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TSandM
January 2nd, 2007, 03:16 AM
Bob's most recent post on the thread about Chad's death in the PNW struck me, as we had been talking about something similar this afternoon, related to the "buddy dragging you to the surface" thread.

A prime tenet of Rescue is not to create two victims, but at least in our class, the scenarios we specifically discussed generally involved one person out of the water, and a "victim" in the water. But what if you are there -- What if you are in the water with someone in distress, who has a serious potential for injury or death? What if the action you need to take to help puts you at risk, whether it's a panicked diver dragging you to the surface, or the possibility (not certainty) of running out of air if you go back to rescue someone who is unresponsive or severely impaired at depth?

Could you abandon someone in trouble, and how would you cope with it if that person were permanently injured or killed as a result?

I'm not kidding . . . These things happen. Lamont was involved in a rescue attempt this spring that failed, though through no fault of his. I know what I do for a living, and I am quite sure that I could not leave someone to die, no matter what the risk involved to me. I read people here blithely saying they'd yank their regulator out of someone else's mouth to avoid the bends, and I shudder to think of how they would feel if the person drowned as a result.

It's a downer topic, but like so many other things, probably something we should all give a little thought to in case it happens.

Jeff Toorish
January 2nd, 2007, 03:37 AM
Not to be crass, but I honestly believe it depends on who the other person is.

I dive with my kids, most often my daughter, and there is nothing in the world that is going to stop me from helping them, nothing.

I also dive with some friends that I believe I would go to pretty great lengths to help, including endangering my own life. As a DiveCon, the same for students.

However, if it was someone from a dive boat that I didn't know and had just been paired with; I'm not so sure. I know I would go to reasonable lengths to assist. I also know that, like you, I have been in more than my share of (non-dive) emergency situations and have done well. But I believe there are limits to what I would do in the situation of diving with a stranger.

The second part of your question is the issue of coping. Also like you, I have been in situations that, despite my best efforts, someone has been injured or died. I think we all cope with that in our own ways. Personally, I don't buy that bravado persona, so I'm sure I would feel remorse, feel terrible. I also believe if I knew I did what I reasonably should have, knowing that we all understand the risks of what we do, I would probably be able to eventually deal with the emotion.

In all honesty, I'm not sure there is a good answer to this question other than what I said at the beginning of my post.
Jeff

Mo2vation
January 2nd, 2007, 03:43 AM
There is no doubt. Absolutely I could do it. I've given this a lot of thought. Here's my firm take on the subject:

I never dive with insta buddies these days. I've reached a place where I just don't need to do that any longer. I say that as a preface to give you a frame of reference. Its like this: I don't dive with strangers. I dive with people I know and love. My wife. My best friends, many good friends, some acquanintances, etc. It wouldn't impact my decision.

To anyone reading this - here's the bottom line. I will not give my life for yours. I love you all. I love you more than I can convey, but there are people on the surface that I love more, and I will not wreck their lifes by dying to save yours. I'll do everything I can for you, short of dying.

If it comes down to you or me, I'll send flowers and I'll sleep fine.

Deal with it, or don't dive with me.

And by the way, I expect the same from you. If I get in a bad situation and its likely I'll kill you having you get me out of it, you need to bolt. I know the risks, and my life is in order. Do not die for me.

---
Ken

ams511
January 2nd, 2007, 03:47 AM
I don't think there is a general answer to this question. Each situation is different. Although maybe it should not matter, would you not do more for someone you know than a stranger? Also what about the level of risk involved to the rescuer? Is this person a buddy or just someone else in the area? What is the probability of success of the rescue?

