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Navy Divers Show Off Their Skills at Great Lakes Aquarium

Updated: 08/21/2014 10:16 PM
Created: 08/21/2014 4:51 PM WDIO.com
By: Maarja Anderson

When many are looking to the skies this weekend for high-flying action, we took in the sights under the surface.

It may be Duluth Navy Week and time for the Duluth Air Show, but not all the action is up in the sky.

"He tried to hug a fish!"

The Great Lakes Aquarium usually has two dive demonstrations a week, but this week's dive is special. The divers are Navy divers.

"Most people don't have a true understanding of Navy diving and what we're about and what we use, so it's more of an awareness type deal," said Chief Petty Officer Navy Diver Nicholas Atkinson.

Chief Navy Diver Atkinson and his team are here for Duluth Navy Week and the Duluth Air Show, sharing with the public what they do every day.

At the aquarium, they are diving just 30 feet down in the Isle Royale tank. They are trained, however, to dive 300 feet down.

"If a plane crashes or a ship sinks, or if a harbor needs to be cleared Navy divers will come and move it," he explained.

Chief Navy Diver Atkinson also said they help with natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, major accidents like the I-35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis, and repair ships while still at sea.

At the aquarium Thursday afternoon though, it's all about fun.

The divers showed off their skills, their tools, and even played tic-tac-toe with the kids.

"It was pretty good, I beat him!" said one 11-year-old visitor.

The Navy team drew quite the crowd, but if you missed their show Thursday afternoon, don't worry, they'll be back for more Friday.

The crew will give another demonstration Friday at 2:30 p.m. Folks can see the show with regular paid admission into the aquarium. 

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