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Excellent Article. Social Media Kills Divers

Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:57 pm

The internet made the Keyboard Commando and diving certainly has more than it's fair share of them.... ... ivers.html
Doing it right should include some common sense, not just blindly following specs and instructions. .Gary D, AWAP on SB

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Re: Excellent Article. Social Media Kills Divers

Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:01 pm

Terrific read, thanks for the link.

We all need to be realistic about our physical fitness and abilities related to each dive

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Excellent Article. Social Media Kills Divers

Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:51 pm

That was an excellent article indeed...

There was a 'near-miss' incident on a night dive I was on at Truk Lagoon in 2012 that is a good example of this... had Coroner's Report written all over it.

A female diver (who I will call Red) in her mid-50's supposedly quite experienced with lots of brand new expensive goodies takes similarly aged but VERY inexperienced OW partner to Truk Lagoon. What could possibly go wrong?

During the day dives he was obviously struggling with basic techniques, bouyancy and air consumption... very unsure UW.
To assist high air consumption the local DM just strapped a large pony bottle to him mounted crosswise which led to a repeated series of 'clangs' ringing out inside the wrecks as he was unsure of his new width when negotiating narrow spaces. He was also quite overweight and unfit, frequently red faced. The inexperienced diver was needlessly stressed and well out of his comfort zone at Truk IMO.

Red was the opposite... she "knew the owner" of the dive shop organising the tour, was training to be a DM and obviously thought herself quite a dive legend despite not knowing how half her brand new gear worked!

A night dive on one of the larger wrecks was planned, we were told again and again NOT to penetrate the wreck :shock:
6 divers and one local DM... all with primary torches and backup torches. As no penetration was planned and the dives were to be quite shallow so no additional air was deemed necessary.

All divers in the water OK, assembled and descended without incident.

Followed DM along the wreck, I was toward the rear... however Red decided she liked the look of the bridge and entered it. Alone.
She then turned off her torch to 'feel the solitude' we found out later.

DM turns for routine headcount check, only sees 5 lights and circles back immediately to locate missing diver.
My buddy and I wave our torches and point to where Red entered the wreck.
DM enters wreck and is understandably rather agitated with Red who by this time has turned her torch back on, but can't seem to fathom why everyone is pissed off.

Confusion reigns, rest of divers then follow DM into wreck, filling the fairly small wheelhouse, viz plummets due to careless finning in confined space.

NOW... for some reason DM decides to continue into wreck single file down narrow companionways where my shoulders are bumping the walls and the reg's yoke occasionally hits some overhead objects. I'm last in line and viz is down to about 3m in cave-silt conditions.

My stress levels are rising, but at least we are making progress through the wreck... but we come to a T junction.
DM pauses obviously thinking "now was it LEFT or RIGHT?"
Stress levels through the roof now, air use increasing only 80 BAR left and we are still inside the wreck!

Suddenly we burst through the lower deck below the bridge and out into open water past the twisted gantries... heart pounding HARD :shock:
I have never been so relieved to be underwater on a wreck in the moonlight... a close call.

When tackled after the dive Red couldn't understand all the anger and commotion... maintaining it was her call to enter the wreck and she would have caught up with the others very soon :roll:

The local DM could not speak very good English and so the explanation as to why he chose to go deeper into the wreck instead of leading the whole group out of the wheelhouse and back to the planned EXTERNAL night dive was unclear. Perhaps because the new divers arriving blocked the original two divers from exiting easily.

Unfortunately I heard of several similar incidents at Truk Lagoon... tech divers diving beyond their capabilities or people ticking off a lifetime Dive Truk Bucket List long after they should have hung up their fins.

I still get cold sweats just thinking about it...
'A man can never have too much red wine, too many books or too much ammunition' Rudyard Kipling

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Re: Excellent Article. Social Media Kills Divers

Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:25 am

" A man has to know his limitations" :!:

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Re: Excellent Article. Social Media Kills Divers

Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:25 pm

Fibonacci, I got the same feeling on a trust me dive in the Virgin Islands in the 80's. I was on my honeymoon and I went on a day time dive with a six-pack charter. The DM took 5 guys of varying experience and an uncertified snorkeler aboard. I had been diving uncertified since 1967 and had just gotten my OW C-card a month earlier just so I could get on a dive boat in St. Thomas. I had zero cave diving experience at that time.

A pre-dive briefing indicated we would be in 45 feet of water and would go through some swim through arches. The gal snorkeled above us while the rest went on scuba.

I had about 1000 lbs. of air left and the DM swam into a hole in the reef. We all followed him obediently one after the other. I was the last one in. Once I penetrated about 15 feet or so I was completely in the dark. I had no light and apparently no one else did as it was blacker than ink. I stayed right on the bumper of the diver ahead of me. I was navigating solely by keeping my arms outstretched feeling for his fins. I was praying that he was in touch with the others ahead of him and that the DM knew where he was going.

