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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. gypsyjim

    gypsyjim I have an alibi ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: capital region of New York
    You must know more than the rest of us, if you are aware of anything ruled out, or in.
  2. clownfishsydney

    clownfishsydney Contributor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Sydney Australia
    I will attempt to speak to the people involved in this terrible accident tonight (Friday Sydney time) to seek their approval to post details of what happened on the dive as well as relevant details of equipment etc. I was contacted by one last night who wanted to talk about it but as I was about to do a night dive I had to defer the conversation.

    I have probably 90% of the story and believe I know what the causes were that lead to Marcia's death, but I need to clarify a couple of things. You can be assured that the persons diving with her were extremely experienced and divers of the highest ability and standard of care to their buddies.

    Also, I should clarify a couple of things. Yes, dive gear was seized, but some has been returned (buddies gear). In NSW, their may not necessarily be a Coroner's Inquest. This does not always happen. I know of numerous scuba diving deaths where no Inquest was held. I also know of many where one was held. In any case, I would expect that the soonest an Inquest occurred would be 18 months or even more. In the case of our friend who died early in 2011 on a dive I organised, the Inquest was not till December 2012. In additon, as far as I know, the NSW Police have no legal rights to tell anyone not to discuss any accident with other people. In my experience, they do not do this anyway. From experience, no-one organises counselling for the people involved. Friends of the divers involved are attempting to help them through this matter.

    Hope I will be able to help people understand this terrible accident soon.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
  3. almitywife

    almitywife Vegemite Mod

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Sydney, Australia
    ^^Edit: That'll teach me for sitting on this post for 90mins

    Hello my SB friends. Long time no post. I havent been on SB for a number of years, life and being burnt out got in the way but ive been watching this thread and thought very long and hard before posting but Im posting because I believe although we are not owed information, its human nature to want to know more.

    Firstly, I was NOT at Kurnell on Monday. This is only my opinion so do not take this as fact.

    Firstly, the dive site is a easy OW student dive site. Instructors take students there for OW courses and I have taken teenagers there to dive.

    Marci was found near the dive exit. Im taking 2mtr to 5mtrs of water, depending on where you are. Ordinarily its a easy incline along a sandy bottom with sea grass towards a rocky shore. Depending on tide you can swim to the shore or flat rock hop to get to land. People, kids snorkel here. The dive was over, the group surfaced for 2mins to discuss exit. One diver suggested a surface swim, others wanted to descend, they descended to make their way towards shore. This is not unusual.

    The question I have been asking since Monday is this, and I hope our police department is smart enough to ask themselves. New Drysuit, lead weight, steel tank plus tropical bcd. Did it have enough lift? I am NOT saying this is the cause but I ask if its a factor. Some one else wondered about the neck seal and blood pressure - pure guess work by us. Ultimately we may never know an answer but lots of possible contributing factors.

    I can say the police investigation is continuing, her gear has been impounded and the other divers gear was inspected and released, statements given and dive profiles/camera photos and video have been copied. The coroners report could take up to a year

    I can say that Quero hoped to see/find her first weedy sea dragon and yes, she did. Does this make people or her family feel better, maybe not but hopefully with time the video of her obvious joy in finding it will help
  4. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Scuba Instructor

    Technical question. Does the family of the deceased have any say in Australia as to whether or not an autopsy is performed? I think if it were my wife, for example, I'd be insisting on a determination of the cause of death because no matter how painful I would want to be 100% sure.

    Also, given the bit I do know about this, it would seem like an obvious step. Can you say if there was an autopsy done? I was assuming up to now that it was a no-brainer in this case.

    Normally an autopsy would be performed within days. A further investigation, if warranted, may take longer but surely the coroner has already made some call as to what the cause of death was.

    This might have been in response to what I said above. To be clear, the police like it if you talk. It's lawyers who tell you to keep your mouth shut.

  5. gypsyjim

    gypsyjim I have an alibi ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: capital region of New York
    Thank you.
    I read a post from Quero last week where she thought she was possibly a bit under weighted in the dry suit. She discussed feeling she needed better thermal protection in the dry suit, and was working on weighting, trim and buoyancy in the relatively shallow dives. Certainly nothing that is not normal for divers exploring and experimenting with new gear and conditions.
  6. almitywife

    almitywife Vegemite Mod

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Sydney, Australia
    Autopsy has been performed. Im not comfortable discussing any further about her body/remains but her family is here and she will be going home after Monday our time
    couv, Scuba_Jenny, koozemani and 8 others like this.
  7. lamont

    lamont Contributor

    A 62-year old woman has some leg pain and takes some ibuprofen, so she must have DVT?

    Bodies start wearing out and there's a large differential diagnosis to be made there, going straight from leg pain to DVT leaps over quite a lot of common ailments any 62 year old could have.

    This looks more like emotionally motivated searching for an answer and grasping at straws than a medical diagnosis.

    I will say that given the fact she was found on the surface it makes *a* medical issue more likely. Means that she was probably conscious and reached the surface and inflated enough to stay on the surface. You don't see that with mistakes like OOA drownings. You can see it with a gas embolism where a diver can pop their lungs and make it to the surface and be conscious for a minute or two before going unconscious, but the drysuit buoyancy control issue was addressed earlier in this thread.

    If it was DVT, though, then a ME should be able to find it. Also if it was CAGE that should be detectable as well, and there's no confounding rescue attempt from depth that could have caused that injury. So as long as there's a report that comes out those possibilities can be ruled in or out.

    Aside from that it sucks, but eventually it'll get us all... Right now doesn't sound like there was much she could have done or any terribly useful accident analysis lessons to learn... Best lesson seems to be to live life while you've got it...
  8. almitywife

    almitywife Vegemite Mod

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Sydney, Australia
    FACT. She was NOT found on the surface.

    Rule #1. Never trust the media to get a story correct.
  9. Cave Diver

    Cave Diver Scuba Instructor

    To expand on this, if you are any sort of dive professional or have dive insurance, lawyers tell you to not make statements that could affect culpability at a trial.
    gypsyjim and letterboy like this.
  10. Doubler

    Doubler Contributor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Bremerton, WA
    The older we get the more aches and pains we suffer. I take ibuprofen all the time for leg pain. So after a long flight, a little leg pain would be ignored and I'd pop a couple pills and go diving the next day. I have to admit when I first about this I imagined a DVT that was ignored because we deal with these types of pains all the time. I know Marcia would want fellow divers made aware of what happened so we could prevent it ourselves.
    gypsyjim and Jax like this.

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