dive boat Venture III brought many people out to
witness this awesome event.
We were very pleased to have members of the FDNY, the matching grant
Ann E. Clark Foundation and the artificial reef department on hand in
addition to many friends of Ed's. Deep Six was also on site! Red roses
were dropped and the fog horns sounded.
Thank you very much for your support to make this project to honor and
remember Ed Bogaert a reality. Without you this would not have been
Smoke II was retired as a 51' pump vessel from the Fire Department of New York City.
The retirement ceremony for Smoke II was a spectacular sendoff as she
was released to us for towing to Point Pleasant for preparation for
Sink a Vessel to
Celebrate the Life of
man lives a life of energy; a great man uses that energy to serve others. Ed Bogaert was a great man who had so much energy, few people knew the scope of his
accomplishments. The scuba world
certainly remembers Ed as a forty-seven year instructor of scuba, thirty-eight
of which were spent at his beloved Montclair YMCA where he had earned medals
swimming as a youth. Edís ten years as East Field Scuba Commissioner enabled
him to skillfully transform divers into safety-oriented scuba instructors.
Later, he helped create material for use in Scuba Life Saving and Accident
Management (SLAM). The American Heart Association and The American Red Cross
both benefited from Edís services at a CPR instructor. As a true peopleís
leader, Ed saw needs and filled them through a life of service.
He was a
founding member of the New Jersey Skin Diving Club, and then the New Jersey
Council of Diving Clubs, promoting the sport by unifying divers from diverse
organizations. Instructing fellow club members to carry the teaching torch of
scuba safety was a natural outgrowth of Edís initial vision. Ever willing and
able to go the extra mile, Ed then co-directed the effort to bring a hyperbaric
chamber to the Garden State Underwater Recovery Unit, in turn creating an
instructional syllabus for its use. Being patient, organized and flexible
helped Ed be a good instructor. But as
we all know, Ed also cared deeply for others. He was so perceptive, he knew
when someone needed guidance, a sounding board, a strong shoulder on which to
lean or simply a few (dozen) of his well-honed jokes. These qualities elevated Ed from a good
instructor to a great one.
Ed was the consummate leader, he was also the ultimate team player. He served as a staff member for the Army
Corps of Engineers Diving Safety Course, a rare opportunity for a civilian. A
twenty-eight year police officer in West Caldwell, Ed
loved being on the road and in the street.
Red, white and blue all the way, he still had plenty of room for Devils
red and black. As a devoted fan, our
friend helped catapult The Devils Fan Club to the largest booster club in the
NHL. As a member
recalls, ďEd was the 7th man on the iceĒ for the Devils.
introducing new divers to the oceanís wonders; as a natural outgrowth of this
passion, he became a USCG licensed captain, enjoying the challenges of
captaining the dive boat Deep Six out of Manasquan Inlet. Here, he shared his love for the ocean with
divers by accompanying them to his beloved underwater world.
honor our friend, we plan to sink a vessel on New Jerseyís
artificial reef. We believe it is a fitting tribute to a man who certainly never
sought accolades or acknowledgements, but greatly appreciated the love behind
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