Underwater camera used in recovery available when and where it is needed

Frank Gale
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Craig Harnum hopes that the speedy recovery of the body of a Stephenville Crossing teenager from Barachois Pond Wednesday night is a form of relief for his family.

An underwater camera owned by the safety and emergency response training centre in Stephenville, of which Harnum is manager and program co-ordinator, was used to locate the teen’s body just hours after his tragic drowning.

In his line of work, Harnum is aware how stressful it is for a family when someone is lost — whether it’s in the water or a wooded area — and the quicker the recovery, the quicker the family can have closure.

Cpl. John Butler of the Bay

St. George RCMP said a report was received from a park warden at

7:26 p.m. Wednesday that a youth could not be located after being last seen in the water trying to free his fishing line about 25 feet from shore.

Harnum said while everyone wishes it could have been a live-rescue effort, the training centre — operated by the Marine Institute — was willing to assist with its equipment in such a tragedy.

He said the underwater camera kit, which is valued at about $4,000, was previously only used in training, and this is the first time it was used in a recovery effort, and it performed well.  

This unit has been on the market for only a year, and Harnum was told by a company representative that this is the second recovery made in North America by one of the units.

Barry Nash, co-ordinator of Barachois Search and Rescue, said his team had 12 members assisting in the search and he was pleased with the speedy recovery. He said with RCMP divers dispersed throughout the province, it usually takes time for them to get on the scene, so having this equipment available locally is a big help.

Harnum said the training centre would have the underwater camera made available “whenever and wherever” it is needed.

The Western Star

Organizations: Marine Institute, RCMP

Geographic location: Stephenville, North America, Western Star

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