A diver at the New River says says there’s a need for more dive teams in southern West Virginia.
When Ed Richmond isn’t working his full time job as a house painter, he’s volunteering to save lives as a diver for the fire department in Beaver. He took up diving nearly 30 years ago, so that he could bring closure to the families of those who’ve gone missing in the water.
Richmond says he hasn’t taken a day for granted since.
“Well I’ll tell you what, you appreciate life,” Richmond says. “And you don’t trust the river. The river can really take you under quick. And it can be calm one day, you can swim in this pool, never have a bit of a problem. Next day you come out, and you’re in trouble.”
Richmond says there are four other dive teams in southern West Virginia. He believes more divers in the area could mean saving more lives.
“Obviously we have the river, we also have several lakes and ponds that people will go to that’s not covered by the park service, and it’s hard to get to,” Richmond tells 59News. “So, we would rather go to a rescue as opposed to a recovery. If we had more divers, we’d be able to do that.”
That’s why Richmond is calling out to anyone in southern West Virginia who has considered taking up diving. He says becoming a diver is one of the most fulfilling choices he’s ever made.
“The diving industry in Southern West Virginia is really picking up,” Richmond says. “There’s a lot of interest in places you can dive. With just a little bit of training you can get some really unique experiences.”