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Danger in Taiwan Green Island hammerhead dive?

Discussion in 'Taiwan' started by Torontonian, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. Torontonian

    Torontonian Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Toronto, Ont., Canada
    534
    17
    18
    I'm going to Taiwan in March/08, and would like to go to Green Island (and Kending0 for diving, while my family go snorkeling or tour/beach.

    I heard of hammerhead dive in Green Island being an advanced dive, and there have been several deaths in recent years. I searched, but other than this site greenislanddiving.com describing their hammerhead dive offering, could find little other info, especially accidents or danger involved. If it's quite dangerous, then I shouldn't try, and there should be some stricter regulations about that dive.

    Could anyone who have dived or know about diving in Green Island provide some tips. Thanks a lot.
     
  2. Lj82

    Lj82 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Singapore
    121
    0
    16
    Was in Taiwan in dec last year (non-diving trip) and spoke to a DM over there. He showed me a video of them doing the hammerhead dives and from what i can see, the currents are really strong. He mentioned customers being swept down to 30m depths by the currents if not careful.
    In general it appears to me that the dive is pretty popular and many people do it without too much problem, but you must at least be comfortable in strong currents before attempting it.

    I've not done the dives myself so I can't really give you my first account experience.
    shellbackdiver1 on this board is based there i think. He'll probably give u a better idea of what its like diving there.
     
  3. Torontonian

    Torontonian Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Toronto, Ont., Canada
    534
    17
    18
    Taking Andy's reply to the other post, as it is for this post
    Maybe a stupid question here. Somewhere else I read that people would hold on to some rocks down there, and look out for the hammerheads. So why wouldn't an anchor line be set up here? Since the current is so strong, it definitely will help the divers to descend and ascend by using the line. It can also help the boat from being swept too far away.
     
  4. Torontonian

    Torontonian Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Toronto, Ont., Canada
    534
    17
    18
    I did go to Green Island Mar. 17-19. I dove with Vincent Ma of Blue Safari. The morning shore dive was pretty good at Shilang (west side of island) . Then when we went out on boat to do the Big Mushroom in the afternoon, the south wind picked up and we were forced to go to the north side of the island. So I missed the Big Mushroom. Anyway, back to my original post about Hammerhead dive at Green Island.


    I asked Vincent about the Hammerhead dive at Gun-Sui-bei location. Vincent explained that the currents are always there, and it is too dangerous to try to set up a buoy line there. That answered my question.

    Vincent said the way to do the dive there, is a quick descent down to a like-plateau point where you'll hang on to rocks there. You have one chance to make it there right after jumping off the boat. If you don't make it to that point and hang on to the rocks there, the currents will carry you away. You have one chance, and if you miss it, you abort to go back up and wait be picked up by the boat. So, extra weight can help, quick descent and equalize very quickly going down. Then it can be a great dive.
     
  5. ambertiger

    ambertiger Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Taiwan
    90
    13
    8
    Hi guys, I just came back from Green Island a couple of days ago, we successfully dived on the hammerheads three days in a row. I have posted a video clip of the last dive on day three. I took 16 divers over and we all had some fantastic dives. Please let me reiterate, this is not a dangerous dive if you know what you are doing, are comfortable with your dive skills, know how to do negatively buoyant entries and follow instructions. I have been leading dive trips to see the Scalloped hammerheads almost every year for the past 19 years. I have never had any safety issues on any of my dives with any of my divers. YouTube - Green Island (Taiwan) Scalloped Hammerheads. Chinese New Year 2011
     
  6. scubadiver888

    scubadiver888 Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: North America
    1,504
    274
    83
    Torontonian,

    You have a semi-local dive that might be able to help you work up to the Hammerhead dive in Taiwan. The St. Lawrence River has some fast currents.

    If you dive the Lillie Parsons there are two ways to approach it. The boat can drop you off near Sparrow Island. On the island is an anchor with a chain running down into the water. If you follow the chain down (use two hands) it takes you to the Lillie. Once you finish having a look at the Lillie you can drift off the wreck and let the current take you. You need to get down to 80' or a current will take you to the US. If you are not careful the current down below 80' can pull you down. I believe the bottom is up to 300 feet deep. On your right will be a rock wall. You want to stay down below the top of the wall. The viz isn't great so you need to stay close to the wall. Essentially, not too shallow, not too deep, keep a shifting, moving wall within 15' on your right.

    This will give you the buoyancy control to do most drift dives. Go with someone who has done this dive a number of times. They can help you out if you are having any trouble.

    Once you master drifting off the Lillie, you can start working on drifting onto the Lillie. The boat will drop you off up stream and you will drift along until you reach the Lillie. If you miss it, you'll end up doing the drift off the Lillie without ever seeing the Lillie, but you will have practiced this a few times so you'll be fine.

    Once you can drift onto and off of the Lillie, you should be ready for Hammerhead dive. :wink:
     
  7. nihaopaul

    nihaopaul Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location:
    14
    7
    0
    i dived this site, i can agree with ambertiger, if you know what you are doing then it's fine, it's comparable to the maldives and komodo currents, if you've not done those, then the next comparable one would be a bali current :D great fun.. well worth it. only you know if you're ready for a dive, no one else can make that decision for you.
     
  8. kaaralex

    kaaralex Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Shanghai
    48
    2
    8
    The depth is 30-32m and the current was ripping there. I already experienced current like this before, but what was new was that the current directions seemed to be changing past each rock or boulder, really difficult to move anywhere. I dove the site for 4 days, 5 dives in total - one day it was quite ok, but the rest 3 the current was really something. You have to dive the site at least 2-3 days, coz during first one or two dives u just get familiar with the site and the conditions, second, I personally saw hammers only on one of these dives - even if the visibility was great, sometimes the hammers were just little bit further and to get closer would mean to swim against the current.
    As Paul said, if u hv the experience and know what u r doing, it is very exciting dive. But nothing for beginners i would say.
    It's crucial to watch your air very carefully, personally i ended up buddy breathing on two dives, and i think i was quite lucky i did not get separated from my buddy in the currents. Bring your knife, there are some lines down there. SMB and a lamp with signaling function is must in my opinion, just in case u drift further away. And i saw videos from Taiwanese friends who dove that site using twin-sets - again, in my personal opinion, if i dive this site again, i want to do it with twins.
     
  9. ambertiger

    ambertiger Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Taiwan
    90
    13
    8
    computer playing up, see below.
     
  10. ambertiger

    ambertiger Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Taiwan
    90
    13
    8
    LOL, That swirling current around the rocks was christened the "washing machine effect" a few years back by one anxious diver. I would like to dive this site on twins too. However the problem is as we discussed before. Everyone on the boat has to be diving twins because the sea state changes so rapidly on the site. If we can get enough people together to do it next year on twins I'm game. :wink:
     

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