S. starfish
January 2nd, 2007, 04:04 AM
Fortunately I have only been in one truley life threatening situation (for me) where a buddy of mine ran out of air, panicked and bolted to the surface - the only injury incured was me getting a fractured rib from a fantastic underwater tackle and wrestling match as I crammed my octo into his mouth. That's about as far as I'm willing to go. If the situation involves going up quickly or some such thing where i'm almost guranteed to get seriously injured then buddy's on their own.
Example: One dive a few months ago, we're at 100 or so feet and my buddy's bc starts to auto inflate - long story short he panics and trys holding me in a death grip in an attempt to stay down (we're at about 100-110 ft). After finding al his dumps to be out of my reach as well as mine I saw no option but to make him let go, which invloved a well placed fist. Not something I involved doing, but he really had a much better chance of survival with me being unbent. Fortunately, nobody was, or has been in my diving experience, seriously hurt.

jeckyll
January 2nd, 2007, 04:07 AM
I think there are two aspects to this Lynne:

1) The question you asked. Would you do it and how would you feel

2) The reverse, if it was you and you panicked and dragged someone to the surface and both of you got bent, but the person you dragged up died. How would you feel?

On number 1, I don't think anyone can say for sure how they will react in an emergency. But cyberdiving, I'd say yes. I could do it.

As to number 2, I would not want to be responsible for someone dying or getting seriously injured because of something I did. I take steps to prevent being in situations that could have that outcome. I carry extra gas. I plan my dive. I try to ensure that I'm mentally and physically prepared. I practice with my buddies to deal with situations that may arise (sharing air, navigating, shooting bags, underwater communication etc). When I read accounts of people doing advanced dives, unprepared, without redundant gas, without proper planning etc, I think the question must be asked, why should I be at risk due to their lack of planning & concern for their safety? Note that the folks that I dive with regularly feel as I do regarding planning & practice.

The closest I've come to being in these conditions is in riding sportbikes. I've planned rides where people got hurt. No fault of my own, they decided to push further than they should have. I.E. their ego's wrote cheques that their skills couldn't cache. In the end, it was their choice.

I don't think there are many easy answers around these issues. And I repeat that IMO people won't know how they will actually react until they find themselves in the actual situation. But I do believe that not only is it valuable to think about this upfront, but this is an excellent discussion topic to have with the people you dive with.

Bjorn

Wildcard
January 2nd, 2007, 04:16 AM
People can speculate all they want but you just dont know untill your there. Id like to think I would just let them go but my Hx of 20 something years of EMS has proven to me that when push comes to shove I will put myself in danger to a reasonable level. If I can control a panicked diver and get them to the surface alive then it's worth some risk on my part. If I turn around and someone is shooting to the surface well beyond my reach, I'll go after them as fast as I can with resonable safety. Rember rec limits are called NDLs for a reason, you can asscend without stops, safely.
This is another "what if" kind of question that people think they know the answer too but that all changes when it realy happens.

123Scuba.com
January 2nd, 2007, 04:22 AM
Over the years I've known more than one person that lost their lives as a result of a "questional buddy". In one case the diver who died was even warned not to dive with the person who I believe "freaked" and left him...

That said, I don't think I could do it unless I felt I had no other choice or was acting instinctively. I've been in a few situations where students were acting less than ideal and the thought never even came to mind.

Tom Smedley
January 2nd, 2007, 04:31 AM
Lynne

Like you in your profession - I have in the past and probably will in the future let go of some soul that just wasn't destined to make it. When God presses the smite button there is no escape - However - my favorite buddy - if she were in peril and I could not save her - I would wrap my arms around her and we would journey across to the other side as one.

God what an adventure that must be!!!

lamont
January 2nd, 2007, 05:10 AM
I can't think of any reasonable situation that I'd be in where I wouldn't try to rescue my dive buddy. I also can't think of any reasonable situation where that attempt would likely kill me...

HBDiveGirl
January 2nd, 2007, 05:35 AM
...What if you are in the water with someone in distress, who has a serious potential for injury or death? What if the action you need to take to help puts you at risk, whether it's a panicked diver dragging you to the surface, or the possibility (not certainty) of running out of air if you go back to rescue someone who is unresponsive or severely impaired at depth?

