Navigation error in a cave

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Jack Hammer

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My takeaways:

1) you took the wrong turn at the T either because: a) your team did not use personal cookies at Ts or b) because the team used it and even though you did not see the cookies on that specific T you took the turn anyways.

2) you did a BLIND JUMP because you CHOSE to do so. I am confident your instructor taught you correctly during your full cave course but you CHOSE to VIOLATE the rule that states "always maintain a continuous guideline to the surface."

3) you CHOSE to do a SECOND BLIND JUMP because you CHOSE to VIOLATE the rule once again.

4) I will never accept the "camera excuse" because inanimate objects are not responsible for bad CHOICES and bad outcomes. Unless we're talking about a cave colapsing all around you.

5) diver #1 did not wait for diver #2 and diver #3 to stage their deco bottles and just bolted. That should have been RED FLAG #1. Diver #2 and diver #3 should have addressed that RIGHT AWAY.

6) diver #1 and #2 did not wait for you at the T ==> RED FLAG #2.

7) diver #1 suggested doing BLIND JUMPS. I would have told him "I REFUSE TO DIVE WITH YOU" right away. I don't play this crap game.

8) hitting your head on a stalactite is no excuse for the BAD CHOICES you made in this specific scenario you described.

9) take cameras anytime you want in any dive you want. Cameras are not EXCUSES for BAD CHOICES. If a person is easily distracted by cameras, such person should not be cave diving. I truly believe that cave diving is feasible for anyone who strives to make it feasible but if someone cannot focus constantly and respect every single rule, every single moment of the dive, then they are "Dead Man Diving."

10) All of us have done (or should have done) blind exits from the furthest point of the dive during full cave training. What is the excuse for not being able to do one in "real life?"

11) If your group left you behind, then you were diving SOLO. Why did you CHOOSE to not use guidelines and markers to make your exit safer? Why did you make the CHOICES you made?



==> Never forget Mother Nature's Rule #2: "Play stupid games, win stupid prizes."
It takes more courage for the OP to own up and admit publicly to doing stupid things than it takes for someone else to offer little while thumping their chest about how great they are.:wink:
 

306dive306

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It takes more courage for the OP to own up and admit publicly to doing stupid things than it takes for someone else to offer little while thumping their chest about how great they are.:wink:
i agree!!

people who thump "their chest about how great they are" are truly the worst.

However, if people start reacting to accident (or near miss) analyses labelling them as "thumping their chest about how great they are", we will worse than the worst or as worse as the worst, or worse than the... I got lost.

Also, if people who chose to violate rules and went down the rabbit hole of doom do not hear about it then they will continue to head down that hole and, sooner or later, they will find doom. Which is the worst of the worst. Worse than being the worst.
 

huwporter

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Accident/near miss analysis can be done without hysteria and SHOUTING, and without fingerpointing and blame. We can all make mistakes, we can all make decisions under pressure that we wouldn't make otherwise, and we can all learn. I'm grateful to the OP for sharing his experience so we can all learn from it. Blaming and shaming and kicking him while he is down is a great way of making sure that nobody shares their experiences in the future and nobody learns.
 

306dive306

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Accident/near miss analysis can be done without hysteria and SHOUTING, and without fingerpointing and blame. We can all make mistakes, we can all make decisions under pressure that we wouldn't make otherwise, and we can all learn. I'm grateful to the OP for sharing his experience so we can all learn from it. Blaming and shaming and kicking him while he is down is a great way of making sure that nobody shares their experiences in the future and nobody learns.
if you think THIS is SHOUTING, that’s your problem. Not mine.

Also, i think it is important to emphasize where CHOICES were made.

If that hurts your little kid feelings, too bad (for you).
 
OP
Hiszpan

Hiszpan

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11) If your group left you behind, then you were diving SOLO. Why did you CHOOSE to not use guidelines and markers to make your exit safer? Why did you make the CHOICES you made?



==> Never forget Mother Nature's Rule #2: "Play stupid games, win stupid prizes."
Beacuse in my head I decided it is more probable that I could die if I have a catastrophic gas failure while going back to the entrance solo than if I try to catch up with buddies whom I could see in a distance (I do not consider twins as a redundant gas configuration in a solo cave diving.) I studied the map of the cave extensively before the dive, I knew it is not vast but rather ‘streamlined’ and there should be another exit ahead with arrows pointing to it (opposing the direction of my entrance - briefed by diver #1 before the dive).
I am confident in my positioning in the cave based on the map of the cave - I always study maps before the dive even if it is the same cave that I dove many times before and I visualize routes and compass bearings.
 

