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Honor the Emmons, Quit Pillaging Her

Date Posted: 2001-03-23

I will not sit by and let this disgrace go by any further. I have heard through reliable sources that certain individuals are pillaging the USS Emmons. Remember ladies and gentlemen, this is an underwater tomb for 60 sailors. Pillaging a tomb/memorial is a disgrace to the memory of the sailors that gave the ultimate sacrifice. I hope and pray that this isn’t true.

To vandalize a grave is one of the most horrific acts a person can commit. How would your relatives feel if they found out that someone had taken or chipped off pieces of your head stone? Not only is this a criminal act but also a disgrace to the memory of this great ship and her crew.

No one can justify why they would do this other than their own personal satisfaction that they have a souvenir to hide away. I have heard that some of these “good and moral divers” have displayed some of the artifacts from the ship. I even heard that one of these individuals have bragged that they brought up four helmets. You cannot justify this by saying I know somebody who knows somebody who is a relative of somebody who survived the attack on the ship. I hope that the Survivors’ Association receives this letter, and that criminal charges are brought against you if possible.

What bugged me the most was that the folks that have reportedly pillaged the USS Emmons included “Master Instructors”. I think you are a disgrace to the diving community and to the human race. Instead of removing things from the ship take a camera, still or motion, and memorialize. The individuals that participated but remained silent about these acts basically condoned the act.

For those who think they are ready to go deep and explore this Memorial. My recommendation is DON’T. Get the proper training first. It just might save your life or at least keep you out of the hyperbaric chamber.

Mr. Chandler stated in his article that the mishap diver only suffered a “mild case of the bends”. It is hard to believe that the mishap diver suffering from pain in both knees and shoulders before exiting the water on his third dive; needed to be dove in the Chamber on two separate days on Table 6 with extensions on both tables is a “mild case of the bends”. Yes, it is true Mr. Chandler that anyone can suffer from the bends. Every diver who thinks they are ready to dive the USS Emmons needs to read the report on the mishap diver. The mishap diver blew through his decompression stops because he ran out of air. Then, with less than an hour surface interval, he went back down to reportedly finish pillaging a porthole and used his BC as a lift bag. Oh, by the way, the boat he was diving from apparently didn’t have any oxygen on board for dive related injuries. I would think twice before I went spending hard-earned money to dive with these individuals.

Respect the dead. Honor them. Don’t disgrace their memory by stealing from their grave. For those that have taken items from the Emmons, you get no respect as a diver or instructor in my book.

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