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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. Divedoggie

    Divedoggie Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Ft Collins, CO
    Quero's profile says she dives an Aqualung Zuma for travel and tropics. If so, it is a lightweight, back inflate, weight integrated BCD. If I recall correctly, it has 35lbs of lift. It also has inherent positive buoyancy.

    If the weight estimate of 26 lbs is the total weight of lead and steel cylinder, it is not as grossly overweighted as first assumed. The rig should have easily floated itself as well.

    The first photos of Quero which were posted in this thread show a large bubble in the suit. The next show a highly inflated wing/bladder. Given Quero's overall experience, I would say that she was getting things figured out with her new drysuit, correct weighting and weight distribution, and adjusting over the course of a very few dives. The fact that she continued to swim off to take more pictures, demonstrates that she was feeling confident.
    (It also demonstrates a lack of communication. Just to play devil's advocate, it is possible that from her perspective, her buddy wasn't staying with her as she pursued her quest to photograph the leafy sea dragons?)
    There must have been significant frustration within the group as to who was leading a team of 4, or two teams of 2, or two totally separate teams of 2. It seems like there was a battle of wills going on during each of their dives. Sounds like miserable diving, with the most miserable outcome possible.

    Giving her the benefit of the doubt and taking her experience into consideration, I feel that something very unusual happened in the last minutes of the dive which rendered her unconscious or incapable of ditching weights, performing a CESA or continuing her swim underwater to a shallow enough depth to stand.

    We can't underestimate her experience, skill, knowledge and ability. The water wasn't all that cold, and diving a drysuit isn't a huge learning curve.

    After having read every single post in this thread, I'm still at a loss as to what truly happened. There are good theories on the chain of event and good discussions on buddy team protocol, but I don't believe that it was necessarily a result of bad choices.

    Whatever the cause of the catastrophy, we can all agree that had she planned the dive as a solo dive, she would have at least had redundant systems in place to independently deal with problems.
    Had she been a responsible team member as planned, the likelyhood of her buddy being available at the time of crisis probably would have saved her life.
  2. Cave Diver

    Cave Diver Scuba Instructor

    My response was aimed at your comment that "she didn't have the kind of buddy."

    The accounts I received of the dive are that there was around 3 minutes elapsed time between noticing that Quero had wandered off again, and a search beginning. It was another several minutes before she was found. While on the surface, there was already separation and Quero refused to close the gap with the rest of the group. On descent, Quero swam towards the lead diver, presumably to pair up with them. Except she never did, and somewhere along the line she got separated. I don't see this as a fault of the buddy.
    gypsyjim and chillyinCanada like this.
  3. AfterDark

    AfterDark Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Rhode Island, USA

    Amen! brother Amen!

    ---------- Post added October 17th, 2013 at 04:12 AM ----------

    I posted no such thing. I bemoaned that she did not have the kind of buddy I've encounter from time to time in that no matter what I did he was always with me. I never asked him too he just did it. I went on to post if she had had a buddy like that she might still be with us.

    Just what is so troubling about that? I've had 2 buddies in 43 years of diving that stuck to me like glue. Not my doing not my fault just their way. Don't you think it would have been good if Quero's buddy had been of that nature? No? Why not? I asked where her buddy was, that was all.

    WTH?! Cave Diver where you her buddy for that dive?
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
    lowviz likes this.
  4. Zippsy

    Zippsy Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: SIngapore
    The rig may have been able to float itself but it certainly did not seem as if it was managing to float the person in the drysuit who needed to breath air once the tank was empty. As she was found on the bottom, with a fully inflated BCD and empty tank, I'm pretty sure less weight would have been useful.
    je76, tracydr, Agility and 1 other person like this.
  5. Dr. Lecter

    Dr. Lecter Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: NYC/Honolulu
    I like splitting semantic hairs more than most, but I think the issue with your posts isn't an objection to the observation 'gee, wouldn't have been nice if she'd had a [remora buddy/pony tank/giant skyhook up line to climb/guardian unicorn]'...well, duh. Rather, there seems to be a suggestion that buddies generally, or this buddy in specific, should be those things...otherwise it's a pretty pointless observation. That implies some level of responsibility to me.

    Is it nice to take a look at someone who clearly doesn't have their :censored: together that day and decide to be their guardian angel? Sure, unless it's pissing them off. And maybe there's an element of self preservation at work there, too: if diving with a buddy they may be your only redundancy, so even if it means ruining your own dive following them closely is really the only way to stick to your own dive plan. But I don't think anyone that hasn't been hired for such a purpose has any obligation whatsoever to do that.
    MikkelBC and AfterDark like this.
  6. AfterDark

    AfterDark Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Rhode Island, USA
    The objection stems from a misunderstanding caused by my overstating to reassure someone that I was not disrespecting their friend. No good deed goes unpunished.
  7. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Scuba Instructor

    You have tried several times in this thread to blame the buddy. I don't think that's fair.

    From what I understand, diver 1 & 2 surfaced together believing she was with diver 3 having seen her swimming in his direction underwater. Diver 3 surfaced a few minutes after 1 & 2 believing she was with 1 & 2 having seen her off to his left towards 1 & 2.

    1 & 2 surfaced.. watching for bubbles waiting for Marcia and diver 3 to surface together. Diver 3 surfaced a few minutes later... the search process started immediately on realizing she was unaccounted for.

    There was certainly a communication issue and I think we can learn from that, but just blaming the buddy is



    Uncalled for

    These threads are not intended to lay blame. They are intended to take the lessons that can be gleaned from what happened. We've tried to point this out to you several times but you keep falling back on blaming the buddy. I'm thinking this says more about you than her buddy.

  8. AfterDark

    AfterDark Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Rhode Island, USA
    Show me where I laid blame on the buddy.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2013
    je76 likes this.
  9. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Scuba Instructor

    Looks like this thread has reached a deep point. I'm so sad to see it go down this path. :(((((

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2013
    MikkelBC likes this.
  10. almitywife

    almitywife Vegemite Mod

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Sydney, Australia
    For the standard where was the buddy blaming, I wish to say I've dived with these three divers, collectively and separately hundreds of times, both in Sydney and on dive trips, off boats and shores and I can recall only one buddy separation and that was due to a complete silt out and resolved within minutes.

    I said it before, a buddy team only works when all participants are prepared to be team members.

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