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                    September 2, 2013

Letter from  Captain Bill Reddan

Dear Friends of the Jeanne II:

Growing up as a child in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn I was surrounded by the water, I probably learned how to swim before I learned how to walk. I remember the submarine races at Plumb Beach and free diving off of the piers in the bay to collect coins which I used as spending money.

As I grew so did my love for the ocean and all the mysteries it holds.
I was a life guard in Coney Island and Jones Beach for a number of  years where I learned the basics on how to save a person’s life. I joined the United States Marine Corps (USMC) at age 18 and my military
career lead me to become the Top Underwater Naval Survival Trainer holding the rank of Master Gunnery Sargent.

After USMC boot Camp I got married to the love of my life, Jeanne Murphy who patiently waited for me while I was away and has stood by my side for the past 50 years, encouraging me to continue doing what it is that I loved to do. We use to go camping out at Montauk where I would go free diving and have won a few medals for spearing 64 lb striped bass.

In 1965 I became a Police officer with New York City Police Department working as a rookie in Bedford Stuyvesant hand-picked to become part of the Brooklyn North Task force. Two Years into the Police Department
word came down that they were looking for best of the best to be a part of the elite NYPD SCUBA Unit. I took my chances and out of 31 applicants I was the only one to make it, so I showed up to work with my own wet suit, fins mask and snorkel and was told "get to work".
There were many interesting things to see in the murky waters off NYC, the stronger than strong currents of the East River, the gloominess and filth of the Gowanus Canal. You never knew what you were going to run into in those days, when gearing up we literally took a leap of
faith when we jumped over the side of Harbor Charlie.

Throughout this time in my life time I was building my credentials with PADI to eventually become Master Instructor and decided to teach the world about exploring the depths of the ocean and the many wonders she holds. I was a teacher for over 40 years working out of the 23rd street YMCA, Hunter College and then the Brighton Beach YMCA. I have
taught many students about the joys of diving, stressing how to remain safe and come back alive. Those of you that have taken my course know first-hand how tough I was on my students, not because I didn't like them but I wanted them to be prepared for the worst case scenarios imaginable; I have been told on a number of occasions that due to my
vigorous training my voice was in their head, they remained calm, were able to get back to the surface and are still here today to talk about it.

For those of you that remember I initially operated the dive boat Jeanne, moving up to the Terry and now the Jeanne-II. Over the past 40 plus years I have crossed paths with a lot of people being the captain of a dive boat and I am sorry to say the Jeanne-II has taken her last trip as a SCUBA diving charter boat on August 25, 2013.

My love for the ocean and the mysteries she holds is still there however it is time for the tides to change and for me to embark on a new journey in life. I am planning on taking my bride of 50 years to California, which she has been asking me to do for…. Well, the past 50 years! I plan on spending more time with family and friends and watching my grandchildren grow and tell them stories of what it was like back in my day before call phones and computers and fancy dive equipment.

I consider myself a very lucky man to have been able to make a career out of a hobby, doing something I have always loved to do. It is with a heavy heart that this decision came to be. I want to thank each and every one of you that has stepped foot on board, has shared pieces of
your life with us, and have become part of our Nautical family.
Without each and every one of you, most importantly my dedicated crew,  the Jeanne-II would never had made it to be the best dive boat in NYC.
Please always remember…..plan your dive and dive your plan!


Safe Diving,

Captain Bill Reddan
 

 

 

       

 

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