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Navy Frogmen at the Tennessee Aquarium
Divers Kick off Navy Week in Chattanooga
with an Underwater Media Conference


Chattanooga, Tenn. (June 8th, 2007) – Since the early days of the American Revolution, sailors of our infant Navy began attacking British men-of-war anchored in our harbors with underwater torpedoes, and a whole new type of naval combat unit was born.

Until 1912 there was hardly any deep diving in the US Navy. But naval technicians were developing what would become one of the most famous diving outfits of all time, the Mark V diving suit.  This brass helmeted suit is a diving icon.  It was the underwater rig featured in “Men of Honor,” the movie about the Navy’s first ever African American diver Carl Brashear.

In 1915 three US Navy divers used the Mark V suit to successfully salvage the USS F-4, a submarine that sank in over 300 feet of water.

Over time equipment has changed with demands of the job.  Navy divers became known as “Frogmen” shortly before World War II because of their appearance in shiny wetsuits with large fins on their feet.

Today, Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians use hi-tech diving equipment and are trained to render safe all types of ordnance, conventional and unconventional, improvised, chemical, biological, and nuclear including Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDS) and Weapons of Mass Destruction.

To kick off Navy Week in Chattanooga, an EOD diver will handle the duties of a Tennessee Aquarium volunteer diver in the “Secret Reef.”  Diving amongst big toothy sharks and thousands of colorful reef fish will be a pleasant break from the demands of making sure the waters are safe for all of our military branches. 

The Navy Diver will be our featured “Show Diver” Monday, June 11th at 11:00 am EDT.  Using a communications diving helmet similar to some of the Navy’s, our special guest will talk with visitors about coral reef communities and our sand tiger and sandbar sharks. Then the EOD diver will conduct the southeast’s first ever underwater media conference.

Aquarium visitors will also get a special bonus during Navy week. They will have the chance to meet EOD divers at a display inside the Tennessee Aquarium’s Ocean Journey building featuring the Mark V diving suit June 11th – June 15th.  Senior Chief Scott Treible says this will be a chance for everyone to learn a bit about the history of naval diving and the current mission of today’s EOD divers. Children will be able to try some diving equipment, and take pictures next to the Mark V.

The Tennessee Aquarium is proud to be a part of Navy Week in Chattanooga and salute the men and women present and past who volunteer to serve our country.

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The Tennessee Aquarium inspires wonder and appreciation for the natural world. Admission is $19.95 per adult and $10.95 per child, ages 3-12. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium. Ticket prices are $7.95 per adult and $5.50 per child. Aquarium/IMAX combo tickets are $24.95 for adults and $14.95 for children. Advance tickets may be purchased online at www.tnaqua.org or by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit organization. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aquarium and IMAX are accessible to people with disabilities. Members enjoy unlimited visits and other benefits. Call 267-FISH to join.

ONLINE press kits & downloadable images: http://www.tnaqua.org/Newsroom/Newsroom.asp



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