Scuba Death in Cozumel Early this Week???

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Charlie99

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A DM involved in the rescue has POSTED additional info on Rodale's.
"...on the surface I discovered that her weight belt was on backwards"

"Her inflator line was connected to the her inflator but the hose was disconnected from the vest."

"Her regulator face and diaphram were gone"
My interpretation of the inflator comment is that the corrugated hose and/or pull dump came off. This would cause near total loss of buoyancy in the BC.

She was recovered at 120' sliding down the Santa Rosa wall on her back, headfirst, no bubbles. That may or may not account for the regulator face and diaphram being gone.

-------

Although there are probably several lessons to be learned, IMO the biggest one is still DROP WEIGHT AT THE SURFACE.
 

gj62

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GUESSES -

The weight belt may have slid around during diving. It is important to check this and tighten occassionally throughout the dive as you descend.

Regulator face & diaphram were gone. Wow - that's probably it right there. Once this gave way, a mouth full of seawater could have caused great panic. Couple that with not being able to release weights and it is a difficult situation for anyone.

Hose not connected to BC - um - 2 points of catastrophic failure in 1 dive? Unlikely.

I wonder about the following:

1) I can't image a situation that would cause the regulator faceplate to come off if it was in good, working condition.

2) *Perhaps* in a panic, she pulled her BC hose off the BC (that would be some tug).

I guess this is a round-about way of saying that a pre-dive checklist of *all* your equipment is *mandatory* - similar to a pilot's. It is *never* skipped.

I feel truly sorry for her and her family. We probably won't ever know exactly what happened, and I am not trying to take advantage of the situation by speculating. However, with a son in OW class right now, I am going to impress upon him the reason for check your equip before every dive (rental or not).
 

gj62

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Beth,

When using the oral inflator underwater, exhale for a moment into the inflator - you will see bubbles escape the mouthpiece as it "clears" the inflator.

This will prevent you from pushing water into the BC. Generally, it is not a big deal, but this is the proper technique and just a bit of practice will make it automatic...

Good luck with your diving - hope to see u underwater...
 

Genesis

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This is sad, but it points out a few things...

1. Reg faceplate and diaphram gone?! Uh, folks, that's not easy to do. Some regs are "pinned", but even those that are not require SEVERAL turns to get them apart. My G250s can be stripped underwater, but I wouldn't call it easy - or something that's gonna happen accidentally.

2. LP inflator "trashed" - probably from panic; too good of a yank and....

Was this rental gear? I know it sounds awful, but its hard to imagine how you lose the faceplate and diaphram of a reg underwater.....
 

Michael Schlink

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I apologize to Beth, poor choice of words, my fault sorry sorry sorry. I too often am to the point.
Beth please please get a some practice or extra training. If you are anywhere near Houston both my wife and I are instructors and will be glad to meet up with you for a little tune up, or I could reccommend a few inst. or shops if you don't have one.
What concerned me is the attitude that all was fine. The poor, diver that died simply should not have. Divers need to be prepared for problems. They are happening more than you might think. Things like inflators not working or reg's falling apart or even BC's not holding air should not kill you. I hate hearing about divers that didn't make it back to the boat, especially when the problem should have been managable.
Beth when I read your post I was shocked at what you were telling us. What I "saw" was, if you did a predive safety check you missed the inflator hose problem. You decended all the way to 60 ft and knelt in the sand. Your husband "fixed" the problem and you feel that you were'nt overweighted. Now here are the problems I see. No predive check or one that does anygood, Too much weight if you can kneel in the sand plus you descended to 60 ft with no way of adding air to your BC, You weren't aware that you could orally inflate your BC. and finally Your husband was able to "repair" your inflator hose. I'll bet that what he "fixed" was he "snapped" the quick disconnect fitting into the inflator mech. because you coudn't do it. You were trying to push the hose on to the nipple but were not able to overcome the pressure in the LP hose. which typically indicates that it wasn't properly attached in the first place which is almost always caused by improper assembly of the BC IE; attach the inflator hose BEFORE you turn the air on and ALWAYS double-check the connection
For the past few years PADI has required that the OW student demonstrate their ability to achieve NUETRAL bouyancy with the oral inflator UNDERWATER, also be able to disconnect and reconnect the inflator hose. Finally, where was the husband/buddy during the 60 ft descent?? Dive Safe-M
 

gj62

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Genesis:
This is sad, but it points out a few things...

