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Two German divers drown at Gran Cenote Kalimba at Tulum

Discussion in 'Accidents and Incidents' started by ibj40, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. Norwegian Cave Diver

    Norwegian Cave Diver Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Calgary Alberta Canada
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    It would be a super tough decision to abandon, or give gas to your buddy in a cave environment. If you were the surviving diver - guilt or "what if I donated?" - would haunt you for the rest of your life. He/They made the best decision they could under the circumstances. Sad for everyone.
     
    FreeFlyFreak, Hiszpan and kafkaland like this.
  2. wKkaY

    wKkaY DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Malaysia
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    It looks like gran cenote is 3x further compared to their stages. With the flow on that day, would it have taken more than 3x effort to get to the stages? I'm trying to understand the reason behind changing directions instead of going back to the stages.
     
    FreeFlyFreak and Hiszpan like this.
  3. PT4476

    PT4476 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Toronto
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    Thank you Izze. It's a very well written report. Recommended reading for cave divers of all experience levels.
     
  4. 1atm

    1atm DIR Practitioner

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    You know that now, based on a lot of forensic work that went into making the report. It takes a lot of skill and experience to have the awareness where you are in a cave, and how far in terms of gas and time you are from exits, gas sources, etc. It's obviously easier if you know the cave well, but if you are visiting a cave on vacation, it's not that easy. In a cave with a lot of navigational decisions, where you might go out on a different route than you came in, its even harder.

    Given the apparent lack of awareness on gas consumption, focus on filming etc, I would guess that they did not know exactly where they were. Time spend during filming may have also skewed the perception on distance. Hence they made the wrong decision about which way might be closer. This might have been amplified by perceptions about flow and size of the passage.
     
    wKkaY, rjack321, FreeFlyFreak and 2 others like this.
  5. Jack Hammer

    Jack Hammer Solo Diver

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    Just wanted to say Thank You to all involved in the recovery, gathering of information, and in the making of the incident report. The report should be required reading for cave divers.
     
  6. rjack321

    rjack321 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Orchard, WA
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    They were trying to exit at Ho Tul not Grand.
     
    wKkaY and Izze like this.
  7. Izze

    Izze Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Sweden
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    I do not know if they held any additional certifications beyond full cave. I think a few people that knew them have checked into this thread earlier and they might have additional information.
     
  8. Izze

    Izze Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Sweden
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    They took turns leading the dive on the way in, alternating between holding the camera and leading. The video might be added taskloading but both would have been capable to lead this relatively simple dive.

    Turning the dive without notifying everyone involved on each divers exact gas status is quite common I would say. I note my own and assume that the one who is turning does so on thirds if that was the plan but that is about it. Other are more strict in reporting. Gas status on the turn of the dive is unknown to us for obvious reasons. The discussion is mainly speculation trying to fit a reasonable scenario with the known facts. The original turn of the dive was probably on 5-10 minutes from Ho Tul. When they decided to try and exit that way perhaps 25 minutes at a normal swimming pace.

    Whether or not a gas share happened or not is unknown. It is once again speculation based on trying to fit the pieces together.
     
  9. Izze

    Izze Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Sweden
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    The map is deceiving. Distance from jump 1 to their stages would be around 20 minutes at a normal pace. Distance to Ho Tul a few minutes more. Given that the way back to Calimba has a few restrictions and a bit of up and down and that the way through Paso de Lagarto is largely flat, large tunnel with the mild flow in that direction I cannot fault them for the decision. In a scenario where I might have to gas share I would definitely head that way*.


    *This scenario has the caveat that I know this cave reasonably well and have verified the exit options before. It is not generally applicable.
     
  10. rjack321

    rjack321 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Orchard, WA
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    It's almost like they turned the dive but either: 1) knew they were low on gas but didn't realize how far they were from their stages 2) turned on time or for some other reason and didn't even check their gas.

    At the turn they were so close to Ho Tul or Grand they could have safely exited if they hadn't tried to go back towards their stages and Calimba first
     
    FreeFlyFreak likes this.

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