Woman dead - Duck Island, New Hampshire

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Ayisha

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I was personal friends with Tonya. And received this information from the other student who was with her.

The other student can file a report with the training agency.

...Sadly, it does not sound like her family pursues legal action against him. For unknown reasons. As he would’ve been found guilty.

And unfortunately it sounds like he is still training new students. It’s only a matter of time before there is another accident.

Whether the family files a lawsuit is up to them, but the agency will investigate if they have been made aware of the student's death during training. There should be a report already from the instructor, but the other student's report may provide perspective. After the agency's investigation, they will decide whether the instructor can continue teaching for them, the shop maintains status, etc.
 

Kay Dee

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First, sincere condolences to the deceaseds' friends and family.

As for AGE being the cause of death, it seems AGE was just speculation on lovestotravels part (unless something new has turned up in the meantime). And with all due respect to him, given how close he was to the deceased diver he seems to me to be a bit too (understandably) emotionaly involved, given his repeated description of the 'accident' in three almost succesive posts (page 2) to be objective here. No personal offence meant.

As for the instuctor, well it shows how much attention he was (not) paying to even go into the water with a near empty cylinder and then only notice it on descent. What ever happened to an instructor checking their students air / have them do it, including your own before splashing?

Certainly an avoidable tragedy it seems.
 

LovestoTravel

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First, sincere condolences to the deceaseds' friends and family.

As for AGE being the cause of death, it seems AGE was just speculation on lovestotravels part (unless something new has turned up in the meantime). And with all due respect to him, given how close he was to the deceased diver he seems to me to be a bit too (understandably) emotionaly involved, given his repeated description of the 'accident' in three almost succesive posts (page 2) to be objective here. No personal offence meant.

As for the instuctor, well it shows how much attention he was (not) paying to even go into the water with a near empty cylinder and then only notice it on descent. What ever happened to an instructor checking their students air / have them do it, including your own before splashing?

Certainly an avoidable tragedy it seems.

Far from speculation. Unfortunately she was gone when she hit the surface. Never regained consciousness.

And yes, I mentioned it several times. And yes, I am close to this personally. But it does not negate what happened. And it does not negate the fact that an instructor went out with an empty tank, in conditions that were already unsafe, with two relatively new divers. Just because someone has a basic certification does not make them a “diver”. Many of us advised her she was not ready. But she was stubborn. My friend may bear some of the responsibility for what happened, but as an instructor you control the situation. And you ensure that the conditions are safe. And you definitely don’t get into the water without checking your gear and your students gear.

What is upsetting is that none of this is made public. Like many deaths in diving, I have noticed there is no follow-ups to ensure things like this don’t happen again. And the facts and events leading up to the tragedy always seem like an afterthought that no one pursues.

I’ll mention it three, four or more time if it saves a life or perhaps sheds more light on what happened so that there is some accountability.
 

Satrekker

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First, sincere condolences to the deceaseds' friends and family.

As for AGE being the cause of death, it seems AGE was just speculation on lovestotravels part (unless something new has turned up in the meantime). And with all due respect to him, given how close he was to the deceased diver he seems to me to be a bit too (understandably) emotionaly involved, given his repeated description of the 'accident' in three almost succesive posts (page 2) to be objective here. No personal offence meant.

As for the instuctor, well it shows how much attention he was (not) paying to even go into the water with a near empty cylinder and then only notice it on descent. What ever happened to an instructor checking their students air / have them do it, including your own before splashing?

Certainly an avoidable tragedy it seems.


Pure speculation here, but it may be that the instructor was so focused on both students and their equipment, that he flat missed swapping out his own tank. If the instructor only did a quick breath check on his reg, he wouldn't know anything other than his air was "on." That would explain running out of air on decent.
 

LovestoTravel

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Pure speculation here, but it may be that the instructor was so focused on both students and their equipment, that he flat missed swapping out his own tank. If the instructor only did a quick breath check on his reg, he wouldn't know anything other than his air was "on." That would explain running out of air on decent.

That’s probably a very good assumption. He’s not sharing that information and I doubt he ever will.
 

Shasta_man

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Distracted by workload is easily possible though we want them trained to handle task loading because of the potential outcomes that can occur as we see here. BTW, the valve just has to be on to see how much pressure is in the tank. Even if the valve was closed but the line had not been purged, it would still show some pressure. Breathing off the line will show either a steady line and how much pressure or a bouncing needle indicating the valve is actually off. That's why regardless of who you are, your immediate pre-dive checklist is to check your pressure gauge and breathe off your reg. The pressure indicates whether you have enough for the trip and not bouncing confirms the valve is on. Probably some caveats to that but the basic idea is the same.
 

Bob DBF

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The instructor was out there with two students alone. All three did end up surfacing but got separated due to the choppy conditions.

He made a mistake with the empty tank, and possibly the conditions. He had both students on the surface but they did not stay togather.

We can only assume she went back under to avoid the swells. And at that point somehow she went deep and surfaced too fast and probably held her breath while ascending. Panic set in.

This is, as you say, assumption. There are a number of causes or AGE, one does not necessarily have to panic and hold their breath while surfacing.

"Next to heart attacks the most common reason divers die is arterial gas embolism (AGE). See Coughing While Diving DIVER May 2010 and Spontaneous Pneumothorax DIVER November 2007. Sometimes AGE is the result of lung disease (asthma, pneumonia, etc.) but most often the problem derives from a panic induced ascent holding the breath. All of the five root causes of the triggering event can result in arterial gas embolism." Fatalities: Inexperience a Big Factor - DIVER magazine

Add to the list of lung disease are some after effects of Covid that can compromise the lungs, whether being sick or asymptomatic.


Perhaps the reason the parents are not persueing legal action is because it was an accident beyond anyone's control.
 

divezonescuba

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What is upsetting is that none of this is made public. Like many deaths in diving, I have noticed there is no follow-ups to ensure things like this don’t happen again. And the facts and events leading up to the tragedy always seem like an afterthought that no one pursues.

I’ll mention it three, four or more time if it saves a life or perhaps sheds more light on what happened so that there is some accountability.

Unfortunately, this seems to be prevalent. I sat down with an instructor at a major dive resort in the Caribbean one morning. All we talked about was diving accidents. I could only find reference to one of the many situations discussed. No destination wants to address this. Its obviously bad for both the locale and their diving industry.

A week later a friend of mine died in a diving accident there. Absolutely zero coverage of his accident either there or anywhere else on the Internet.

If he had either the proper training, equipment, or technique to do the dive he died on, he may not have died. Could anyone have learned from his situation? Absolutely. Has anyone learned from his situation, absolutely not.
 
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