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Major Freak Out - What should I have done differently?

Discussion in 'Near Misses and Lessons Learned' started by scoobajay, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. redacted

    redacted Guest

    There are other swim-throughs on Cozumel that can be every bit as cave like as devil's throat. And you probably won't realize what you have gotten into until you are well past the entrance. I strongly recommend you reconsider the idea of doing any swim-throughs in Cozumel and find a buddy of like thinking, until you think you can handle them without panic. Some of these swim-throughs have branches and dead-ends. Some even have cross traffic from other dive groups. They are not a place where you want to thoughtlessly go off on your own.
  2. scoobajay

    scoobajay Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Houston, Texas, United States
    I wish my tone could be easily conveyed through text, but since it can't I will say I mean this as respectfully as possible :)...Did you actually read my story of what happened? (sorry, I really mean no disrespect!)

    I have done lots of swim throughs in Cozumel over the years. In fact, the dive shop I use knows me well and makes a point to take me to sites with swim throughs because they know I LOVE them! I did my AOW deep dive in Coz where we entered a dark swim through at 100' and I loved it. It was this particular entry and the panic I felt that took me completely by surprise....

    I guess I'm saying that the question is not "should I do swim throughs or go off swimming on my own?" but what could I have done to predict this panic, what should I have done in response to it, what should I do different in the future...Know what I mean??
  3. redacted

    redacted Guest

    You probably could not have done anything to predict your the incident at DT. But now you need to learn from this incident. If you are subject to panic in tight swimthroughs and finding yourself alone, you need to figure out how to manage those situation without creating a danger to yourself and others.
  4. jsnorman

    jsnorman Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Chicago, IL
    I am a little late to this thread, but as someone who **has** experienced panic and hyperventilation at depth (see my thread just started for story), I can tell you that at the point in the dive where you felt that you were starting to panic, you did what you had to do and may have saved your own life. There are plenty of stories of divers who inexplicably drown when they panic. Its not that inexplicable if you understand what happens when you panic, and panic is as deadly or more deadly than anything else.As I am sure others have pointed out, there are things you could have done differently before the dive started. Personally, I feel it is my own responsibility to stay alive and if I were you I would look at my own responsibility and lessons learned, and not focus on the DM so much. In probably true in most accidents that the buddy or DM could have done better. IMHO, that is something the DM should analyze for his or her self interest. For myself though, I assume my buddy or DM will always go deeper than planned, will always enter hazards like caves or tunnels or wrecks even if we agree not to on the surface, and will always run out of air and try to kill me by grabbing my primary or ripping my tank off my back! Yes, those are extreme assumptions, but three of those things have actually happened to me, and at least one to you now. So what could you have done, without making any assumptions or reliance on the DM? Always consider the worst that could happen and plan for it. I always have a light and wreck/cave line in my belt pocket even when I dive in GCM! Why? There are wrecks there, you never know what a dumb DM will do with bunch of gung ho cruise ship divers. I practice in my pool removing my BC underwater and finning with the BC and tank to my side in case I get stuck in a swim through; I practice taking all my equipment off, swapping back and forth between primary and alternate and pony; and I practice meditation while underwater in case I ever feel panic again. I did some of this before my panic/hyperventilation experience, but that certainly pushed me over the edge and into the realm of overpreparing for every contingency.So, if you see a guy with a 40cu pony, kevlar encased wing on a steel backplate, safety sausage, line cutter, lift bag and Nautilis all on a 60 foot dive in clear open water, that might be me and it might be overkill but I won't ever put my self in a position where I end up in an unanticipated emergency situation if I could have avoided it.You will probably run across a bad DM or dangerous buddy at some point in the future, don't let that person endanger your life. Or don't dive without checking them out fully I guess.apologies if my comments below are duplicative as I have not been able to read through the 11 pages (!) of this thread.
    jbomb001 likes this.

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