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Thread: Death at Terrigal - NSW, Australia

 


  1. #11
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    DandyDon's Avatar
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    That looks like UP's "Should I die..." statement stuck at the top of this forum. If so, glad it was shared. I plaggerized it heavily for a letter to my daughter...
    Quote Originally Posted by katepnatl View Post
    Scubadivesydney, thanks so much for providing your first-hand version of what happened - and for for your role in trying to save the diver.
    Indeed, for that and more. Sounds like you & your divers dig a great job at giving the poor fellow his best chance along with the lifesaving crew. Depressing that it didn't succeed I suppose, but you all have much to be proud of.

    It's common that we get crap from news stories and it's rare that we get first hand accounts to correct the mistakes previously offered, explain what really happened, answer our questions, etc. Sounds like there was a gear problem which might have lead to complications or played a role?
    You can test the tanks you breathe or - dive on hope.
    Testing is safer...


    Great news for vacation divers who cannot talk themselves into buying a personal CO tank tester!

    >> Rent one for a week or longer here <<

    Yeah it's just the air we breath - at depth!


  2. #12
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    I'm the buddy of the diver who died, who was a good friend of mine. It really troubled me that the news report was so incorrect. I would like to tell the real story. What really happened is that we were doing a shore dive next to Skillion, which we did several times before without any difficulties. We came to the water and checked water conditions first, which were good at this point, so we decided to come back gear-up and do the dive. We started our dive at 9:20am and went around skillion. The water conditions were good with good visibility and we were diving next to the wall for about 30 mins after which I had around 120 bars left and indicated that we should go back. Just to clarify, my buddy was our leader, he had much more experience diving than me, he was in a dry suite with twin tanks diving almost every week and snorkeling/free diving in the area several times a week. He was a good swimmer and was going often to the pool to practice free diving. My air was always running out faster than his and I always had to indicate when to turn back. My buddy was also doing most of the navigation and I was rarely checking my compass. We got farther east on the way back, where water was dipper at around 20 meters. I started to get low on air and we decided to surface to check how far we are from the shore. I was surprised when my buddy didn't do his 3 minutes safety stop, I did 2 minutes swim at safety zone watching my buddy swiming at the surface. When I surfaced I asked my buddy why he didn't do his safety stop and he mentioned that he put different clothing under his dry suite, which gave him more buoyancy. He seemed to be fine and we didn't go dipper than 20 meters with most dive at around 12 meters, so I didn't worry me. My buddy wanted to dive again after we surfaced and realized we still had to swim far, but I was at 35 bars when we surfaced and we decided to swim on the surface. We were swimming toward the shore, but the swell was getting worse and I told my buddy, we should probably swim under water for 5 minutes, which would be easier. We agreed on that and dived again to around 5 meters, he was diving a bit dipper at 7 meters. I was getting very low on air and we decided to surface again, I had around 20 bars left when we surfaced, but it was worth it since we were quite close to the shore. I decided to go straight to the exit point, which was close to the rocks, but was the fastest way. I saw my buddy swimming farther from the rocks at which point we separated. I assumed he had more air and he decided to take the safest route, which was longer. I straggled to get back to the shore with the current pulling towards the rocks, when I came out I was exhausted and saw my buddy swimming to the shore. He was not indicating he had any trouble and was getting closer to the shore, so I didn’t realize he was in danger at first. He started to get pulled closer to the skillion rocks and I saw he was getting in trouble. At this time I realized he is in trouble as the swell was getting even stronger. I knew I wouldn’t be able to swim all the way back to him and dragged him to the shore, as I was exhausted from the exit. So, I rushed to the top to call for help, when I was running for help I heard my buddy screaming for help and that was the first time he indicated he was in trouble. When I got to the road there was a woman with the mobile, who apparently saw that we were in trouble and was already calling emergency. I made sure she indicated where he is stuck exactly and rushed back to the shore to see if I could help my buddy in any way and guide the rescuers boat. When I was coming back I saw my buddy floating on his back much closer to the rocks than before and he appeared to be unconscious at this point. I went to the rocks to see if I could pull him out in any way and saw the rescue was coming our way. I started to wave to the boat and point at my buddy. The rescue boat noticed my buddy and me, they were very fast to get to my buddy and pull him out. It probably took less than 10 minutes since my buddy called for help and was pulled out to the boat. Unfortunately, despite all the effort to get him out it was too late to resuscitate him. I’ve done everything I could to save my buddy. I’m deeply shocked with what happened and not sure if I will ever dive again. We both did a lot of dives and snorkeling all around central coast and sometimes had to exit in even bigger swell and strong current. My buddy was very experienced with probably close 100 shore dives in the area and we did shore dives with longer surface swims with him before.

