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This week, Cee gave us the option of Water or Winter for the Fun Foto Challenge on Cee’s Photography at http://ceenphotography.com/2014/08/12/cees-fun-foto-challenge-water-or-the-season-of-winter/. I don’t even want to begin thinking about winter yet so I picked Water.

Yesterday we paid a visit to Three Oaks Recreation Area in Crystal Lake, Illinois. It took 20 years for the old gravel quarry on Northwest Highway to be transformed into a family-friendly recreation area and the results are impressive. With a small beach, children’s play area, fishing permitted in certain areas, comfortable walking trails and boats for hire at the marina there is plenty to keep everyone occupied but yesterday the focus of my camera was on the water and in particular the water rescue training session that was in progress at the north lake area.

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Apparently Three Oaks is used by special rescue units from surrounding towns and districts to train their personnel in such techniques as underwater communication, search and recovery, surface water rescue and sonar scanning. Annual basic skills refresher courses are also conducted at Three Oaks.

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The lakes of the old quarry seem to be an ideal spot for these exercises as the water is, in some areas, almost 50ft deep.

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As a non-swimmer myself, I am truly thankful that these brave men and women are so well trained and, with all the lakes and rivers in this part of Illinois, their expertise certainly is an essential part of the rescue services.

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It’s comforting to know that these special teams are ready to answer the call and render help in such an emergency.

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