Discussion in 'Accidents and Incidents' started by DandyDon, Jul 22, 2012.
[UPDATE] Diver Missing in the Wacissa River
Another..... This year is not turning out to be a good one for the cave diving commmunity. Whether or not any of the victims were cave certified or not, it still affects the entire diving community.
They entered an overhead without a guideline evidently and with the murkiness, lost sight of visible light. Even if he had stopped where he could still see visible light, it possible that his buddies may have churned it up on their exit and caused him to become helplessly lost. Not trying to speculate but a tradjety that others may be able to learn from and I feel for the family and friends left behind.
J Joshua Cox is the OW divers name, not cave certified.
UPDATE: Body of missing diver found in Jefferson County - WTXL ABC 27
The body should be extricated by the end of the day. There's less than 200' of cave there.
This really is a replay of "A Deceptively Easy Way to Die". So tragic . . .
Sad. Too young to go. A death too easily avoided.
Some things never change.
Body has been recovered.
These guys had one hell of a day. OW divers reading this take note. You are not trained to handle any overhead diving. Everytime we have to go after a body its more dangerous for us. So for your family and ours, dont do it.
The earlier article has been moved and updated here: UPDATE: Diver's body recovered in Wacissa River - WTXL ABC 27
Last time I was at Big Blue there was a pull rope to get you through the bottle off restriction, which started within sight of light. When I was there, it made getting into Devil's Ear look like child's play, hence the need for the pull rope. The diver did not have a buddy with him on this dive-- he was smart enough to refuse to enter, this was a solo dive. From what I've told, decreased visibility wasn't likely to have been the main thing that caused a problem.
Saturday night Dan Orr gave a presentation on diving fatalities at the DAN BBQ at Portage Quarry in Ohio. One thing that came out of that was that among TRAINED cave divers deaths have been on the decline since the 70's. And it is felt that's because of the great work the cave community has done in getting the word out among themselves about the need for training, experience, and good judgment when doing caves.
However among those not cave or even cavern trained, deaths in caves have not gone the same way. And there is some thought that this is due to the lack of emphasis of the dangers of overhead environments in beginning classes. In order not to scare off new divers the REAL risks of this activity (meaning SCUBA in general) are glossed over, minimized, or in some cases not really covered at all. What I see this resulting in is a clear lack of respect for those risks and so divers are continuing to go into the places, get into trouble, and dying.
I show the "Deceptively Easy Way to Die" video early on to every open water class and again in AOW. I make no bones about the dangers and the actual results of doing something so stupid as to enter an overhead without proper training. And then follow that up with little tests in open water to make sure the lesson took. The funny thing is, to me, that the one of the producers of the video does not require it to be shown by every instructor to their students in the open water class. I wonder how many dead divers would still be with us if that had been required viewing?
After seeing that presentation I would personally like to thank the cave community for the work that it has done. Unfortunately I also have to say shame on the recreational community for that which you have chosen not to.
Big kudos to the recovery divers. They risk their lives to go and do a difficult job.
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This makes me hyperventilate just reading it.
Don't worry, you wouldn't pay me enough money in this world and life time to dive in a cave, cavern or a wreck that you have to run a trail line. Wouldn't even go with someone who would be qualified.... Hell NO
Do we know what the diver's actual training level was? I find it unreal that an OW diver (without side mount?) would crawl into a hole as described above, then through the first restriction (which sounds tight) and then wedge himself between the ceiling and the floor so that a recovery team (of exceptional cave divers) battles to free him. I must wonder to myself at what point in this undertaking the diver stopped to think that, maybe he was beyond his training.
Once again, the rescue divers were using "Oxygen" tanks. Reporters can never get it right.
I have heard it said before that divers who are caught in siltouts and disoriented and panicky can ram or fight their way into places that are virtually unbelievable. I think that comment was made a couple of times during the search for Ben McDaniel in Vortex, where people were questioning why the searchers were going into the places they were.
The problem is that by the time someone "recognizes" they are "beyond their training", panic has (or is in the process of) set in. IOW - they don't know what they don't know.
The importance of being properly trained (in various environments) is that one has added the knowledge and skills necessary for survival in those environments.
If I may relate this to another field (firearms) where training can keep one from having a catastrophic event. For instructors (and I-candidates), there is a mantra - "knowledge, skills, and attitude". A student may possess the first 2 (even exceptionally so) but if the proper attitude is lacking, there is a no-go.
I think, in diving (as in other sports/activities), some people's lackadaisical (sp?) attitude or the lack of respect for the environment can result in catastrophic results.
My driver's license states I am qualified to drive a regular vehicle plus bumper-pull trailer. It does NOT allow me to even think I can drive an 18-wheeler.
Condolences to the family and many thanks to the recovery personnel.
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