What kind of buddy do you want to be?

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Web Monkey

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I'd like to start an ongoing thread similar to El Orans' "Where did you dive today". This one will be for the newer divers among us, who may occasionally find themselves paired up with somebody who makes them feel uncomfortable for one reason or another.

The purpose of the thread is to present scenarios ... many of which will look familiar to somebody ... and investigate how the diver could handle these situations. After all, most dive problems stem from decisions we make at some point in the dive.

I hope you don't mind an additional "Thinking" question. . .

Follow me!

You and your buddy, who was certified a few years ago, but only dives once a year on vacation are <someplace warm>. He seems pretty confident, although you've never seen him practice any emergency skills.

On the boat the DM does a great pre-dive briefing and says "We're going to drop down to the sand at about 60', get neutral and make sure everybody is OK, then we're going to head over the edge of the wall, drop down to about 90' and do a nice easy drift dive. When the first person hits 1000PSI, signal me, I'll send up my lift bag and we'll all do a nice slow ascent together, including a 5 minute safety stop @15', and then get back on the boat, which will be following us.'"

You're at about 90', the DM is maybe 150' ahead of you looking for stuff to show you, and you're doing your job and staying close to your buddy. Everything is going beautifully. You see all sorts of cool things, but eventually you notice that your buddy has hit 1000 PSI (even though he didn't notice). Like a good diver, you show him and he nods, and you bang on your tank, get the DM's attention and point at your buddy and signal "1000PSI". The DM says "OK" and continues on. No lift bag, no ascent, just more drifting.

Now he has 900PSI, your buddy seems a little inattentive, so you signal the DM again, the DM looks at you and signals "OK", but still does nothing.

800PSI, you signal again, still nothing.

700PSI, you signal again, still nothing.

A little mental math tells you that his chances of a normal ascent and a safety stop from almost 100' are looking slimmer all the time, and while you still have plenty of air, he now has the "deer in the headlights" look and seems to have remembered about as much of his training as your cat. If he runs out, you're not sure if he could handle an air-share or would just bolt from almost 100'. And if he bolts, would he remember to not hold his breath?

What do you do?

Terry
 
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sabbath999

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What do you do?

Terry

Signal my buddy to ascend with me to 15 feet slowly and gradually, pop an SMB and bang on my tank the whole daggone time so the DM can see we are going up. He can choose to go up, or not...

Depending on my oxy level, I am mentally prepared to offer to share my gas on the way up to 15 and let him use some of mine so he has more in his tank and we can get in as full of a safety stop as possible... a CESA from 15 feet after a partial safety stop is a lot better than mucking around at 90.

In all honesty, depending on how fast he has sucked down the air, I probably start looking to ascend at 800 PSI and to heck with what the DM says. That's what big assed SMB's are for, and why we carry whistles and horns.

After we are up, I take a bit of ass out of the DM for him breaking his plan.
 

Jerzi

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What do you do?

Terry

At a 1k psi mark signal the DM to come to you if he continues the dive after the pre dive mark. If at that time he doesn't I would question his mental state, maybe suffering from Narcosis. At this point the DM is risking your and your buddies life. If you can't convince him to ascend or can't within your ability have him ascend with you without endangering yourself or your buddy I would make an ascent with my buddy. I wouldn't chance it to "he's a DM and wil keep us safe".

I haven't been under that much ,but I'm assuming when you deviate from a dive plan is when most panic and life threatning situations occur.
 

Soakedlontra

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Scenario #1 - The Speed Demon

In a very frustrating mood I would surface together with my buddy because that's what would make me feel more comfortable and comply more with my principles. If he/she is a jerk why do I have to be one too? Back on the boat I would talk to the guy/gal to find out if it would be worth giving him/her a second chance. If negative then next dive I will make sure to dive with somebody else who seems more compatible.

Scenario #3 - Three's a crowd

Considering that platforms are usually not that deep I would assume that the now solo diver would have the sense to surface on his own while I would share air with the other buddy and do a controlled ascent. We would wait for the other buddy to show up at the surface. If several minutes have gone by and there is no sign of the guy I think I would be better off getting the attention of other divers or, surface swam back to shore and call 911. I would not go back down to look for the other guy because right now if I am already low on air in a stressful situation even if I try to stay as calm as I can my air consumption would sky rocket and very quickly I would run out of air making my attempt to help the solo diver totally useless.
 
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plumcrazy

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OK I'll give it a shot. I did not read any responses so as to not "taint" my response.
Scenario #1: I stick with my buddy right up to the point where I might get hurt. Since that is what "I" agreed to do thats what I'll do. Once we are back on the boat I'll try and politly suggest that he SLOW DOWN. If the same thing happens on dive #2 I look for another buddy.
Scenario # 2 I stay put right at the entrance to the cabin. I'l hang there for as long as I can. If I get low on air and need to ascend and can no longer see or signal my "buddy" then up I go to once again hopefully have a "polite" post dive debrief. One of the difficulties with this scenario is that without actually seeing the extent of "murkiness" it is hard to determine exactly what I would do. I feel that as long I can maintain visual contact I'll stay (assuming I have enough air).
Scenario #3 I'll try to maintain contact with both but if that doesn't happen I think I would make a judgement call and try to stick with the diver who in my judgment might be more in need. Hard to tell under water. Worst case we surface and have a long surface swim. Perhaps the longer the surface swim the better the "lesson" will be retained. I know at least one diver of the three wont let that happen again.
Scenario #4, "The follower" Since no real discussion on positioning was discussed before the dive I'd just deal with as best as possible during the dive and talk about it after the dive.
Scenario #5 Tough one. I guess I would try to keep him calm. Trouble is I'm not sure how I would do that. If I really felt he was on the verge of panic I would probably tell him I'm low on air (even though I'm not) and call the dive. This preserves his ego until we are SAFELY at the surface.
Scenario #6 Self preservation is my initial thought. I would try and signal my buddy and emphatically signal that I am going to follow the DM. If he insists on doing his own thing I'll let the DM know if possible and stay with the group.
Scenario # 7 I f the DM isn't diving his own plan then I'm going to modify mine. Me and my buddy are going to ascend to 50 ft. This will buy us more time and begin a deep stop. If the PSI gets below 500 were going to 20 ft and hand there. I'll try to keep my buddy calm.
Well thats it now I'll go and read the other responses. How did I do ??
 
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