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My Colombia Deep incident... Need your advice

Discussion in 'Near Misses and Lessons Learned' started by Divingblueberry, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Divingblueberry

    Divingblueberry Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Montreal
    124
    86
    28
    Thanks all. I greatly appreciate your comments.

    I got indeed complacent. Lesson learned... The predive checklist just got another item in, and that's for the best.

    Answering @uncfnp 's question, I would go for my secondary much sooner than I did. We are talking couple of seconds sooner, but it would have helped me feel more in control, I think. And I would also get the hose (and the cloud of bubbles) away from my face. That played a big role in how confused (disoriented) I got.
     
  2. aquacat8

    aquacat8 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Savannah, GA
    1,501
    1,115
    113
    I think you did well! By the way,I dive a 5’ hose without a 90 degree. I went into cave country dive shop looking for a 40” hose and a 90 degree elbow, and they suggested this instead. They said the 40” hose makes a big loop and that with the 5’ hose the 90 was unnecessary and I have found that to be true for my comfort.
     
    Divingblueberry likes this.
  3. johndiver999

    johndiver999 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Gainesville FL
    738
    625
    93
    Agree, you did not panic!

    • You should have immediately went onto your secondary stage (before anything else).
    • Then look around to determine your proximity to help.
    • Then you had several options.
    The first step should take less than 2 seconds if your second stage is bungied around your neck.


    The biggest fumble I see was the DM. He failed to prioritize appropriately by shutting down your air supply first. He should have provided you with his secondary air source as his very first priority THEN worry about the source of the bubbles and noise etc.

    Perhaps this is a good reminder for the rescuer and the victim; in most cases there are few emergencies which should not initially be addressed by getting a working reg into the victim's mouth.

    Don't underestimate the confusion and distraction generated by an exploded hose (or a second stage falling off) or a complete free flow. It is very easy to see how a diver would first want to shut the damn noisy thing off; but I don't think that is the first priority. It is hard to think strategically when a hose is whipping around blasting air and screaming at you.
     
  4. CT-Rich

    CT-Rich Solo Diver

    2,229
    1,975
    113
    I'll be honest, you handled it pretty well. I was thinking as I was reading, 'What would I have done?' my first instinct would have been to switch to my octo. After that I am not sure. I might have looked for the DM, but honestly I have very rarely been on guided dives and would have been thinking to do an ascent while before the rest of my tank bled out. Your solution was much better than mine. Of course, what one actually does varies. Maybe I would have been cooler than I imagine or maybe I wouldn't. Training and experience show in those moments....
     
    Divingblueberry, gcarter and Steve_C like this.
  5. Steve_C

    Steve_C Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh, NC USA
    4,028
    2,593
    113
    Not sure on the priorities. You were on air. Shutting down your tank first preserved the most air. If this was not a private DM then maxing your remaining air increased his ability to deal with the whole group being lead and giving them a good dive.
     
    Sh0rtBus and drrich2 like this.
  6. dlofting

    dlofting DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
    425
    337
    63
    I agree with this as the DM was Pedro who had 11,000 dives the last time I was with him, which was over 2 years ago. I'd be extremely surprised if he hasn't dealt with this situation a few times before.
     
    Steve_C likes this.
  7. johndiver999

    johndiver999 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Gainesville FL
    738
    625
    93
    Preserving air COULD be a priority, but if the rescuer does (and theoretical always should) have enough reserve capacity to assist the diver to the surface, then preserving the air should not be the first priority - since it is not an immediate safety issue.

    Imagine this scenario: the victim is completely freaked out by the problem and is on the very verge of panic and running for the surface - HOWEVER the victim was able to immediately secure their own (working) second stage. The victim might be extremely nervous, realizing that their remaining air supply is rapidly being lost and is torn between accepting help from a buddy or bolting for the surface. If the victim is in this condition, then shutting down the air supply, thus turning off the second stage they are currently using seems like a dangerous gamble for limited benefit.

    I understand that is NOT the situation in this case (thank goodness), but it might well have been. I think the priority is to get a working reg in the mouth of the victim and THEN formulate an appropriate response. Shutting down somebody's working air supply at depth without their consent and understanding does not seem prudent as a plan of immediate action.

    Shutting down their only currently working air source could easily be the straw that breaks the camel's back instantly transforming the victim from reasonable and thinking to clawing their way to the surface in a panic. Once the victim reaches this state, the rescuer can offer all the air in the world and the victim will be psychologically unable to utilize it. This is far more dangerous than a bad air leak.

    Give me something to breathe before you shut my tank down bro...LOL.
     
    Landau and RayfromTX like this.
  8. Diver below 83

    Diver below 83 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: SoFlo
    435
    126
    43
    Now you’ve made me second guess my choice of going with the blue colored deep 6 reg set. Now I need an orange one lol
     
    Landau, shoredivr and Divingblueberry like this.
  9. dlofting

    dlofting DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
    425
    337
    63
    I'll have one more go at this and then just leave it. If you've never dived with Pedro you can't understand his capabilities. I'm quite sure that he knew the OP wasn't panicking so could shut down his air as the first step. I wasn't there and neither were you so maybe we should just leave it at that.
     
    lv2dive likes this.
  10. johndiver999

    johndiver999 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Gainesville FL
    738
    625
    93
    I don't know Pedro but I'm sure he is a great diver. However, my opinion about the sequence of responses which should take place in a situation like this have very little to do with the skills or experience of the rescuer. In reality it has a lot to do with the mind set of the victim. If you have never dealt with a diver who has gone into the "bolt for the surface mode" and actually spit a regulator, then perhaps it is difficult to understand how it is basically impossible to regain control - once lost.

    Anything we can do to prevent that threshold from being crossed is a primary priority.

    Next time you dive with Pedro, why not ask him if presented with the same scenario in the future what his first response should (or will) be?
     

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