Catalina Diver died today w/ Instructor

Discussion in 'Accidents and Incidents' started by SCUBA482, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. SCUBA482

    SCUBA482 Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: So Cal
    220
    18
    0
    Anybody have any more info on the person who died in Catalina today? I had heard a 56 year old female bolted from her instructor while in Catalina during a certification dive. Also heard she was taken to the chamber and later died, possibly of cardiac arrest.
     
  2. ItsBruce

    ItsBruce Loggerhead Turtle

    2,331
    165
    0
    I heard from someone who may have the report being made to the authorities that the instructor had slowed the victim's ascent, but that at 25 feet or so, the victim fought the instructor off and bolted.

    I understand that the Avalon Harbor Patrol was on scene in next to no time and did a heroic effort in the rescue.

    My condolences to the family and to all involved.
     
  3. MaxBottomtime

    MaxBottomtime Orca

    # of Dives:
    Location: Torrance, CA
    5,783
    3,181
    113
    From the L.A. Times;
    November 1, 2009 | 1:40 pm

    A 55-year-old woman seeking her deep-sea certification died after scuba
    diving off Catalina Island today, according to the Avalon sheriff's station.

    Sheriff's dispatcher Connie Shepard said the woman was transported from the
    Avalon dive park, along with her diving instructor, to a hyperbaric chamber.

    The Los Angeles County Fire Department sent a helicopter to the scene, but
    the woman was transported by boat to the Two Harbors facility, which is run
    by USC, according to Fire Department Inspector Frederic Stowers.

    The woman, who was not identified, was reportedly seeking her deep-sea
    certification when she suddenly rose to the top from more than 65 feet below
    the surface at the park, which is near the Avalon Casino.

    -- Margot Roosevelt
     
  4. merxlin

    merxlin Moderator Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: So. Cal.
    5,837
    598
    113
    I was on the island and staying in the same hotel as this group. What Bruce wrote is what I heard from members of the class she was diving with, although no mention of fighting the instructor. There is a newspaper report of an equipment problem but I do not believe that to be true.

    Conditons were perfect: sunny, no wind, no current and 50ft viz. Water is still in the mid 60's. It sounds like nothing more than a classic panic situation.
     
  5. DiveMom1

    DiveMom1 Photographer

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Lake Berryessa, CA
    149
    1
    0
    Wow, sounds like my hubby's attemped deep dive for AOW.. thank goodness there were 3 instructors on him faster than the bubbles. He bolted from over 100' Had it not been for those instructors he would probably not be here today.

    I feel for the family..
     
  6. DandyDon

    DandyDon ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas High Plains
    45,272
    2,859
    113
    Condolences thread started in Passings here
     
  7. Cave Diver

    Cave Diver Moderator Staff Member

    17,882
    2,483
    0

    ** MOD POST: **

    Condolences only have been moved to the Passings thread
     
  8. SCUBA482

    SCUBA482 Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: So Cal
    220
    18
    0
    Does anybody have an idea what dive op she was getting her certification through? Not that it's extremely important, but wondering if they are on SB and have any light they could shed on this. Also, I heard cardiac arrest was part of the problem, now maybe equipment failure? I wonder if an equipment problem led to a panic situation then cardiac arrest.
     
  9. Teamcasa

    Teamcasa Sr. Moderator Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Near Pasadena, CA
    12,122
    429
    0
    This appears to by more a panic issue first and an ascending issue second. Either way, I'm waiting for more information.
     
  10. merxlin

    merxlin Moderator Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: So. Cal.
    5,837
    598
    113
    Based on the symptoms (frothing, etc.), it was probably a barotrauma caused by rapid ascent due to panic. From my conversation with them, the rapid ascent occurred in the final 15 to 20 ft.
     
  11. Cave Diver

    Cave Diver Moderator Staff Member

    17,882
    2,483
    0
  12. merxlin

    merxlin Moderator Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: So. Cal.
    5,837
    598
    113
    It is possible the diver could have had a cadiac problem which lead to the panic. That will only be determined by autopsy, and chances are we will never know as rarely do those results get published anywhere.

    As far as the instructor publishishing anything here, I doubt it will happen anytime soon. I am sure for legal reasons (it did happen in California) no comments will be made.
     
  13. DandyDon

    DandyDon ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas High Plains
    45,272
    2,859
    113
    Actually, LA country is the one place where we do often receive follow up info. Ken might fill us in in time.
     
  14. jandjdivers

    jandjdivers Angel Fish

    5
    0
    0
    My heart is broken for this family. I know EXACTLY the horror and shock they are going through. My prayers are with you. Does anyone know what dive shop/company the diver was with?
     
  15. Bubbletrubble

    Bubbletrubble Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Seussville
    4,811
    867
    0
    While it is possible that the diver had some pre-existing heart condition, the likely chain of events was:
    Panic -> Rapid ascent -> Pulmonary barotrauma -> Coronary arterial gas embolism +/- cerebral embolism -> Cardiac arrest/Apnea/Unconsciousness

    I guess we'll have to wait for the autopsy report.
     
  16. merxlin

    merxlin Moderator Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: So. Cal.
    5,837
    598
    113
    True, with the "in time" caveat. Usually it is so long after the incident, we have unfortunately moved on to others. I do hope we find out.
     
  17. roturner

    roturner ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands, Netherlands
    16,222
    3,292
    113
    Ultimately, we all die from cardiac arrest.

    The fact that his/her heart stopped says nothing unless the autopsy indicates that this was preciptating factor.

    Speaking from experience (don't ask) a heart issue doesn't necessarily lead to panic. Panic and pain in the heart are about as related as peanut butter and the man on the moon.

    R..
     
  18. DandyDon

    DandyDon ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas High Plains
    45,272
    2,859
    113
    No, he often posts on Catalina threads very quickly even tho the results are not in, but he is a busy man. It's been amazing how soon he does give us results, tho.
     
  19. deepstops

    deepstops Blacklight Poster ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Weston, FL
    5,655
    223
    0
    Wow, that's a helpful post..... :confused:
     
  20. merxlin

    merxlin Moderator Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: So. Cal.
    5,837
    598
    113
    Agreed Don, Ken is a big help in these cases. I think I was projecting the time a bit because unlike others this was a person in a class, and there may be legal issues to deal with versus a typical dive accident. Regardless, I do hope we find out what the primary cause was.

    A small sidetrack- there was some discussion a week or so ago if the A&I reports do any good since we have so few facts. I think this is a perfect example of how they help, as divers are questioning their knowledge and practice of ascent rates, and what depths can be dangerous for rapid ascents.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2009

Share This Page