Ever Had An OOA Situation?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Tekk Diver, Oct 18, 2003.

Have you had an unplanned OOA situation?

  1. Yes.

    12 vote(s)
    21.8%
  2. No.

    43 vote(s)
    78.2%
  1. Tekk Diver

    Tekk Diver Scuba Instructor

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    I've been reading these threads on donating regs in OOA situations..and the best way to go about OOA.. etc, etc..

    So.. How many of you out there in "ScubaLand", have actually had an unplanned OOA situation while in open water..?
    How did you & your buddy(s) go about solving the problem?
    Did the OOA situation even closely resemble what you experienced in confined & OW training..? Or was it a situation you were completely unprepared for...even with OOA training/procedures?

    Let's hear it.
     
  2. Kaos

    Kaos Nassau Grouper

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    Never came across an OOA situation in 450+ dives (knock on wood) :)

    However, I once gave my octopus to my buddy during a safety stop. I had a 104 cu ft, she an 80 and she was down to 500 PSI, so I thought rather than her coming back up with 400 PSI and getting blasted by the DM, she can just share the 1100 PSI I got left for the three minute hang.

    Turned out to be a great learning experience as I realised my standard-lenght octopus hose wasn't long enough as we had to be in each other's faces in order to share my air. I now have a 6-foot octo hose, I've tested it with a buddy, we cwere able to swim side-by-side without any danger of the reg being yanked out of her mouth.
     
  3. CincyBengalsFan

    CincyBengalsFan Scuba Instructor

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    I wasn't a part of it but I witnessed one once and it went textbook @ 70 ft. down off of PC, Fla.

    Other examples are referall students I've taken and in fact some of them from the local PADI instructors who have taken the DIR course. A few of these students freaked out during the O/W Reg. Removal and replacement. As they were not out of air but they thought they were. They tried to bolt to the surface EVERYTIME. I've been teaching for 7 1/2 yrs. and everytime one of these idiots thinks they can't breath they try bolting. No, they don't try to take my reg. from my mouth..They BOLT! Or at least TRY..:D
     
  4. baenglish73

    baenglish73 Angel Fish

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    My wife/dive buddy had a 1st stage fail (I think) somewhere around my 20th dive. We've done about 50 dives together now.

    SITUATION:
    She couldn't breathe off the primary or backup. She swam over, tapped me on the shoulder, signalled OOA, and I gave her the OW style backup. We made a less-than-stellar buddy ascent but with appropriate arm clasps for stability. We forgot to empty her BC, so we went up a little fast. Overall, I give the recovery an 8 out of 10. The situation was so calm and deliberate that it was surreal.

    Training:
    I took YMCA classes with a PADI OW checkout.
    Wife took PADI classes and checkout.

    Reg donation:
    I was taught to bring the backup around the top of the right shoulder, make a long U out of the backup hose and tuck the U into the cumberbund. It comes out really easy, and it doesn't dangle (at all). I don't like cumberbunds though, they always constrict my diaphragm (air breathing muscle not the contraceptive) by the time the BC is snug.

    My wife keeps her backup tucked into one of the tiny plastic D-rings that were meant for BC adjustment. I can calmly hold my breath about 1:30 with mild hyperventilation, so I figure she has about 45 seconds to unhitch that damn thing if I'm ever in trouble.
     
  5. roturner

    roturner ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I had a "sort" of OOA. I was playing the victim for rescue (this was many years ago before I adopted the bungie octo) and the rescuer knocked my reg out of my mouth when he was "rescuing" me. He then proceeded to lift me in completely unique way by holding both of my arms over his shoulders and sort of slinging me over his back. My arms were trapped, my regs were both floating somewhere behind me and he was making a slow ascent. When I realised I couldn't make it to the surface like that I struggled to get free of him, which wasn't easy because the harder I struggled the harder he held on. Once free I didn't bother looking for my own regs. I signalled OOA and asked for his primary by pulling on the hose. I was focused on his primary and if he didn't give it to me I proabably would have taken it anyway. We initiated buddy breathing and finished the ascent like that.

    R..
     
  6. Tekk Diver

    Tekk Diver Scuba Instructor

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    That's one hell of a way to be rescued.
    Especially if a diver is unconscious yet still breathing from his reg... Very easy for the reg. to fall out in this case..and you'd never realize he lost his reg...carrying the victim "piggy-back".

    Interesting experience that must've been.. to say the least.
     
  7. donclaypool

    donclaypool Nassau Grouper

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    When I first started diving, I was "brave and stupid" and much too comfortable. After running out of air twice ~90' ,solo dive, in cold dark seawater while chasing king crab, I realized that this was how people got bent or killed. Each time I did a controlled ascent, keeping my pounding head cool enough not to panic. Then spending the evening snuggled up with an o2 tank and monitoring myself for signs of dcs. The second time I had a new spg and in a quick glance misread, or thought I had enough air to persue those legs a bit more. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.