Could you abandon someone in trouble, and how would you cope with it if that person were permanently injured or killed as a result?
....Based on multiple experiences, I know that in shocking emergencies I jump in immediately to rescue.

And then my brain catches up about 30 to 60 seconds later.
One of my first rational thoughts is, "Am I safe?" So far, the answer's been "yes" and I've continued.

I haven't had to make that choice between saving someone else or saving myself.

If I see an underwater calamity, I'm going to leap forward to rescue..... and that moment of self-assessment is going to come.
Then... What if I realize that I am in BIG danger?

Will my self-protective reflex be as strong as my initial reflex to save the victim?

I think so. I think I would ferociously protect myself from certain harm, just as I know I would leap in when someone else is threatened.

If that's the way it played out, I would save myself in a howling agony of frustration and screaming fury.

But I would save myself.

I could not walk into a hopelessly burning building. I could not let myself drown once I became aware it was about to happen. I'd save myself and it would hurt horribly for a long, long time and I would heal.
I would never be the same person again.

If, however, I were not aware of the true risk of continuing the rescue attempt, I wouldn't stop for even a moment and there would be two fatalities.

Accurate situational awareness would make all the difference.

Claudette

akbpilot
January 2nd, 2007, 05:40 AM
If it were my wife or one of my girls, I'd do it or die trying. Anyone else, I'd go to the edge of my comfort zone. If that wasn't far enough, I'd wave goodbye. Like Mo2vation said, I'd send flowers if I knew them, and let the rest of it go.

MikeFerrara
January 2nd, 2007, 07:42 AM
I can't think of any reasonable situation that I'd be in where I wouldn't try to rescue my dive buddy. I also can't think of any reasonable situation where that attempt would likely kill me...

I agree. Over the years I've been involved in a bunch of assists and a couple that would probably qualify as rescues. They ranged from paniced and bolting students where I got my mask and reg punched off my face to having to modify my decompression schedule to stay near divers (not members of our party) who looked like they might be in trouble. Never did I perceive the risk to myself to be all that great.

Lobbster
January 2nd, 2007, 07:48 AM
it depends on the person, i would not leave people that i love, i would go as far as i could and then decide on weather either of us would make it. because im not going to risk my life if they die. thats pointless. but for an instant buddy i would do as much as i could. i would not risk my life though.

Dive-aholic
January 2nd, 2007, 08:04 AM
Also partly due to my profession, I would put myself at a higher risk than most other people. As an instructor, that also comes with the territory. I have made quick ascents to stop other divers from popping to the surface. I didn't really perceive those experiences as much risk, though.

I'm guessing that the question is asking more about things like bringing unconscious divers to the surface and blowing a stop or ascending too fast. I have to say, it would depend on the situation and the person. I'm around death all the time at work. It doesn't bother me there, but most of the time the people that die are better off anyway. I don't think I would feel the same way in regards to a young, healthy diver. But I also don't see myself giving my life for a situation that I know is futile anyway.

The only situation I would do that is just as in Tom's example:


my favorite buddy - if she were in peril and I could not save her - I would wrap my arms around her and we would journey across to the other side as one.

God what an adventure that must be!!!

I couldn't have said it better.

D_B
January 2nd, 2007, 08:43 AM
I think that a big difference for me would be ... is it a loved one? or a person you don't know? ... I think my actions might be different in each case.
The bond you share with a loved one is strong and you do not know to just what extremes you will go to save them beforehand. If it was someone I did not know, fear for my safety might cause me to save myself.

Rescue training says to not make two victims, although it might be hard for me to remember that in the midst of things.
It also says that to help, and then fail, is OK ... It is better than doing nothing at all.

Still, no matter the outcome, loved one, or not, it would leave me second guessing myself for the rest of my life, I'm sure.


