By ERIC NOLL
With Hurricane Sandy’s arrival, Sgt. Terrence Sullivan of the New York Police Department’s scuba response team already knows he will not be seeing home tonight.
“Unfortunately, people still driving out there,” he told ABC News today. “What’s going to happen when water comes back up again? It’s going to be higher than it was earlier today and there’s going to be people stuck [calling] 911 and we’ll respond.”
He said the scuba team was based out of the Brooklyn Army Terminal and made up of recreational divers. They have to wear nearly 60 pounds of scuba gear, including a weight belt and and scuba tank, and could face swells that reach 10 feet tonight.
“We’re really going to be a citywide response with vehicles right now and if somebody was to fall in the water, we’re going to respond and try to get them out before it gets worse,” Sullivan said.
He said that although he hoped New York residents stayed away from the water, he and his crew were ready to rescue people, as they did last year during Hurricane Irene.
“During Irene last year, there were a few small jobs off the piers mostly,” he said. “There were kayakers off Staten Island. … I don’t know what they were thinking.”
Sullivan said that for him and his team, the job was about being safe and making sure no one got hurt during the storm.
“This wind, once it picks up, you can’t beat it. You’re not going to fight it. You’re not going to go against it. It’s going to put you wherever it wants to and once you’re in that water, even with flotation, your head is going to go under the water,” Sullivan said. “So hopefully everyone heeds the warnings, stays at home or are already evacuated.”