Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning

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dmaziuk

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I tried that maneuver in my rescue class, and instead of getting behind the panicked diver, he "somehow" kept turning in the water and faced me the whole time while I exhausted myself trying to get behind him .. something to think about is waiting until you can approach safely

You have to approach underwater where they can't see you (and turn to face you).
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Bowers

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I tried that maneuver in my rescue class, and instead of getting behind the panicked diver, he "somehow" kept turning in the water and faced me the whole time while I exhausted myself trying to get behind him .. something to think about is waiting until you can approach safely
Safety first for sure. Something to consider is putting in your reg and going down. When you come from under them it’s easy to get behind them because a struggling victim is looking for something to climb out of the water on, not keeping track of a diver underwater.
 
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dmaziuk @ Bowers ....​

That is exactly what I tried, I was thinking the same thing ... but the instructor was making it more difficult
 

boulderjohn

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dmaziuk @ Bowers ....​

That is exactly what I tried, I was thinking the same thing ... but the instructor was making it more difficult
In all performance instruction, the instructor's goal is to make practice as "gamelike" as possible. That was hammered into my head when getting certified to coach two different sports by national organizations. If you have students practice skills differently from the way it happens in a real setting, you are harming their performance.

You will see it in a typical youth soccer practice, when the coach has two players stand still facing each other, passing a ball back and forth. Almost everything about that is wrong. The more they do that, the more they learn to stand still and wait for the ball to come to them, keep their eyes on the ball rather than looking around to see how play is developing around them, and stop the ball dead at their feet rather than touch it to space or to another teammate. Small sided keep away games are far better for teaching passing and receiving skills.

If you are doing what you are supposed to do by going below the panicked diver and then coming up behind that diver, and if when you do that the instructor watches you and turns to face you, the instructor is punishing you for doing the right thing, all in the name of making it harder. Making it hader does not make it better because it is teaching you NOT to do exactly what you are supposed to do.
 

John C. Ratliff

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I am a shallow water blackout survivor, from a swimming underwater incident while on my high school swim team in 1963. I became a diving instruction, and wrote about shallow water blackout too, having researched the diving literature for a number of years. Below is my writeup on shallow water blackout, and the two mechanisms which produce it. I describe my incident in this writeup, and prevention too. Here's my description of the two different mechanisms (from the below paper):
This can happen in two ways. One is on a shallow dive, when the diver experiences the urge to breath and, with the lowered percentage of CO2 from hyperventilation, stays underwater until he blacks out (represented in Graph I). The other way happens on deeper dives, those deeper than 33 feet (10 meters). This is taravana, the feared disease of the South Seas. The diver hyperventilates, as before, then dives deep. As (s)he dives the pressure increases, and the partial pressure of oxygen also increases. The diver pushes himself to stay somewhat longer than he normally would, and is finally forced to the surface. As he does, the pressure decreases and the partial pressure of oxygen also decreases in the lungs. But the partial pressure of oxygen in the blood remains high, since it is almost a closed system. However at the lungs, oxygen, because of the higher partial pressure in the blood, passes back into the lungs and is lost for metabolic purposes. Couple this to another phenomena, than the body has a higher tolerance to higher percentages of CO2 when exercising which allows the diver to stay down even longer before the urge to breath is felt, and the result is catastrophic: acute hypoxia and unconsciousness. Brain damage is imminent if the diver isn’t resuscitated immediately because the brain is already depleted of oxygen. This condition is depicted in Graph II.
A while ago I became very concerned about training for U.S. AIr Force Parerescuemen, as in the pool the airmen were regularly in underwater drills, and some went onto SWB and had to be pulled out. I was concerned enough to put together an e-mail, and sent it to the Pararescue headquarters, but I did not receive a response. I've included the text of that below also.

Finally, here is a paper from PubMed about Shallow Water Blackout:

SeaRat
 

Attachments

  • The Underwater Swimmer's:Breath-hold Diver's Disease, Taravana, or Shallow Water Blackout.pdf
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  • Shallow Water Blackout and PJ Training.pdf
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