Unplanned deco / OOA incident

Discussion in 'Near Misses and Lessons Learned' started by Krazyklaws, May 28, 2012.

  1. Krazyklaws

    Krazyklaws Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Wales, UK
    I had an interesting experience on a recent trip to the Philippines.

    There were 6 guests on the boat, and two local guides. All reasonably experienced recreational divers - no clever stuff on the cards.

    Dives 1 and 2 were uneventful, other than me having an absolute hissy fit with one of the Russian chaps with the group. He had a fancy SLR with twin strobes and insisted on lying full length on the coral to use it. I got very angry watching him kick up huge chunks of previously pristine soft coral. This resulted in much underwater tank banging and some very imaginative hand signals. My tirade continued on the boat. Anyway... I digress.....

    Third dive of the day, after a relatively short surface interval. Dive plan was 18m / 60min dive, gentle drift from one mooring line to another. My buddy (who is also my partner) and I dived to about 18m, before getting low on no deco time and (cursing the choice to dive on air rather than nitrox) shallowed up for the rest of the dive. It was a stunning reef, we had a camera so had plenty to keep us interested in shallower water. About 30 mins into the dive, we spotted the afore mentioned photograper chap down at 20m taking pictures. His buddy was obviously as low on no-deco time as we were and was up at 5-8m. Interesting. One of the guides was pretty close to the photographer so we left them be. About 5 minutes later, they swim past us, photographer breathing off the guide's tank. My buddy and I exchanged raised eyebrows but didn't think too much of it. The next time we saw him, he was with the other guide - breathing off *his* tank. The first guide was rising to the surface.

    By now, we were coming up on 60 minutes and almost under the boat. The reef was shallow, so my partner and I long cleared our safety stops mooching about looking for interesting macro shots. The guide caught my attention and asked me how much air I had left. I'm pretty good on air, it had been a shallow dive, so I had well over half a tank left. I signalled as much and the guide asked if I'd share air with our photographer friend. Hugely confused, I swam over. The guide told me that our friend was OOA, and showed me his computer - it was showing a 6 minute stop needed below 5m!!! So he was out of air and had hit deco time. I gave him my octo.

    He was obviously a bit stressed out, so I tried to keep him calm and settled us to hold on onto a rock as there was a little current running. There were no dramas - I had tonnes of air left (although he sucked through it at an alarming rate!), and we waited out his stop. His computer cleared, he handed me back my octo and bolted for the boat. My buddy and I followed straight after at a slightly more conservative pace.

    I found out later that he was qualified to PADI Rescue level and had over 150 dives logged. How can you get to that level of experience, manage to clock deco time *and* run out of air?

    I got a curt 'thank you' from him when we got back on the boat. Now I wasn't expecting a declaration of undying love or anything, but the tight git didn't even buy me a beer in the bar that night! Can you believe that?
    MarkHerm likes this.
  2. miked

    miked Surface Interval Member

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Park Ridge NJ
    Maybe he was embarrassed or ashamed of what happened (what he got himself into?).
    Even if that were the case, he should have been more pleasant, and appreciative.
    Nice work on your part.
    BTW, what was the guide doing while you were sharing air??
  3. divin'dog

    divin'dog Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Western MA
    No surprise. It takes all types... Certifications (his rescue) really don't mean anything unless you practice what you learned, otherwise it just becomes an empty title.
    Jax likes this.
  4. ScubaSteve

    ScubaSteve Wow.....what a DB

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Acton, Ontario
    I for one am not surprised but I would also not worry too much about. Guaranteed he was embarrassed as anything.....especially considering it was you...he who had been yelling at him earlier. I bet he was very thankful but could not get past the shame and embarrassment. My take anyway.
  5. BluewaterSail

    BluewaterSail Happy in Doubles ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Jerusalem, Israel
    This is why the dependency on computers is so scary. Some people take no responsibility for planning their dives.
  6. Krazyklaws

    Krazyklaws Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Wales, UK
    He was almost OOA too after sharing - so had surfaced, but was watching from alongside the boat.
  7. supergaijin

    supergaijin Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Indonesia
    "I think computer mistake" said to me after a dive where another 'experienced' Russian's D9 was in error mode.

    He was diving with another guide the day before, had evidently gone in to deco and surfaced without doing his stop. I was checking computers at our safety stop the next morning and saw his computer in error mode. So not only had he omitted deco obligations the day before, he then went diving the next day and then wanted our spare computer to make the second dive that morning.

