Hal & Tony's Ocean Adventure! - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Reporter Hal Eisner

Hal & Tony's Ocean Adventure!

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First, let me tell you, there is nothing better than being out on the ocean on a beautiful day. Seriously! I've been on many big cruise ships.

What FOX11 photographer Tony Buttitta and I were on this time was a 47 foot Sheriff's vessel called "Tradition" and it was a first for me. I don't recall being on a Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department vessel before. But, if I have never been as "up close and personal" with an oil rig platform as I was on this trip.

We were on this journey to watch as various agencies carried out a very serious mission. The fake story in this homeland security drill was to find and arrest a pair of armed suspects who has fired shots on the rig. The "suspects" were played by deputies who were acting the part.

Nicole Nishida, a public information officer with the Sheriffs Department, was up really early to help us better understand what was about to transpire and she was a big help as she laid out the drills for us. There would be two of them. One between Long Beach and Catalina Island on a platform. Another further up the coast along Ventura County. That one would be handled by the Navy and Coast Guard.

In the end all went as planned according to one deputy on the mission. For me, it was really interesting to watch as some deputies used fast-ropes to land on the platform from a helicopter above. Others, in small boats, ascended the rig. This, while LAPD divers went below the watery part of the rig to look for (fake) explosives and anything else (fake) hazardous.

This was a drill to test the readiness of emergency teams. We newsfolks, though, did some real reporting as we watched.

And, somehow through all of the action, this reporter was just as dazzled by dolphins racing by and seals poking the heads up to see what we were all doing.

It was an interesting day!

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