10 yr old dies in scuba diving accident - Utah

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boulderjohn

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A few years ago PADI and DAN did a joint study of diving accidents and concluded that the number one cause (other than a medical event) was an embolism following a rapid (assumedly) breath-holding ascent. That seems to me to be the most likely explanation here. There is no real chance this was a DCS issue at that depth.
 

WillHartNZ

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The two are not mutually exclusive.


Bob
I understand that but I was referring to the typical instances of a parent being a certified diver and taking a kid just to give them a go. Sure some parents would be instructors or otherwise have the knowledge to do so safely. Even in shallow water the risks are too high (IMHO) to take the risks of doing it yourself over doing a discover scuba or bubblemaker or similar program.

This incident will be something the father will have to live with for the rest of his life and I would not wish that upon anyone.
 

boulderjohn

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Scuba instruction follows a carefully planned sequence. Divers start in the shallow end of the pool and do all their skills there. That way, if they panic, they can just stand up, with no harm done. Then they go to the deep end of the pool. By the time they are ready for open water diving, an instructor should be pretty darned sure they are not going to bolt to the surface. It can still happen, but the normal sequence is designed to make it as unlikely as possible.

Skills are done in a similar sequence for similar reasons. Students clear a partially flooded mask in the shallow end of the pool. Then they clear a fully flooded mask in the shallow end of the pool. Then they remove their masks and replace them. In the deep end of the pool, they take their masks off, swim for a while, and then put the mask back on. In the open water dives, they go through that sequence again.

I don't know any more than anyone in this case, but one danger of a non-instructor teaching skills is that they will ignore the sequence and do things in whatever order makes sense to them. This can lead a student to fail at a skill for which he or she is not ready, and if that failure happens in deeper water, it can lead to panic and a risky bolt to the surface.
 

Midget

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Blue Lake, where they were diving, sits at an elevation of about 5,000 ft.
 

ChuckP

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With an 11 year old son that is certified, incidents like this are my worst nightmare. Prayers for that family.
 

Compressor

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Decompression sickness is not a diagnosis for this poor family. Arterial Gas Embolism is the likely culprit. Very sad to loose a life so early.
 

aquacat8

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Very sad! I wonder if the embolism risk was greater at 5000 feet? I was recently at a high mountain lake (not diving but panting from altitude sickness on a very cold swim) and so I read a bit about altitude diving and it was surprising—it’s described as still kind of experimental. Apparently they aren’t really sure of all the effects or even if padding tables for altitude is enough.
 

boulderjohn

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Very sad! I wonder if the embolism risk was greater at 5000 feet? I was recently at a high mountain lake (not diving but panting from altitude sickness on a very cold swim) and so I read a bit about altitude diving and it was surprising—it’s described as still kind of experimental. Apparently they aren’t really sure of all the effects or even if padding tables for altitude is enough.
The embolism risk is indeed greater at 5,000 feet, but from that depth the difference is not huge.
Boyle's Law: P1*V1=P2*V2

Sea level ascent from 25 feet: 1.73 ATA*1 = 1 ATA*V2; V2 = 1.73/1 = 1.73
5,000 feet (.83 ATA): 1.56 ATA*1 = .83 ATA*V2; V2 = 1.56/.83 = 1.89

So a breath holding ascent at 5,000 feet will expand air bubbles from 25 feet to the surface at a greater degree, but not so much that it will likely make a difference between creating an embolism or not. A breath holding ascent from 25 feet will likely cause an embolism at any altitude.
 

enduser

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Blue Lake is just inside the Utah state line at about 5,000ft above sea level. It is 16-17 miles outside of Wendover, NV which is a tiny casino town on the Utah Nevada border. It is in the middle of the desert nowhere, 90 mins W from SLC. In the colder months it is a Utah diving regular, but the giant biting flys come out in the summer months so most people avoid it.

It has a max depth of 60 ft and hot pots that bubble up constantly from the bottom, It is a geo thermal heated lake that is 70 degrees year round. When it is -5 in January, Blue Lake is 70.

There are 2-3 training platforms at 25 feet where I would guess this terrible accident happened. From what I have heard around here, he was with his Father sharing a scuba unit on his octo and got stressed out and panicked and bolted to the surface.

I believe they were quick to surface behind him and notice their was a problem. I am not familiar enough with these types of injuries to know what they would do to help, especially being in the middle BFE nowhere.

I have seen a go fund me kicking around for funeral expenses if anyone would like to donate.
 
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