Northern Diver equipment used on Lake Galvė

Posted 08/02/2019

Diugonis have been a customer and Distributor of Northern Diver since 2010.

Primarily purchasing and selling our Specialist Rescue Equipment (SRE), they also invest in our Divemaster Commercial and Sport drysuits. Diugonis supply firefighters, police and rescue operatives in the country with Northern Diver equipment. In fact they supply Northern Diver helmets and Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) to the Fire and Rescue Department that take care of the Trakai region of Lithuania.

“We love working with Northern Diver. They offer speedy delivery alongside top quality products and customer service" Diugonis Team

The Trakai Fire and Rescue Department use our Northern Diver Arctic Survivor Evo Pro 5 PFDs. A popular choice across the Rescue sector our Pro Evo 5s are hard wearing, easily adjustable and lightweight. The front and rear 4-way lash tabs, front cargo pockets and single-handed quick release buckles make this feature full PFD one of our SRE best sellers. They are tested to EN 12402-5:2006 & 12402-6:2006 standards.

The team also use our Scorpion II Helmets. Conforming to the EN 1385:2012 standard of safety, out Scorpion II's are designed and manufactured to offer the user maximum protection in the event of an impact. The inside is padded for comfort and includes additional foam to cover the user's ears which provides even more protection and better helmet stability.

The historic town of Trakai is just 17 miles (28km) west of Vilnius, Lithuania's capital, in the southeastern part of the country. It's a very popular area, known as the camping valley, not only because it's close to the capital but because it has an historic heritage and is a kind of lake resort. And when they say lake resort, they're not kidding! There are 200 lakes in the region. Galvė, which has 21 islands within it, is the deepest at 46.7m deep and it covers a 3.88km2 area.

On Thursday 7th February at around midday, a ship sank in Lake Galvė. The incident happened around 15 metres from the shore, when the 27-metre-long ship sank about 6 meters below the surface. The Skaistis is a leisure boat that's stored at Lake Galvė in winter. Currently, little is known about the cause of the incident, initial reports that the ship was broken by the ice have been rejected. The disaster did not happen when the ice was broken, others suggested it was a technical accident, but the reason why the ship sank is still unclear.

The owner of the ship reported the incident to the Environmental Protection Department under the Ministry of Environment. Environmental experts rushed to the scene of the disaster, worried for the status of one of the clearest and cleanest lakes in Lithuania. Upon arriving at the designated location, they found that the Skaistis had been completely submerged and that oil spills were visible at the site where it sank. The police were summoned to the scene and Firefighter's assistance was requested at 2.30pm. Fire and Rescue crews from both Trakai and Vilnius came together to attend.

The Fire and Rescue Department of Trakai use SRE helmets and PFDs.

It was reported that there was no one on board, however, emergency rescuers decided as a precaution to check it out. Divers investigated and looked at the boat underwater, they wanted to check there was no one inside. Early speculation suggested someone may have been on board. At the scene, Valentinas Svirko, Firefighting Chief said this information had not been verified and according to preliminary data, there were no casualties.

No people were hurt when it sank, however, the sinking has caused environmental damage.

After this was established, the firefighters who attended the scene then decided that first and foremost they needed to take measures to prevent the spread of pollutants into the lake. A spokesperson for the Fire and Rescue Department stated that lubricants and diesel from the engine compartment soon got into the lake once the boat was submerged. It has already spread to around an hundred square meters.

To prevent the escaping grease from spreading further across the surface of the water, firefighters built bonnet barriers in the lake. Boom barrels are being built to stop the spread of pollutants. These will then be collected as carefully as possible, the Trakai District Civil Protection Division have promised to build more too. There is concern that 100 litres of diesel and 100 litres of lubricant could leak out of the ship.

Because the lake's frozen, contaminants can't spread and stick to the soil. Spilled oil products will be collected by rescuers. According to the early information, there could be 120l of diesel and 50l of oil still on board the sunken ship. Today it's being re-inspected underwater to decide whether it's possible to pull the ice-immersed ship in winter. It's said that the lifting of the vessel and its cargo to the shore has been entrusted to the shipowner himself. Environmental experts will monitor how the work is being carried out though to ensure minimal further environmental damage.

When the Skaistis is lifted to the shore, an explanation as to why and how the disaster can be discovered. This will also establish blame. Here at Northern Diver, we're just happy no one was hurt. We're always proud to see our equipment in action supporting the brave men and women of the Fire and Rescue sector.

See our PFDs and helmets in action:


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