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Fatality off Bald Head Island - NC

Discussion in 'Accidents & Incidents' started by DandyDon, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. UnderSeaBumbleBee

    UnderSeaBumbleBee Contributor

    Oh and one more thing. I find the accusations suggesting that the folks involved are lying or hiding something to be way off base as I have read through this thread. We rarely get first hand accounts, so when we do we ought not to beat those folks up. Let's save out busting of his chops for another thread where we can rip him up for his fin choice and they kind of bc he has. This isn't the place to beat him up. His friend just died in his arms for crying out loud while he was making an effort to rescue him.
    h2ogypsy likes this.
  2. Sigma13

    Sigma13 Registered

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: New Jersey
    I had experienced an incident not too long ago where a dive buddy got an IPE. Fortunately it happened around the safety stop. he lost consciousness shortly after coming up. Our group was well trained and managed to revive him. He was put on O2 and sent to the uscg. He was later diagnosed with the IPE.

    I recall him stating that he felt like he was drowning when the IPE kicked in. I could see why someone with this hit would jump to purge as they may fell like they are not getting enough air from the reg.

    Does anyone know if purging a reg while assending would trigger a embolism?

    CRITIDOC Registered

    I have been quite on this thread, hoping to get more information from both DAN and the coast guard. Unfortunately, I am still waiting. I knew Don, he was a friend and my animals veterinarian. I am a USN/NOAA/UHMS diving medical officer that teaches dive medicine to other physicians. The possibilities of the initial cause for an accident of this type range from Cardiac ischemia (heart attack), IPE, inert gas narcosis, oxygen toxicity, hypoxic mix, CO poisoning, hydrocarbon/oil poisoning and/or hypothermia. Most of these have been ruled out. Without gas analysis of his tank it is impossible to 100% rule out CO, Hydrocarbon/oil, hypoxic mix, Oxygen toxicity. I would lean towards IPE or myocardial ischemia as the most probable cause. I did not see how much rubber Don was wearing or if he had gained weight since purchasing his wet suit. Cold and tight wetsuits can bring on IPE. The "AGE" could have occurred during the ascent, especially if he was not breathing from 20 feet to the surface. The"AGE" also could have been off gassing of nitrogen from the dive after he expired and not clinically relevant.
    Hypoxia, either from low cardiac output or pulmonary edema could broduce the blank stares, shaking and eventual seizures that were described.
    h2ogypsy and Ayisha like this.
  4. Beanbag1

    Beanbag1 Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK
    I am so very sorry for your loss. I hope that I could be so capable as you were if I were diving with such a dear friend in trouble. Or, I hope my husband had the good fortune to be diving with someone like you if he ever has a difficulty. God bless you.

    That said, I hope if I or my husband die in a scuba incident that my death won't be picked over by the diving equivalent of jobsworths and/or know it all armchair critics.

    The above comments are not addressed to those who seek answers and to make diving safer.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
    rwkosh likes this.
  5. DandyDon

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas Central Plains
    From Jobsworth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    It's always preferable that the discussions are based on facts. It's rare that we are presented with much, but sometimes.
  6. h2ogypsy

    h2ogypsy Registered

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: san diego, CA
    I am sorry for your loss and his family's loss. I live in North Topsail Island and many of my friends dive that area. We all know the risks of diving and his wife hit on what many of us say; we may die, but we will die doing what we love..... Stay strong and dive free.....sounds like you did the best you could and ignore those that judge negetively.
  7. InTheDrink

    InTheDrink Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: UK, South Coast
    Not to fixate on a single issue just cos it happened to me but various details in aHeavyD's account of Don's incident resonated with my own experience of IPE.

    WRT purging the reg: slightly different timing but after I was past the worst (a couple of hours after my incident) and the monster bottle of continuous O2 blown through I was put on an O2 bottle with a demand reg. I couldn't breathe from it without purging. I am probably biased but it doesn't seem terribly difficult to think that Don may have been purging the reg as he could not generate enough pressure in his lungs to fire the demand valve without purging.

    RIP Don.

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