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Scuba diver dies after being found floating at Kurnell, NSW, Australia

Discussion in 'Accidents & Incidents' started by Sir-Dive-A-Lot, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    Stick to your group if that is the plan. What if the plan is to split up now and then? Or just dive solo like I often do. If they were indeed diving as buddy teams then no, you should not deviate from that plan. And also understand that if you do decide to go off that whatever happens, happens.
    firstdive2005 likes this.
  2. almitywife

    almitywife Vegemite Mod

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Sydney, Australia
    I happily dive solo. my hubby dives solo on a rebrether, we have also dived with a "same ocean, same dive-buddy" attitude and depending on vis, we can either be a meter apart of 100ft apart but on a first time dive in a new country, I stick to the people that are my guides.

    For me, its about staying within visability, once you no longer can see your buddy and they cant see you - you are not longer part of a "team"

    As far as solo diving goes, as my hubby says. "Stick a black SMB on me to signify free gear".
    Ayisha, Jax and clownfishsydney like this.
  3. Jax

    Jax Deplorable American ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: AZ TX
    Who is to say that whatever happened in the moments of separation could have been prevented?

    It's really important to not go down the "if only" ramp, because it leads to "should've, could've, ought to've" that no one could forsee.

    There's been many a case that someone disappeared during those few seconds. Let's not encourage buddy-blaming, when we have such talented and experienced divers.
    almitywife and chillyinCanada like this.
  4. Cave Diver

    Cave Diver Scuba Instructor

    The following information was passed along to me and I am reposting it here with permission. I will not reveal how I learned this information, just please bear in mind that this is third party information and I have no direct knowledge of the validity. However, I have no reason to doubt the source and it matches well with information from other sources.

    The dive site was fairly benign – with good conditions and good viz.
    Near the end of the dive, the group surfaced, presumably to get a bearing on the exact exit point.
    On the surface, the group was somewhat separated, but communicating.
    The group descended, presumably because the swim to the exit point was easier underwater.
    At some point during the swim in, Marcia got further separated from the group.
    Shortly after becoming separated, the group surfaced and started looking for Marcia.
    Two members of the group immediately started a search, the third waved down a nearby dive boat.
    One of the group found her shortly after, motionless on the bottom. Time lapse between separation was approximately 10-15 minutes.
    She was brought to the surface, and In Water Rescue Breaths were given.
    With the assistance of people from the boat, she was brought to shore.
    CPR was being performed when Ambulance arrived and took over.

    All gear appeared to have been functioning properly during the dive.
    She did not show signs of distress or physical ailment during the dive, up until the point of separation.
    There were no known medical issues.
    It appears that she swam away from the group, for unknown reasons.
    Upon realization, the group immediately started a search and found her relatively quickly.
    All attempts at resuscitation failed.

    That is all that is known at the moment. I have no other information and cannot comment beyond the points above. I am sharing so that we have at least a little information for now. Please don't ask me to expand on anything, because I don't have the knowledge or information to do so.

    If I learn anything more of consequence I will add it as it becomes available.
  5. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
    If/when her gas state (full/empty) becomes known, it will provide a valuable insight into what may have happened.

    Likewise, her dive computer profile..(attempted ascent? surface then sink? dropped to the bottom and stopped?)
    Mr. Black likes this.
  6. almitywife

    almitywife Vegemite Mod

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Sydney, Australia
    I can add when she was found, her bcd was fully inflated and she was on the bottom.

    A person went down and attempted to inflate her bcd and then her drysuit to bring her to the surface, there was no response from the tank so the person filled his wing to bring her up

    On the surface they could not keep her bouyant and the person with a fully inflated wing and counterlungs struggled to keep her above the surface so he cut/removed her gear

    Edit: I can add that according to one witness, on the surface, before the exit descent Quero was asked how much air she had in her tank and she responded. There was no concern at that point about available air
  7. Ayisha

    Ayisha Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Toronto, Canada
    Thank you Almighty Wife, Cave Diver, and Michael.

    Almighty Wife, do you know if there were any significant marks on her neck? Thank you.
    Dive Bug Bit Me likes this.
  8. almitywife

    almitywife Vegemite Mod

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Sydney, Australia

    No idea. Its not something I asked or was mentioned to me.

    I only found out last night that her suit was cut so first aid could be given.

    I can also add that the lead first aider is someone that I trust 100%, both in and out of the water. If this was me, I would have been in the best of hands for the situation. As I have been saying to them as a group, they all used their strengths to the best they could. Physical strength in bringing her out, training for first aid, running back and forth for assistance and to try to administer O2.

    One of the divers told me what brings him comfort is that he didnt freeze when he needed to react.
  9. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
    As a point for consideration, I wonder if the same group would have reacted differently to the separation had Marcia not been an experienced diver/instructor. If it had been a novice diver, there may have been considerably more urgency to re-united the group (concern for the separated diver's immediate welfare/safety).

    One of the critical issues to be remembered as you gain experience/qualifications is that buddies become less concerned about you. This places the experienced diver at greater risk should the unthinkable happen.

    I know of several instances where dive pros have died, during which buddies/students etc failed to react in a timely manner with the correct emergency protocols; not because the emergency protocols weren't known, but simply due to an expectation that the diver concerned "must be okay, because....."
    nimoh and Ayisha like this.
  10. almitywife

    almitywife Vegemite Mod

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Sydney, Australia
    I can tell you that one of the divers told Quero to come close to the group while on the surface. The response was she was fine and will meet them on the sand - and this is what happened. THis is the same diver that asked her how much air she still had in her tank before descending. On paper, this diver as far less "qualifications" than Quero but her duty of care remained the same.

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