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General Sherman Wreck fatality - South Carolina

Discussion in 'Accidents and Incidents' started by DandyDon, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. DandyDon

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas High Plains
    Authorities investigate scuba diver's death - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather
  2. Shot a man in Reno...

    Shot a man in Reno... Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Connecticut, USA
    Before a huge amount of speculation begins, the Sherman is a civil war era (former blockader or blockade runner, depending on your source) that sank in 1874. It is very deteriorated and generally listed as being at a depth of 47-52ft.

    Coastal Scuba of Myrtle Beach, SC did have a dive scheduled for the Sherman yesterday (according to their website).

    UPDATE from Myrtle Beach Online
    Woman identified in Little River diving death investigation

    By Amanda Kelley - akelley@thesunnews.com
    The death of a 43-year-old Massachusetts scuba diver remains under investigation Wednesday. Karen Murphy was found about six miles off the coast of Little River at the General Sherman Wreck site Tuesday, said Tamara Willard, Horry County Deputy Coroner. There’s no reason to believe her death is suspicious and there were no signs of trauma, Willard said.

    Murphy was pronounced dead at Seacoast Medical Center after being found unresponsive in the water around 10 a.m. Tuesday, Willard said. Following a Wednesday morning autopsy though, Willard said the cause of death is still not known and may take longer than normal to determine. A toxicology screening and other tests will be done in an effort to determine what happened to Murphy. There are several possibilities involved with a scuba diving accident and Willard said she couldn’t pinpoint one cause without further testing.
    The autopsy report may take more than the normal 12 weeks to complete, she said.
    Murphy was with a group on a chartered dive boat, but no information about the group or the boat was immediately available.The U.S. Coast Guard is also investigating. The Coast Guard office in Georgetown deferred comment about the investigation to a spokesman in Charleston who did not immediately return phone calls Wednesday.

    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  3. DandyDon

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas High Plains
    One of the other divers on that trip is placing some blame on the Operator...

    Nurse says deadly scuba accident possibly avoidable : News : CarolinaLive.com
  4. AfterDark

    AfterDark Solo Diver

  5. CT-Rich

    CT-Rich Solo Diver

    makes you want to go out and empty/restock the first aid kit..... and maybe run some drills. Really sad for all involved, the crew may or may not have been able to change the outcome, but they are going to have to live with the memory of all they didn't do...
  6. Mike

    Mike Great White

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Denver, Colorado
    Not to say the operator shouldn't have up to date oxygen equipment on board, but what does it have to do with saving this woman's life? She was unresponsive, found floating on the surface, they were obviously doing CPR to her, not treating her for DCS, if she never revived, never started breathing what did the oxygen equipment have to do with anything?

    Real blame would be found by asking the usual question "Where was her buddy?"
  7. AfterDark

    AfterDark Solo Diver

    I think having to be asked a few times to call the CG is more unsettling than the O2. What was the capt waiting for, the movie to have a happy ending? He should have been calling the CG on his own as soon as she was found. Sounds to me like the capt and crew were standing around gazing at their navels.
    “According to Sterbenz andWarren, a young male employee of Coastal Scuba pulled Murphy on to the boat andthat's when Sterbenz and Warren started trying to revive her.
    But Sterbenz said that's when Coastal Scuba's crew failed to act.
    "I said did you call the Coast Guard?" she said she barked to theboat's captain. "He said no."
    The Coast Guard said its team was called sometime after 10 a.m., at least tenminutes after Sterbenz said Murphy was found.
    Sterbenz said while they were trying to save Murphy's life on the boat, thedivers Murphy had been diving with were still underwater.
    "I said you need to get everyone on board. Where is the Coast Guard?"

    Also did one of the crew just get done smoking a fatty?

    “As for the tanks that attach to it, Sterbenz said the first was empty and an employee threw the other overboard.
    "Poor young man kind of freaked out," said Sterbenz. "He said it's going to blow, and he threw the oxygen overboard."

    These things probably didn’t contribute to her
    death but what if she had been close to death? The capt is playing pocket pool and the crew is freaking out. Not much help.
    Stephan Mc likes this.
  8. tracydr

    tracydr Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina, 3 miles from South Carolina
    Not that anything could probably have been done In this situation, with or without oxygen.
    I have found that good operators generally show everybody where the oxygen is before the start of a trip and that it's functioning. I think it's actually a matter of pride with good Captains to show that they have a good oxygen set-up.
    As a physician, I usually will ask if they don't show it off. I want to know, in the case of an emergency, where the stuff is. I also carry a pocket mask in my bag.
    I've only been on one trip where I needed to use the oxygen. Thankfully, it was a fairly mild case of DCS. Unfortunately, we were way the heck out at Wolf Island in the Galapegos. It was a long day to get back to a chamber. I was so glad that it wasn't a more serious DCS hit. Apparently, they don't have any type of Life Flight system in the Galapegos so if you take a hit, you're in for a long, long boat ride to get to the chamber.
    Anyway, I would recommend asking to see the oxygen and first aid kit when starting a trip, if you know how to use it. At least you can verify that it's on board, functioning and know where it is.
    AfterDark and Quero like this.
  9. CT-Rich

    CT-Rich Solo Diver

    a fair question. But I would think giving O2 with a resusitation bag would have been valuable. I am not a paramedic, but if she had reduced lung volume as a result of fluid or an embolism, more O2 in that reduced volume would be valuable if there was any hope at all. From the water conditions reported, she may have gotten hammered by the boat hull, but that is just a random guess. There are no reports from the other people in the water. having two nurses on board certainly increased this womans chances for survival and quick responces by the crew would have helped. But, like I said above it might not have changed anything. If she had a massive stroke in the water nobody was going to save her, however, I would hate to be one of the crew and have to go to bed thinking about what I did or didn't do. Same thing goes for the buddy. Twelve weeks is a long time to mull over your mistakes without resolution.
  10. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many.

    # of Dives:
    Location: Woodinville, WA
    Whether the diver could have been resuscitated or not, I think this is a very cautionary tale for boat operators. This safety equipment will, with any luck, NEVER need to be used -- but when it is needed, it simply has to be functional. I'm surprised that, for a license, there is no requirement that the O2 setup be checked once a year, and the masks replaced and the bottles filled if necessary. But perhaps the boat rules are written primarily for boats where no one gets off them on purpose.
    tracydr likes this.

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