Smoke 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 possible.

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 reefing:

Sink a Vessel to Celebrate the Life of

 Ed Bogaert



A good 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.

 Though 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. 

 Ed relished 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.

   To 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 them.


Back to New Jersey Council of Diving Club Website