    On my first 100' cert. dive, my buddy's reg free flowed and I escorted him on a slow ascent to the beach. He refused my octo so I held his bc in one hand to control his ascent and my octo in the other for when he needed it. All went well except for blowing the safety stop. We'd only been down a few minutes so I wasn't too concerned.

    Last weekend, there were three of us on a 90fsw wreck. One of the other divers, the last one off the wreck, charged 20' up our ascent line from the wreck to the 2nd diver. I was about 20' above them on the line. I was signalled to come down to them and the diver snatched my octo and started breathing from it, indicating regulator problems but showing me 1000 psi on his spg. I found his tank valve closed about 11/2 turns. He resumed using his reg and we ascended as a cluster to 20' where he did an extra long safety stop.

    From these and a few other potentally bad experiences, I've found that a rational mind, avoiding panic, and thoroughly thinking through a bad situation is the best means of getting through one. But preparation and planning cures most before they happen. Buddy checks, pre dive, and familiarity with your buddy's gear is critical.

    Don
     
  8. cudachaser

    cudachaser Scuba Instructor

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    At 80ft down to 500psi...Saw a lobster in went in after him...well all of sudden air got very hard to breath...new exactly what was happening...Fortunately buddy was close and I got his octopus (yes we had octopuses back then, an optional thing) and we made a normal ascent. Only problem was that buddy never bothered with maintenance on his octopus...very hard to breath off but it was enough.
     
  9. roturner

    roturner ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands, Netherlands
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    Actually during the incident itself I just went into "how to solve this problem" mode. After the fact it started to sink in how it could have ended and it was quite a while before I wanted to play rescue victim again.... :)

    R..
     
  10. mddolson

    mddolson Scuba Instructor

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    My friend (instructor) chaperoned a newby once on a dive. He was not aware of how new the newbie was and didn't notice that the newby never checked his air supply through out the dive. When my friend shows his pressure gauge to the newbie, he takes his first look at his gauge and OMG we're at 60 feet and down to 300 psi.

    The good thing is my friend is in good shape and had 1200 psi in his tank. They start up the anchor line and newbie spots his dive knife knife on the bottom.
    Does he hesitate, or signal his buddy? nope! He rockets to the bottom after he precious knife. He retrieves the knife, resheaths it and is about 10 feet away from my friend , who spotted the mad dash and headed back down after him, when he runs out of air.

    My friend assisted him with a 7 ft hose , calmed him down and they made their way up the anchor line, completed a 3 minute safety stop and all ended well.

    Needless to say newbi bought the beers that night.

    That Knife must have been worth dying for!

    Mike D
     
  11. USMC Diver

    USMC Diver Nassau Grouper

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    During a Deep Assault Training Course (Sort of like an AOW/Deep speciality/Multi gas/multi level dive) my student was trailing behind me. We were doing a sloping beach ascent at about 20fsw after having been at max bottom depth of 180fsw, anyway, we had completed all our deco obligation and were preparing for the final beach assault when I get the tugging on my fin. Have you ever seen a Marine OOG but trying to act in-control and macho? It is pretty funny the colors he was turning. He gave the sign for OOG and proceeded to stare at me in the most "I am going to die way". So I gave him the Octo and he took my octo (regular rec setup) and we proceeded to storm the beach (in training).

    It was pretty funny though when his head looked like it was going to explode. Well, it probably wasn't so funny to him...but...needless to say, he fail the course and had to repeat it and he bought the beers. Too funny.

    That is my only OOA/OOG experience in my 14 years if Diving.
     
  12. Brian1968

    Brian1968 Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
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    Has anyone ever had a planned OOA? Those are the ones that I think would worry me.
     
  13. roturner

    roturner ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands, Netherlands
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    I was helping with rescue training once and one of the students was a friend and a regular dive buddy of mine so I decided to play with him a bit. They were doing search patterns to locate a lost diver and I was waiting in 5 metres of water when they found me so I simulated that I had a deco obligation and refused to surface with him when he thumbed me. He tried again so I wrote on my slate "NO WAY! I'M IN DECO" and showed him that. He gave me OK and proceeded to wait. After a min or so he hadn't checked my guages so I grabbed my SPG gave it a shake, threw my reg out of my mouth and gave him the OOA sign. His reaction had a huge chuckle-factor but he dealt with it ok. Then he wanted to surface again as soon as I had his octopus so I waved the slate in his face again and made him wait another minute before I thumbed it...... I don't know if he learned anything from that but *I* really enjoyed it.... LOL

    Obviously I wasn't OOA but I acted it well enough that he really thought I was so that sort of 1/2 qualifies I guess. LOL.... I still laugh when I think about the look on his face. :)

    R..
     
