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From my understanding,... & this could be wrong (please correct me if I am), a lot of these accidents occur from divers that are not prepared for diving in deep & very cold waters of some of the quarries of the region. Gilboa is one of them. Although some of the accidents are medical related or somehing else, many of them are divers that likely experience regulator freeze- ups & freeflows at depth, freak out & then bolt to the surface. I have never dove this particular quarry, but frequently dive another that is very similar in KY. I have had a freeze- up & free flow myself (breathed off the regulator until I reached the surface) & have had to assist a buddy who had it happen to him. I had to slow his ascent when he panicked & bolted. Any more,.... I never go deep without wearing redundant air supplies (double cylinders & a bail- out bottle). I also teach my students how to breathe off a free flowing regulator, also telling them that if they dive the local quarries enough, it is a matter of not "if" it will happen, but "when" it will. If you plan to dive in these environments, get some training &/ or mentoring to do it safely & carry a redundant air supply with you,.... just in case. These colder waters can be dived in safely, but can not be taken lightly or for granted.
Last edited by tstormdiver; June 12th, 2011 at 06:50 AM.
because people go over there limits where they are not trained enough..... or nitrogen narcoses kicks in when they are on a deep dive and they will run out of air at deph.. and the bottom of the quarry is 37 degrees year round and your regulator free flows at 150ft and your out of air before you hit the surface.
Keep in mind that there are no details regarding this incident. Past incidents that I have been aware of have been medical related.
In terms of the quarry itself, Gilboa is the deepest quarry in Northwest Ohio. The deep side of the quarry had depths to about 130 feet. At depth, it is COLD. As those above have said, regulator free flows are a concern if you don't have the appropriate gear or properly serviced gear. Mike (the owner) has a strict policy that anyone who wishes do dive the deep side, needs to file a deep dive plan and be interviewed for approval by Mike. Many don't particularly like this procedure, however, in most cases, it is those people who don't have the appropriate gear or experience to dive deep in the cold conditions. Events can happen even to those properly prepared, so experience and underwater calmness are key.
Last weekend a buddy and I dove the deep side for a practice deco dive for an upcoming Lake Huron tech trip. The dive was cold (I think bottom temps were like 41 degrees). Doing our deco stops, we were both chilled and were shaking on the deco stops. This is not an easy place (the deep side) to dive. Please be prepared (both gear and experience) and follow Mikes guidelines and rules.
I hope soon we will get more details on this incident as there is nothing to go on currently. My post about the deep side is to help others understand the location and has nothing to do with this or any other incident at Gilboa.
With respect to your planned diving at Gilboa keep in mind that while it is one body of water there is clear definition between the shallow and deep side.
The deep side is demarcated by a line and obvious cliff. Done right with the correct skill and gear I think the record is good. When I got to dive there I was diving with a local instructor as a buddy and Mike was not bashful about asking if I had cold water experience and what my gear configuration was. He also reviewed our plan, a written plan was required as I recall.
The shallow side is a conservative recreation depth and has lot's of fun stuff to see and practice diving over, under through and around. Lot's of fish life in the shallower warmer water too. It was a fun and unique experience.
Dive by the rules, within your ability and you should have a nice time.
Likewise this is not incident specific but offered as perspective.
Last edited by spectrum; June 12th, 2011 at 02:12 PM.
This is a very sad day for all of us!
I am very certain that all precautions were taken by the staff to keep all divers safe even from themselves.
These accidents are not always preventable do to unforeseen or underlying health issues or just flat diver failure to cope.
It is futile to speculate on the incident it is rather best to wait for the report that will be following.
When I hear it I will be sure to post it in the appropriate forum with all the respect to the family of the deceased.
We all feel this loss as a local community and my thoughts and prayers go out to the family and those involved.
Gilboa has the deepest water in the State of Ohio - it is 140' in the pumping hole.
I dove a deco dive on the deep side of Gilboa yesterday and my dive Buddy was one of the 3 EMT's that were present when this diver died and he tried to resuscitate him.
I was told that the diver was 64 years old, allegedly hadn't dove in 14 years - except he had used SCUBA in a pool in preparation for the Gilboa dive.
The diver was wearing a wetsuit (note: it was learned that it takes more than one pair of dive shears to cut off a wetsuit).
The diver was wearing a weight belt with about 24 lbs of weight.
He "may" have had more in his BCD pockets, my buddy was not sure.
The diver was on the shallow side of the quarry and had entered off of one of the training platforms.
I'm not sure which one, but the depths in that area are typically 20-40 feet.
He entered the water and went straight to the bottom.
His buddy followed him down but descended slower due to ear clearing etc. and immediately saw him on the bottom not moving.
His buddy tried to pull him to the surface.
He couldn't get his weight belt to release.
He got him almost to the surface and couldn't hang on and let go.
His buddy then surfaced and blew his whistle.
Three divers were nearby and went down and immediately brought the diver up and onto the platform and the EMT's started to work.
CPR was started and O2 given but he was never revived.
They estimate that it was maybe 4 minutes from when he entered until they had him back out.
I was told that the staff at Gilboa did an excellent job of prepping for the arrival of the rescue crews.
The Staff had cars moved, divers were directed to get out via other platforms, the staff assigned people to perform crowd control.
The sad thing was there were two large OW classes taking place (one down and one prepping to get in) and they saw the activity...
Last edited by Rocketmahn; June 13th, 2011 at 08:59 AM.
"For once you have experienced diving, you will forever walk the Earth with your eyes turned toward the oceans.
For there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
RocketMahn 2009 - with apologies to: Leonardo da Vinci, 1452-1519
The staff at Gilboa know how to respond as do the local emergency responders.
Gilboa is a very busy quarry with thousands of divers each month. There is nothing inherently dangerous about Gilboa outside of it being cold. The deep side is deep and cold so one should be prepared for that. I dive there often and can tell you that more "accidents" happen on the shallow side than do on the deep side.
The quarry operation is top notch, the emergency response plan is first rate, too.
There are more incidents at Gilboa simply because it's one of the busiest in the Midwest.
People keep bringing up the depth. Most of the incidents seem to be on the shallow side. I have been there twice and there was a death on the shallow side the first time I was there and I dove the deep side that day.
I really think it is just the volume of divers. Oronogo, here Missouri is 200 feet deep, has caves to get lost in, and has had fewer deaths, but it is not as busy as Gilboa. Not even close.