1. Reg faceplate and diaphram gone?! Uh, folks, that's not easy to do. Some regs are "pinned", but even those that are not require SEVERAL turns to get them apart. My G250s can be stripped underwater, but I wouldn't call it easy - or something that's gonna happen accidentally.

2. LP inflator "trashed" - probably from panic; too good of a yank and....

Was this rental gear? I know it sounds awful, but its hard to imagine how you lose the faceplate and diaphram of a reg underwater.....
My thoughts too. Some of them are a challenge to get off above water! I was thinking either the outer ring was not properly on the entire circumference, or metal fatigue caused a parting at some point. Either way, precious little thought had to have been given to it to fail in this manner.

Now, I have seen a diaphram pull from the seal, forcing you to breathe in sort of a free-flow mode - a tricky thing, but doable. But to have the entire cover come off is nothing I've ever witnessed nor heard about.

The BC flex hose portion is easier to explain during panic, but still. Those things can handle a darn good yank. I just reclaimed an auto-inflator off an original (20 yr+) SP stab jacket, and doubt I could have parted the flex hose without a willful attempt.

Who knows - details may be missing or incorrectly reported. Regardless, I hope it at least makes people think twice about checking their gear prior to getting wet...
 

Genesis

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I hear that one.

I had a friend of mine have an LP hose blow underwater last summer on my boat, and ANOTHER one had an LP hose blow on the SURFACE when he turned on the gas.

In BOTH cases the hoses were, well, hosed. The underwater one was a bad scene; that, by the way, leaves you with a MASSIVE gas loss and insufficient IP remaining for the regs to work! If you don't have a redundant kit (e.g. doubles), you've got a problem. Fortunately the guy who had it happen was carrying a pony and was able to surface on it. We KNEW there was a problem topside immediately from the huge gas eruption coming to the surface.

Anyway, the point of this is that when we looked at both hoses, they were TRASHED in each case. Clearly a disaster waiting to happen for a while, and clearly visible long before they blew up - if you looked. In both cases there were hose protectors over the swedges where they failed....

I don't use the protectors myself, and this is part of the reason why - this way its darn hard for me to miss damage. I may get to change my hoses more often this way, but at least I know they need changed!

Guys and gals, check this stuff and, if you're unhappy with what you see, don't figure "its ok, I'll get to it later."

I still want to know how the faceplate comes off. I fail to understand that one, although I'm the first to admit that I haven't seen every regulator design out there, and there might be one where a top cover can pop loose. All the ones I've seen or worked on have had screw-on covers and there ain't no way they can "fall" off. Indeed, most are tight enough that I need the back side of a mousepad to get enough torque to remove them!
 

gj62

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The only thing I can think of on the reg cover is metal fatigue/failure. One weak point, plus a few years of neglect/salt water, and the outside band could have parted. You'd have to be damn near negligent not to see it in an annual (or bi-annual) reg overhaul, but its all I can think of.

I do alot of back-country snow mobiling. Of course, you can have an engine blow at any point due to bad luck. And if you're 20 miles out, well, start camping. However, realistically what you've done is either foul the plugs, or ripped through the belt. We always carry plugs and belts, *and* we replace the belts often. They may look like new, but do ya really want to trust your life, or toss $60 into the kitty? I've seen 'em break putting on the spare, so I like to know I've got longer on my lease.

What's an LP hose go for these days? Seems like cheap insurance just to replace them on a schedule.

BTW - it would be real interesting to hear if this is rental gear. I've seen some well used equip down there, but most shops service them more than some owners. Of course, a cerveza here or there could also have been the diff.

Have I mentioned inspecting your gear before getting wet?
 

Charlie99

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Genesis:
1. Reg faceplate and diaphram gone?! Uh, folks, that's not easy to do. Some regs are "pinned", but even those that are not require SEVERAL turns to get them apart. My G250s can be stripped underwater, but I wouldn't call it easy - or something that's gonna happen accidentally.

2. LP inflator "trashed" - probably from panic; too good of a yank and....
I didn't see anything that indicates the sequence of problems.
 

gj62

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Charlie99:
I didn't see anything that indicates the sequence of problems.
The sequence was assumed - it could have happened in any order. I think the fact that both problems happened on one dive was more than unusual.
 
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