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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. Cave Diver

    Cave Diver Scuba Instructor

    My understanding is that the group did react immediately. They noticed she was no longer with the group, looked around, surfaced, waited a couple of minutes to see if she would surface, then began to search. From what I was told the whole thing occurred in a short period of time and she was located within about 10 minutes of the last time she was seen.
    DevonDiver likes this.
  2. Dive Bug Bit Me

    Dive Bug Bit Me Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cape Town
    Not a post for friends or family!

    I am battling to reconcile what I am reading with someone that has thousands of dives, is a well regarded instructor and has given advice that I respect (both PM and general) on SB.

    We have a buddy system failure. I hear what Jim is saying about solo, heck, I solo most of my dives. An important point that is being lost, is that solo is a conscious decision made by suitably experienced and equipped divers. This decision is made in advance of the dive. A buddy dive that ends up solo because we don't follow procedures we were taught is a recipe for disaster. This was not a dive that was originally planned as solo.

    It sounds like we have an unbalanced rig. Too much weight, possibly caused by unfamiliarity with dry suit.

    We have a possible OOA. Why go down again if you are low on air? Sure surface swimming sucks, but we've all done one or two long surface swims.

    It it sounds like we have a failure to ditch weights when unable to float their rig. This has been subject of a number of discussions here on the board. If the drysuit was ripped this might have been the only option for survival. I know of one fellow who took his fins off, dumped all air in his BCD and walked to the shore entry site under water, but let's write that off as a secondary option.

    This reads like a number of errors compounding themselves. Here's hoping I I'm wrong and misread the posts above.
  3. almitywife

    almitywife Vegemite Mod

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Sydney, Australia
    My understanding is diver #1 & 2 began looking for bubbles when they first exited the water-this is the norm for them. They could not locate bubbles.

    When diver #3 surfaced (rebreather diver) he was immediately asked if he saw/knew where Quero was. Two divers entered the water immediately to search. Diver #2 found her, called to diver #3 and attempted to get her up but couldnt. Diver #3 came over and brought her to the surface. Meanwhile diver #1 ran down the beach (with gear on mind you, before she realized and dumped it) towards a dive boat, asking them to radio for help and they provided people and O2

    I feel it was the failure to spot bubbles that caused their immediate reaction - they didnt wait around 3mins and then start looking
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
    John C. Ratliff likes this.
  4. Cave Diver

    Cave Diver Scuba Instructor

    A & I is not recommended for family, but many of us here are friends. In spite of how painful the facts may be, we still want to know.
    Agreed. Based on the limited information I've been able to obtain, it seems like that failure was mostly on her part. Maybe she saw that weedy sea dragon she'd been hoping to photograph and swam off for a quick pic. Maybe she got disoriented and swam in the wrong direction before anyone noticed. Regardless the reason, it seems that she was the one who separated, both at the surface and underwater.
  5. almitywife

    almitywife Vegemite Mod

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Sydney, Australia
    Quero responded she had 50 bar which I believe is 750psi?? The dive exit would only take minutes, I will have to ask how far they estimate the distance to be but I would guess using only 10bar is the norm at this point.
  6. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver N/A

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
    I'm probably failing to visualize the sequence of events gleamed from numerous posts, but I had the impression that a 'missing diver search' was conducted by divers who had already reached the shore. Rather than enacting a missing diver search having lost immediate contact, surfaced immediately from their current location in the water, after a pre-defined/agreed time (1 min etc)?
  7. Cave Diver

    Cave Diver Scuba Instructor

    As I stated above, my information is 3rd hand. My understanding was that the group surfaced, and Marcia was a bit away from the rest of the group on the surface (no idea of exact distance). They decide to submerge for the final swim to the exit point. Sometime during this swim, it was noticed that she was no longer in view. The group looked around, didn't see her and surfaced. After a brief wait on the surface, two of them decided to go back down (retrace?) and look for her. The third headed to shore and waved down a nearby dive boat. I was never given the impression that they all made it to shore, but that could be my misunderstanding, or lack of information in the translation from party to party.
  8. almitywife

    almitywife Vegemite Mod

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Sydney, Australia
    As I stated earlier, you have to be part of a "team" to be a buddy team and during that dive, Quero seperated more than once from the group and again on the surface when she was asked to move closer, she dismissed diver #1s duty of care.

    To understand the dive exit, its only meters in depth on a incline. The surface swimming distance is not far and part of the distance had already travelled by that point and she seperated herself from the group. NOT blaming Quero but as a qualified competent diver, at some point you let people dive their dive.

    From where Quero was found and brought to the surface and then the shore. Diver #3 was able to carry her gear/tank while also bringing her to shore. Maybe he forgot to drop it but it didnt prevent him from doing it as it wasnt a long distance
  9. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Scuba Instructor

    It doesn't sound to me from the bit that I know that this played a role but it's a very good point nonetheless.

    Perhaps something else similar did play a role though. The buddy separation may have been in part due to Marcia saying, "I'm good, I'll meet you on the bottom" when asked to come closer. I suspect that if she had been a novice diver that she either would have just done what she was told (go closer) or the group may not have accepted that answer and insisted. As it was there was no reason whatsoever to assume that even if she got separated at that point in the dive that it would be a problem, let alone a life threatening one so the answer was accepted.

  10. diverrex

    diverrex Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: LA - North Hollywood
    I respect those divers that take the attitude that a dive isn't over till both they and their buddy are back on the boat or land. I'll admit however that me and some of my buddies are sometimes not unlike a number of divers where we may either be at the safety stop or just surfaced and we start to "do our own thing" more so than during the dive. One of us may surface right after a 3 minute stop while the other lingers a few more minutes, one may surface swim while the other is at a shallow depth, we may separate a little futher, etc. Usually not at all a problem, obviously sometimes it becomes one. I also note how a number of scuba deaths come about after the initial surfacing. And also can't help but note what many others have noted in other cases where a diver is found on the bottom still wearing their weights as it appears in this case. Does anyone know how much weight she carried, and where? Belt, integrated or some of each? Not sure how you can have a full BC and still be difficult to pull off the bottom unless you are over weighted or had a severe leak in the drysuit. I can't remember from the previous posts is there any mention of remaining air in her tank, and was the drysuit inflator working?

    It may not have anything to do with the final outcome but interesting to note that this was a very experienced diver, but diving in new equipment and in an unfamiliar place.

    We may never fully know what happened but I believe this forum still provides plenty of useful information, even sometimes when it is speculation. I have been on a number of dives where some safety point comes to mind that I read in this forum.

    RIP Quero.

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