    It's hard to know whether to laugh or cry sometimes.
    Jax likes this.
  8. jar546

    jar546 Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: South Florida
    He was probably using a Suunto computer
  9. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many.

    # of Dives:
    Location: Woodinville, WA
    We dove in Lembeh a few years back with a fellow who was an avid macro photographer. He got his own dive guide, because the resort knew that, if he found something interesting to photograph, he would stay underwater until he ran out of gas. It is amazing how careless of their own safety people can be.
  10. DivemasterDennis

    DivemasterDennis ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lakewood, Colorado
    In my experience, divers who run out of air are either: a) distracted, b) inactive divers who are inattentive to their gauges, or c) are oblivious to an equipment issue. On the facts given I will go with a combination of a and b. Photos, bad habits with respect to the reef; non-responsive to warnings. I think I have dove with this guy.
  11. soltari675

    soltari675 Single Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Missouri
    My guess is he saw something cool and went to take several pictures to get that perfect shot and never paid attention to his computer. Likely his first time with a good camera setup and got over excited. I have gotten very into photography lately and I force myself to look at my computer ever two or three shots, just to be sure. No picture is worth a life. Hopefully this guy learned something and won't get into trouble this way again.
  12. gcbryan

    gcbryan Great White

    # of Dives:
    Location: Seattle
    That's actually not a lot of experience and it's at the point where something like "a little" deco probably didn't bother him. With less dives it wouldn't have happened (perhaps) as he would still be blindly following the rules )

    He would still be laying on the reef but would have plenty of air :)

    Photographers do lose track of time and aren't always fun to dive with but even a photographer usually knows when to put the camera away and do what is necessary at the end of the dive.

    In other words this is just a personality "fault" more than likely and not much anyone can do about it (other than not diving with him).
  13. Ragnar

    Ragnar Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Guam Via CT
    That's my take, I'd bet he was arrogant more than thankful as any normal person would have apologized more than once and bought beer. Not to classify all photographers or Russians, but I have had serious problems a few times with Russian photographers, nearly did a James Bond underwater fight scene once but came to by senses:)
  14. ianr33

    ianr33 Orca

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Wah Wah Land
    I really don't see how this can be the divers fault.

    I'm sure he would have been fine with an Air Integrated Computer that displayed Air Time remaining.
  15. dpaustex

    dpaustex Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives:
    Location: lost somewhere under the sea....(and central Texas
    Hmmm...as bad as his air consumption was, it would seem pretty near impossible for him to be in deco after just 3 dives. Sounds to me like his computer has an issue. If he was doing a lot of swimming at depth (funny, because we photographers are notorious for moving very slowly, and very little), he could have burned through a lot of air in a hurry. Still doesn't explain the deco.

    If I were the DM on the trip, he would have sat out remaining dives until he could learn not to touch anything. Simply inexcuseable to touch the corals. Also no more diving for an OOA.

    I agree with others, too, the "card carriers" mean nothing. I've seen peole with a basic OW cert that had amazing buoyancy, giving my instructor skills a run for the money.
  16. tstormdiver

    tstormdiver Tech Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Kentucky
    A lot of operations have similar rules regarding air in cylinders at surfacing, deco, buddies/ solo diving, contact with wildlife & such. I wonder how many of these operations actually enforce the rules & how many let it slide for the monetary gains of keeping a client happy.
  17. Tigerman

    Tigerman Orca

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Norway
    Now, this is a bit off topic, but to answer your question, risking to offend some russian divers (who by being here is probably not the "average russian diver")..
    Where Ive been travelling there has been quite a few dive ops that caters to and advertise towards russians and they seem much more likely to "let things slide". Worst Ive seen is people drinking vodka in the SI.
    Personally I avoid ops that cater to russians, simply because Ive seen too much **** going on with them both in and out of the water to be assed having to deal more with them than I absolutely have to.
    Sadly many of them seem to have no respect of the people, features or other other visitors to the area where they go on vacation :(

    Back to the topic, good job by the op for understaning and CARING about the troubles of a diver that he clearly didnt like much by that point :)
    I did bail out a couple of divers before and none of them would let me leave the bar without being well hydrated afterwards ;)
    Gunpowderboy and Krazyklaws like this.
  18. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Administrator Staff Member

    # of Dives:
    Location: Boulder, CO
    I suspect that a photographer who is too wrapped up in his work to look at his computer might not look at a watch, either.


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