Out of air incident

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cerich

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We need to agree to disagree.

I want a real beasting from my courses. Pussyfooting around is of absolutely no use to me when I'm diving in that big cruel ocean that is more than happy to recycle my corpse to the animals.
I can beast you without disabling your equipment, I promise you... ask any of my students.

I am pretty familiar with how cruel the ocean can be, made my living on and in it a long time.
 

elan

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What agency allows you to remove dump valve and disable your students BCD?

I have been a tech instructor a fair bit of time (since early 95) and teaching tech instructors for the last 20 years.

Beyond the additional risk to student, it is impossible to defend from a liability perspective.

I will not disclose names, it does not matter. Let's stick to the discussion of approaches, not people/agencies.

The students were already at a point they went through some training before getting to this type of a failure so the risk at 20ft is non-existent, We had probably 2 hours worth of gas to resolve the issue. And no the BCD was not disabled fully, it was enough to get out of horizontal trim to be able to fill the BC.
It was a great lesson. Yes you can sort of simulate it by dropping some weight on the students back (if that's whats what you do in your class) but it's not the same.
 

Hiszpan

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Glad it ended up ok, and if it helps at all, it's something many of us have done.

As I read your post, something that I tend to harp on when teaching technical, public safety and Instructor programs (including cave, sidemount and a bunch of other instructor programs) is that I have seen FAR too many accident reports and near miss posts like yours where something easily handled becomes truly a life threatening situation. I have no question that you have done valve drills many times in training. But without the construct of expecting to have to do one, it rocked your world, and as you said "nearly killed you".

This is a comfort issue, more specifically it is a lack of the confidence that you can deal with whatever happens using your skills you learned along the way. The why may be because once you "mastered" a skill in training you moved forward and never developed what we commonly call "muscle memory" but when it comes to specifically a sudden unexpected lack of gas delivery it's most often simply panic.

If you want to fix this so you can handle this with zero panic and not even any drama, you need to learn and be confident that you ALWAYS have at least full minute to sort out the issue even with no gas. In other words, that you can hold your breath a minute after you exhaled.

Go take a freediving course, even if you aren't the image of a young athlete, you don't need to be, you will be an amazingly more safe diver. You will develop the skills and experience of breath holding that gives you the confidence that with a fully redundant system such as sidemount/doubles you will be easily able to hold your breath as you sort the issue if one reg stops giving you gas.

The other thing that will make you a safer diver is take a real equipment repair class, once you understand the equipment you are using better, your decision making and comfort level will greatly increase

I ask my students to learn this, and ask my instructors to teach this, IT WILL save lives.

I grew up on a lake with an older brother trying to drown me almost daily during the summer, on the swim team thru Jr High and first year of HS and been diving since 13. Now, 41 years later, older, fatter and in beat up and put away wet shape with a mostly on smoking habit (life stress and I smoke) can still hold my breath for 2+ minutes. Virtually everyone without some lung condition can learn to comfortably hold breath for a minute.

I promise you, what you went thru regards panic and breathing some water would have not happened had you been more comfortable in the water with holding your breath
That comment hits exactly where I am right now. I have decided to start solo diving (I have completed the SDI Solo Diver course) just to get more confidence (inside my head), that I can handle being alone in the water (and having to deal with an emergency if it happens).
My resolve is premised on a recent cave dive experience (my 2 buddies disappeared in a tight hole which I could not negotiate and found myself alone for maybe a minute and started to have this uncozy feeling what if I have a gas malfunction right now).
As posted above, despite being taught drills of twin tank diving, I had an open-water situation that could have been resolved in an easy way had I been thinking rationally instead of instinctively (it was many dives ago).
I envision solo-diving will give me more confidence in being alone in the water and not feeling apprehensive when a buddy (or buddies) suddenly are gone - I have only myself to count on (in benign conditions of Bermuda shore diving).
 

boulderjohn

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In my early days as a tech student, my instructor always did OOA drills by sneaking up behind you and shutting off your air. On one dive, he did that to my buddy, who signaled for an air share, and I gave him my primary on the long hose. As I inhaled on my alternate, I got nothing. I quickly surmised that he was "teaching" me about the danger of a left post roll-off. He had not taught that. I had read about it on my own. I reached back, opened my left post, and was fine. We were at about 30 feet.

A month or so after that, he did exactly the same thing with another student team. This time the student with the simulated left post rolloff panicked and sprinted to the surface, ripping the donated long hose out of the mouth of the OOA diver. It turned out OK, but it could easily have been a double fatality.

That exercise was not part of the standard curriculum for that agency. Most agencies do not allow instructors to shut off the air of their students. If there had been a double fatality, the instructor would have been totally on his own to explain to a jury why his actions were appropriate.
 

cerich

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I will not disclose names, it does not matter. Let's stick to the discussion of approaches, not people/agencies.

The students were already at a point they went through some training before getting to this type of a failure so the risk at 20ft is non-existent, We had probably 2 hours worth of gas to resolve the issue. And no the BCD was not disabled fully, it was enough to get out of horizontal trim to be able to fill the BC.
It was a great lesson. Yes you can sort of simulate it by dropping some weight on the students back (if that's whats what you do in your class) but it's not the same.
actually in this case agencies do matter, it's either within standards or not. If an instructor feels they must break agency standards to teach what they think is a "good" course, they shouldn't be teaching for that agency and find another that allows.

So again, what agency allows you to disable equipment?

Plus, the argument it wasn't disabled fully would not fly. That is like saying making a driving student drive a car down the highway with one wheel off isn't disabled fully if they can manage to drive it properly.
 

Wibble

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That comment hits exactly where I am right now. I have decided to start solo diving (I have completed the SDI Solo Diver course) just to get more confidence (inside my head), that I can handle being alone in the water (and having to deal with an emergency if it happens).
My resolve is premised on a recent cave dive experience (my 2 buddies disappeared in a tight hole which I could not negotiate and found myself alone for maybe a minute and started to have this uncozy feeling what if I have a gas malfunction right now).
As posted above, despite being taught drills of twin tank diving, I had an open-water situation that could have been resolved in an easy way had I been thinking rationally instead of instinctively (it was many dives ago).
I envision solo-diving will give me more confidence in being alone in the water and not feeling apprehensive when a buddy (or buddies) suddenly are gone - I have only myself to count on (in benign conditions of Bermuda shore diving).
All dives are solo dives, even those dives with a "buddy".

A self-sufficient or solo mentality is essential for survival. Maybe a buddy would help; best to assume they won't and if they do it's a bonus.
 

Wibble

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actually in this case agencies do matter, it's either within standards or not. If an instructor feels they must break agency standards to teach what they think is a "good" course, they shouldn't be teaching for that agency and find another that allows.

So again, what agency allows you to disable equipment?

Plus, the argument it wasn't disabled fully would not fly. That is like saying making a driving student drive a car down the highway with one wheel off isn't disabled fully if they can manage to drive it properly.
Not at all.

It's practicing things that *can* happen and you *must* resolve in order to survive.

I had an incident where my hip dump valve decided to leave me for an independent life on the bottom. Resolved it; no problems.

Mollycoddling students doesn't do them any favours.
 

Wibble

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Neither does killing them.
If they can't handle 6m/20ft and problems with a wing, then it's probably better that they don't dive in the nasty real world where you can't blame someone.
 

BlueTrin

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If the instructor does this, he should probably warn in advance that he plans to do such things in the briefing.
 
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