  3. #13
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    bleeb's Avatar
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    Condolences for your loss. Thank you for your report. Hopefully we can collectively derive something positive from this situation by learning any lessons that can be learned and helping someone else avoid a similar tragedy in the future, all while respecting the victim and all those involved.
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  4. #14
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    Thank you for your report. I know this must be a terribly difficult time for you.
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  5. #15
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    Thanks Dvbuddy. I hope we can be supportive of your recovery here. Sad tale.
    You can test the tanks you breathe or - dive on hope.
    Testing is safer...


    Great news for vacation divers who cannot talk themselves into buying a personal CO tank tester!

    >> Rent one for a week or longer here <<

    Yeah it's just the air we breath - at depth!


  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dvbuddy View Post
    I'm the buddy of the diver who died, who was a good friend of mine. It really troubled me that the news report was so incorrect. I would like to tell the real story. What really happened is that we were doing a shore dive next to Skillion, which we did several times before without any difficulties. We came to the water and checked water conditions first, which were good at this point, so we decided to come back gear-up and do the dive. We started our dive at 9:20am and went around skillion. The water conditions were good with good visibility and we were diving next to the wall for about 30 mins after which I had around 120 bars left and indicated that we should go back. Just to clarify, my buddy was our leader, he had much more experience diving than me, he was in a dry suite with twin tanks diving almost every week and snorkeling/free diving in the area several times a week. He was a good swimmer and was going often to the pool to practice free diving. My air was always running out faster than his and I always had to indicate when to turn back. My buddy was also doing most of the navigation and I was rarely checking my compass. We got farther east on the way back, where water was dipper at around 20 meters. I started to get low on air and we decided to surface to check how far we are from the shore. I was surprised when my buddy didn't do his 3 minutes safety stop, I did 2 minutes swim at safety zone watching my buddy swiming at the surface. When I surfaced I asked my buddy why he didn't do his safety stop and he mentioned that he put different clothing under his dry suite, which gave him more buoyancy. He seemed to be fine and we didn't go dipper than 20 meters with most dive at around 12 meters, so I didn't worry me. My buddy wanted to dive again after we surfaced and realized we still had to swim far, but I was at 35 bars when we surfaced and we decided to swim on the surface. We were swimming toward the shore, but the swell was getting worse and I told my buddy, we should probably swim under water for 5 minutes, which would be easier. We agreed on that and dived again to around 5 meters, he was diving a bit dipper at 7 meters. I was getting very low on air and we decided to surface again, I had around 20 bars left when we surfaced, but it was worth it since we were quite close to the shore. I decided to go straight to the exit point, which was close to the rocks, but was the fastest way. I saw my buddy swimming farther from the rocks at which point we separated. I assumed he had more air and he decided to take the safest route, which was longer. I straggled to get back to the shore with the current pulling towards the rocks, when I came out I was exhausted and saw my buddy swimming to the shore. He was not indicating he had any trouble and was getting closer to the shore, so I didn’t realize he was in danger at first. He started to get pulled closer to the skillion rocks and I saw he was getting in trouble. At this time I realized he is in trouble as the swell was getting even stronger. I knew I wouldn’t be able to swim all the way back to him and dragged him to the shore, as I was exhausted from the exit. So, I rushed to the top to call for help, when I was running for help I heard my buddy screaming for help and that was the first time he indicated he was in trouble. When I got to the road there was a woman with the mobile, who apparently saw that we were in trouble and was already calling emergency. I made sure she indicated where he is stuck exactly and rushed back to the shore to see if I could help my buddy in any way and guide the rescuers boat. When I was coming back I saw my buddy floating on his back much closer to the rocks than before and he appeared to be unconscious at this point. I went to the rocks to see if I could pull him out in any way and saw the rescue was coming our way. I started to wave to the boat and point at my buddy. The rescue boat noticed my buddy and me, they were very fast to get to my buddy and pull him out. It probably took less than 10 minutes since my buddy called for help and was pulled out to the boat. Unfortunately, despite all the effort to get him out it was too late to resuscitate him. I’ve done everything I could to save my buddy. I’m deeply shocked with what happened and not sure if I will ever dive again. We both did a lot of dives and snorkeling all around central coast and sometimes had to exit in even bigger swell and strong current. My buddy was very experienced with probably close 100 shore dives in the area and we did shore dives with longer surface swims with him before.
    dvbuddy, thanks very much for letting us know. Myself and the other divers were not sure what happened leading up to our arrival. We only knew what you briefly told us back on the beach as I said in other posts.
    Please do not stop diving. Accidents happen.
    As I stated in a previous post, you did everything correctly. If you had gone back into the water to help your mate, we could have had a double tragedy.
    If you had not been on those rocks waving your arms we would not have spotted him as quickly.