306dive306

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Beacuse in my head I decided it is more probable that I could die if I have a catastrophic gas failure while going back to the entrance solo than if I try to catch up with buddies whom I could see in a distance (I do not consider twins as a redundant gas configuration in a solo cave diving.) I studied the map of the cave extensively before the dive, I knew it is not vast but rather ‘streamlined’ and there should be another exit ahead with arrows pointing to it (opposing the direction of my entrance - briefed by diver #1 before the dive).
I am confident in my positioning in the cave based on the map of the cave - I always study maps before the dive even if it is the same cave that I dove many times before and I visualize routes and compass bearings.
I appreciate your reply, man.

I still think u created the “rabbit hole of doom” for yourself.

From the safety of my comfy chair, I think you should have turned around and exited the cave ASAP if you noticed #1 and #2 bolted without you and if you do not feel confident going solo.

Even highly experienced people end up dead in caves when they make mistakes. Check out the accident analysis of the two germans who died at Kalimba (Mexico).

In the name of all that is sacred: do not die in a cave!!!

Follow all the rules. Thumb the dive if u must. Refuse to dive with people who are openly talking about not following rules.

Dont die in a freaking cave because of other people!!!
 

rjack321

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Beacuse in my head I decided it is more probable that I could die if I have a catastrophic gas failure while going back to the entrance solo than if I try to catch up with buddies whom I could see in a distance (I do not consider twins as a redundant gas configuration in a solo cave diving.) I studied the map of the cave extensively before the dive, I knew it is not vast but rather ‘streamlined’ and there should be another exit ahead with arrows pointing to it (opposing the direction of my entrance - briefed by diver #1 before the dive).
I am confident in my positioning in the cave based on the map of the cave - I always study maps before the dive even if it is the same cave that I dove many times before and I visualize routes and compass bearings.
I understand the thinking here but...
If in your head it was "too dangerous" to turn around, why do you think your brain decided it was safer to continue into the cave, also solo, and in a rush trying to catch up to buddies who were leaving you?

How deep is this cave and what gas were you breathing?
 

tbone1004

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just a clarification about the first point @306dive306 made. Cookies would not indicate which direction the team went at a T, only the direction they came from.
Only other thing I disagree with is being distracted by a camera as a reason to not bring the camera in the first place. When you are on a professional level dive where photography or videography is the goal the photographer will have a safety diver to essentially act as their baby sitter for things like keeping track of the line. This sounds like the camera was a contributing factor for sure, but I think it points more towards the team making poor choices in terms of their team positioning with the camera in the back.
 

306dive306

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just a clarification about the first point @306dive306 made. Cookies would not indicate which direction the team went at a T, only the direction they came from.
Only other thing I disagree with is being distracted by a camera as a reason to not bring the camera in the first place. When you are on a professional level dive where photography or videography is the goal the photographer will have a safety diver to essentially act as their baby sitter for things like keeping track of the line. This sounds like the camera was a contributing factor for sure, but I think it points more towards the team making poor choices in terms of their team positioning with the camera in the back.
that is true. He would not have known if the team "banged right" or went straight ahead. Even greater CF, imho.

Sounds to me like #1 didn't give a crap about #2 and #3 in this dive. Not someone I would ever dive with.

And seriously: I would have made light + sounds signals... if #2 and #3 had continued and not waited for me, I would have turned around and left.

I hope the OP understands we're not here with negative intentions towards him. It's the complete opposite!!!!

And I do think he has GIGANTIC COJONES, CABRÓN, for posting here.

(I confess I did scream a little bit there... I did... I got excited.)
 

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Hiszpan

Hiszpan

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I understand the thinking here but...
If in your head it was "too dangerous" to turn around, why do you think your brain decided it was safer to continue?

How deep is this cave and what gas were you breathing?

We were on air, #1 and I on backmount, #2 sidemount.

Average depth of that cave is around 18-20m.

My thinking must have been along the lines of “hey, there are my buddies over there with redundant gas supply and experience in that cave, I see them so I will do a blind jump against the rules to get to them as I just realized I effed up and am on the wrong line” versus “ I just realized I am on the wrong line, first time in this cave and might not have been paying attention to my navigation up until this point so although I know I can turn around and get back to exit I am not so sure if I didn’t miss any navigational points; plus I am not happy with being solo in the new cave just with my twinset.”


In a more familiar cave when I couldn’t get past restriction which they both navigated through ahead of me, I backed off the cloud of silt, deployed my marked arrow on the line to point to my exit and was ready to deploy my back up light, attaching it to the line to shine on my arrow towards exit direction to let them know I turned around to exit. Before I finished #2 came back to check why am I not coming through.

The above makes me think that unfamiliarity with a new cave made me choose what I did.
 
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