Ohio man drowns - South Lake Tahoe, California

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Biotech Diver

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Location
California
# of dives
200 - 499
I made a dive on Memorial Day at Lake Tahoe one year. The water at ten feet was 46° with the air temperature of 90°. I had to get under a blanket on the beach for thirty minutes to stop shivering.
Like I was saying earlier, I dove Tahoe for 4 days in the month of September. I was wearing a semi dryly suit. I think it was a 9mm in the torso and 7mm in the limbs, but I’d have to look at it again to be sure. The suit was fine for 30 feet and shallower but at depths of over 60 feet I would get cold quickly. I don’t remember the water temperature, but I dove that suit many times at Monterey down to 60 feet where the water temperature was about 48 F, and the suit worked ok for about 60 minutes before I would start to get cold. I’m guessing the water temperature at Tahoe must have been mid to low 40s at depth if I was getting cold so fast.
 

PelagicPK

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Davis, California
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Both of us having been trained in Monterey thru advance open water level, when my buddy and I went to Tahoe (first fresh water dive) we BOTH struggled at first with the lack of buoyancy, which was a very humbling. We underestimated how much weight to remove. Also, the thermocline was dramatic at some points, within the first 7-10 feet. The elevation, predicting buoyancy, immediate and dramatic temperature changes, loud boat traffic, and vast nearly featureless sand patches with incredible visibility and no notable life made for a very different experience with unique challenges.
 

Biotech Diver

Contributor
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Location
California
# of dives
200 - 499
Both of us having been trained in Monterey thru advance open water level, when my buddy and I went to Tahoe (first fresh water dive) we BOTH struggled at first with the lack of buoyancy, which was a very humbling. We underestimated how much weight to remove. Also, the thermocline was dramatic at some points, within the first 7-10 feet. The elevation, predicting buoyancy, immediate and dramatic temperature changes, loud boat traffic, and vast nearly featureless sand patches with incredible visibility and no notable life made for a very different experience with unique challenges.
+1 on very little aquatic life to see. In 4 days I saw one rather large trout and lots of crayfish and schools of tiny fish ( trout fries?). The one thing I really liked though was that it’s an awesome place for practicing all your safety drills. No stinging eyes from removing your mask. No current, phenomenal visibility, and very close to shore. East of all though was no need to rinse your gear when your done! We did have to wait a little longer before heading back to the Bay Area after our last dive because the pass on 50 is over 7,000 feet.
 

SlugMug

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I just don't log dives
However, it is standard for hookah, surface supplied, diving. The unit is not able to



Hookah diving rarely involves a dive buddy, as most are used for solo working dives. They were made for solo operation as an alternative to scuba. This particular unit is made for use by only one diver, in order to make it more easily portable.

Although Brownie's suggest a hookah diver get dive training, most don't, and use the instructions inclosed with the unit, as was done with SCUBA back in the early days when I started. There is no requirement for dive training for scuba or hookah.

Since he had training, and no doubt read the hookah instructions, I believe it was a medical event, possibly a heart attack, made worse by the conditions. Once someone has panicked, they will not drop their belt. If one is having a heart attack, have debilitating chest pain, can't get enough to breathe, are 10' underwater, and then having trouble staying on the surface, one will not remember they have a weight belt on.
I certainly wouldn't rule out a medical event. Another accidents-and-incidents thread where the person had a heart-attack had a few minor similarities. It would also be a major mistake to rule out the possibility of equipment failure or some incident like losing the regulator as the "spark" that lead up to the incident. (Assuming an experienced and well-informed diver, is not an assumption I would make after a 5-year break in diving.) It's unlikely we'll know what that spark is, but the panic after is where things get more interesting from an accident-prevention perspective.
 

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