    Our deepest condolences are with you.

    We were not able to swap details with you on the day, but myself and some of the other divers would like to meet or even just chat with you privately.
    Please contact me via my email address as I see you don't have messaging enabled on here.
    scubadivesydney@gmail.com

    You made the correct decision to stay on land, especially in that surf so close to the rocks.

  7. #17
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    Very sad indeed. Scubadivesydney, were they diving on the south side of the Skillion as has been reported or on the north side next to the Skillion Cave? Not clear from all the reports.

    The one thing that is certain, the Police will not seek independent expert review of what happened and mistakes will be made as to the cause of this accident.
    Michael
    Sydney, Australia
    There is no such thing as a bad dive, just some that are better than others

  8. #18
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    the south side, entry at the other side of the oval furthest away from the boat ramp.

  9. #19
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    And the media will stuff it up.... these truths follow as night does day!

    Dvbuddy. Thank you for posting your story. I hope you find comfort in knowing that you responded to the emergency in exactly the right way. I also hope you will find some comfort in the words of your fellow divers here. Scubadivesydney and the rest of the rescuers.. it is a comfort to know that in time of need divers jump in and do the right thing to help. Sad as I am to hear of one fatality ....I am just as glad the rescue was done by people who could achieve the rescue without additional lives being lost. Well done all and thanks for posting so we may live and honour the lost member of our community! Condolences to the family and friends involved.

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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by clownfishsydney View Post
    Very sad indeed. Scubadivesydney, were they diving on the south side of the Skillion as has been reported or on the north side next to the Skillion Cave? Not clear from all the reports.

    The one thing that is certain, the Police will not seek independent expert review of what happened and mistakes will be made as to the cause of this accident.
    Check your email re diver location on our arrival. dvbuddy can only advise where they were diving up until we arrived on scene. (see his statement above if you missed it)

    Regarding the police and independent expert review: refer to your own comments in the Tina Watson case :P
    We are confident we gave every little piece of info to them, however it was not a signed statement just info he noted in his book. We didn't get a chance to go over what was written down. Myself and at least one other rescuer has taken notes as soon as we got home to ensure if questioned again later we can refer back to facts, not anything we may confuse later.

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