  14. sunnydiver

    sunnydiver Guest

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    My AAO was from my buddy at 15 feet on our way back. We where already aware that he couldn't make it so I was ready to give him mine octo so we could complete our dive. It was much more beautiful to swim under water then above. So, I don't know if I have to consider this as a real AAO situation :), we choose to finish our dive with one tank and we already where like for 4 min at 15.

    But I am happy that I never experienced AAO at 90.

    But in our group another a guy experienced AAO when he started to hyperventilate.... somewhere at 90!! He had a 15l. bottle on his back and in less then 15 minutes, he sucked it completely empty. His buddy (girlfriend), helped him out. He told to us that he wasn't anymore aware for what was happening and thought that he wouldn't make it!! (scary thoughts!!). They ascent a bit to fast, they didn't make no any safety stop. But luckily for them (and us) they didn’t get bent. After this he stopped for two days with diving.
     
  15. SCUBAMedicBill

    SCUBAMedicBill Nassau Grouper

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    Well, I only had one OOA incidents in 25 years, which of course was not smart, but definitely enough. I was doing a night dive and was already in route back to shore. Of course on the way I came across forest of seaweed and about a million and one lobsters. As I looked and pondered the thought of grabbing some, my air ran out. Luckily I was close to shore and I had a spare pony bottle, so I just changed regulators and told the lobsters "I'll be back".

    But a friend of mine had a little scarier OOA experience. He was doing some cave diving in Florida and was about 80' down and was in the cave quite a way. I'm not sure if he was alone, of his buddy was with him. He was using a J valve on his tank and when started to feel that low air resistance, he reached back to hit the J valve for that much needed reserve. Well, during a travel through the cave he must have hit the valve on a rock and was already in reserve. He made a hasty CESA to the surface, of course after making his way out of the cave. He luckily did not suffer any problems from the ascent, and needless to say he never relied on the J valve again.

    Stay well and dive safe

    Bill
    :) :)
     
  16. radagalf

    radagalf Scuba Instructor

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    I was setting up the floats and the underwater 100 foot line for the navigation dive of an Advanced Open Water course. Set one float, strung the reel 100 feet and attaching it to the bottom of the other float when I took a breath, and encountered some resistance... OK this is not good. I have about one minute of work left to do here.

    So I basically did a non-swimming CESA breath, all the while finishing securing the reel line to the bottom of the float. Took my next breath which gave me about half a normal breath and no more. Finished the job and looked up, headed up, performed a perfect CESA.

    Needless to say the float depth was 20 feet, so I wasn't all that worried about being able to perform a CESA.
     
  17. NJDiveGirl

    NJDiveGirl Nassau Grouper

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    Had a similar situation - my buddy (boyfriend) and I were diving the Duane at night at about 100ft. I was breathing thru my reg when suddenly I was getting more water than air. I decided I wasnt going to panic and grabbed my pony reg and began breathing off that. I signalled over to him and I grabbed his BC while he grabbed my and we slowly ascended - did our 5 minute safety stop and upon surfacing were almost immediately picked up by the boat (my guess is its tough to get lost at night with an HID light to signal them! But thats another story).

    mY point - I dont really want to depend TOTALLY on a buddy for air - knowing I have a pony bottle with me certainly gives me added comfort and extra air!
     
  18. sealkie

    sealkie Scuba Instructor

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    On a night dive in the Galapagos my primary reg hose ruptured - I was till getting air and started a normal ascent being ready to turn it into a CESA but my buddy had heard the bang and grabbed my leg and pulled me back - I took his reg - we man handles 2 cameras and 2 lights into a manageble position - did the asent + safety stop - no big deal at all
     
  19. DeputyDan

    DeputyDan Surface Interval Member

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    She is 12 and it seems "to me anyhow" that she checks her gauges after every breath.

    When she hits 1500 psi she is checking mine as ofter as she checks hers.

    I don't say anything (better safe that sorry) and its her comfort level.

    And yes I know there could be equip. problems - I just had to comment.
     
  20. Dive4Life

    Dive4Life Barracuda

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    I have never had one, but I had a buddy who came close once. The guy had burned all his air going down the anchor line in some wicked current. He had just gotten AOW certified and it was his first night dive without an instructor. Anyways, he decided to kick like a bat out of hell on the line instead of just dragging himself hand over hand. Yeah, the current was so bad there was around 120 ft of scope. The guy almost burned all of his air by the time we hit the bottom and he didn't bother to stop and check while he fought his way down the line. We got to the bottom and he looked at his spg, and realized he was below 800 psi, the dude flipped and forgot where the line was, it was only 20ft away with a strobe going, had to escort him back to the line and go up with him, I just kept my octo in right hand while fighting the current on the line just in case he did run out. We got to the surface and he never ran out. It was close enough to ruin my dive though. Always check your SPG frequently, even during decent.
     

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