I had a feeling of impending doom as if one of the divers got claustrophobic this was the time and the place to panic. I was worried and I did not know what the guys in front of me were feeling. We kept going deeper into the reef when we came to a constriction. My tank was hitting the overhead and my body was in contact with the floor. I realized that if someone bucked now there was no turning around as tight as it got. I thought seriously about backing out but did not know what was behind me. I did not know if it was a straight shot back out or if there were passageways off to the side or a larger chamber. I weighed my options and decided to take my chances with the pack hoping everyone was still in contact with the diver ahead and that the DM knew how to get out.

I worked to keep calm and conserve my air. After what seemed like a lifetime I thought I saw that it was getting lighter ahead of me. It was the proverbial light in the tunnel and it sure looked good to me. When I got to the source of the light I saw what looked like a chimney heading straight up and I could see the surge of the water above me in the sunlight. We swam up about 15 feet and were finally outside. I had 500 psi left. We then swam back over the reef we had swum through and I could see air bubbles fizzing up through the coral marking the way where we had passed underneath.

I was miffed about the incident and was especially mad at myself for going into that situation. It had not been discussed what the conditions would be like, we did not have the equipment, or the air to do that and no one knew how the others would deal with that dive. I feel blessed to have come out OK and it was a very good lesson for me.

It is something that can happen when you go with a group and are led by someone else. It seems it is very easy to get off the dive plan by a single bad decision. One diver can affect everyone and then that is how accidents happen.

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Re: Excellent Article. Social Media Kills Divers

Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:08 pm

Fibonacci wrote:That was an excellent article indeed...

There was a 'near-miss' incident on a night dive I was on at Truk Lagoon in 2012 that is a good example of this... had Coroner's Report written all over it..
Hey Fib, your Truk experience brought back two (actually three) bad memories I thought were buried deep. The first two happened the same day, June 29, 1981. (Yes, I logged my dives back then).That morning we dove the I-169 sub. The plan was to enter the sub via the engine room hatch and explore through to the aft torpedo compartment. (I don't think they allow penetration anymore). All went well until we turned around to head out. Didn't realize a ceiling had fallen so as we swam out we swam under a mass of metal plates rather than over them. On the way in we simply swam over that lip not realizing their was another passage under us. Of course, our divemaster had done this dive before so he should have known, but, whatever. Not a good feeling to be all prepared to exit and have nothing but metal overhead. This was before guidelines were in common use in wreck diving. We realized our error when we saw our depth gauges nearing 140 feet when the hatch was at about 120 feet. Anyway, we obviously survived. We exited, did our deco using hang tanks on the anchor line, and surfaced to dive again.

The second incident occurred on a night dive that same day on the Shinkoku Maru. I was swimming near the bridge and saw a open deck hatch that led into a big rectangular room of some sort. I swam down into it with the idea of shining my light around and popping back out. I got in and could see all four walls and the ceiling so I swam maybe 20 feet in to the far wall and turned around. Came back to the corner I entered at and no deck hatch. Went to the other corner, no deck hatch. I spent a scary few minutes (seemed like hours) methodically doing a grid search on the ceiling. Finally found the hatch and exited back into open water.

There was a third incident on July 2, 1981 diving the San Furanshisuko Maru (San Francisco Maru). Not a penetration issue but a deco one. The anchor line to our dive panga was tied off to the top of the San Francisco's cargo boom. We hung tanks and regulators at 30 feet for our anticipated deco obligation. There were just the two of us on the dive, the divemaster and panga driver stayed top-side to smoke a joint. Finished our 170 foot-ish dive, swam back up the cargo boom, and no anchor line. We swam up to 30 feet, did our first stop in open water and were on fumes. We were diving single 80's but did carry pony bottles. Just as we reached our 20 foot stop we heard the sound of the panga engine and a weighted line with a couple tanks and regs splashed over the side and down to us. Saved again. It was hard to yell at our boat driver and "divemaster. " They did end up saving us. We should have checked to see if the line was secure on the cargo boom. Plus, it's hard to yell at a couple of stoned guys who just giggled harder the madder we got. I'm sure we broke every rule that has since been invented but diving back then seemed a little more wild and woolley than it does today. Mark
"The diver who collects specimens of underwater life has fun and becomes a keen underwater observer. .. seek slow-moving or attached organisms such as corals, starfish, or shelled creatures." (Golden Guide to Scuba Diving, 1968) :D

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Re: Excellent Article. Social Media Kills Divers

Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:52 am

Crikey... thanks for sharing
'A man can never have too much red wine, too many books or too much ammunition' Rudyard Kipling

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Re: Excellent Article. Social Media Kills Divers

Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:59 am

I enjoyed reading the article, thanks for sharing.

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