Claudette .. thank you for those true and eloquent words, your a good dive buddy

Blacthorn
January 2nd, 2007, 10:11 AM
A lot of people are saying it would matter if they loved the person who was in peril, thats to be expected. But what if it was someone you knew and couldn't stand. Someone you just really didn't like, or might even in some small way hate them. Would you try less to save them? Or would you maybe try harder to prove that you are a better person than you consider them to be?

piikki
January 2nd, 2007, 11:09 AM
I would say that if I am choosing who to dive with, I feel more OK going with a person who says they will not kill themselves trying to rescue me than a person who says they will do everything and beyond to rescue me even if it puts them in great risk. Then I know I am diving with somewhat realistic person whose reasoning I can generally follow, and not with someone who I might consider being a bit over the top (“might” being an important world too, I am not judging people by one thing of course).

I agree with what seems a to be obvious to many - I don’t exactly know what I would do in an emergency until it happens, but I could go to excessive measures depending what the situation is. And naturally, I would risk death for loved ones – or let’s say, I would expect I’d do – to stay real.

mjh
January 2nd, 2007, 11:28 AM
As others have said if it was my wife or a friend I would take any risk. After that experience comes into play. I am comfortable believing that I can look at a situation and judge the risk to myself and the honest potential in saving the person. My first dive instructor (long before octos, and pony tanks) said something that still rings true "one person with poor judgment can dir or two".

The Horn
January 2nd, 2007, 11:31 AM
If I were to look at the situation and decided that I could perform the rescue within a tolerance of danger then I'm good to go. As has been said it would depend on the situation and the person in danger. Would I try is the bigger question

My dive buddy is a great friend and I would go to great lengths to save him. Someone else I may be a bit more hesitant depending on the situation, what is the problem, how did the problem arise, was I the problem etc

Tough question as there are too many variables

piikki
January 2nd, 2007, 11:49 AM
I think I would definitely go for even a foolish rescue if I felt I had contributed to the emergency whoever the victim was... What a guilt trip coming up without someone if your actions led to the emergency...

Meng_Tze
January 2nd, 2007, 11:54 AM
First:
When we dive, we all accept/assume the dangers of this. In going beyond recreational limits especially, this risk increases significantly. With this, we also become aware of the mindset that needs to be in place: dive with a buddy, dive in a team, but be prepared to finish the dive alone. There are many risk mitigating aspects we put in place, but murphy does lurk around...

Second:
How is the attempt going to end up at the surface? Is surface support equipped and ready to deal with two injuries? If the answer is no, then we have a decision to make: save a human life at the potential peril of ones self, or not. Would you rather have one hurt person, or two?

Diver Dennis
January 2nd, 2007, 12:04 PM
I'm one who would yank my reg from someone's mouth before we surfaced if I couldn't stop them. I would go up after them but to avoid the bends I would do it. How would you feel if you both got to the surface with the bends and you could do nothing to save the other diver? That's why they teach in Resue not to create two victims. The best chance you have to save someone is to be in better shape than they are in.

How guilty would you feel if you got bent and the other diver did not?

EDIT: I do agree that if it were my family member my brain might say "Let them go" but my heart would be saying different. I would still try to do a stop just under them and monitor how they were doing. If they were drowning, I would definitely save them.

Cacia
January 2nd, 2007, 12:09 PM
but I honestly believe it depends on who the other person is.



yes, my thoughts too. Also, I agree with Ken. It is easier said than done, but I feel pretty comfortable thinking I would make a decent call.

Guba
January 2nd, 2007, 12:13 PM
It's a valid question and one each of us should consider at the onset of our diving experience and not "at the moment", if that should come along. For those of us who have had to make that call, it's wrenching even after having considered the consequences in advance.
For me, when I take a person as my dive partner, whether it's a friend, family or "insta buddy", there is only a thin margin in what I feel my response will be. The emotional response might be worlds apart, but my actions would most likely be much the same. When I take a buddy, he/she instantly becomes part of my 'family', and I'll treat them as such in an emergency.
Could I let go? I had to once, if only briefly. (While towing a stricken diver along a line I became entangled. I had to make a very fast decision to let him go and disengage myself from the line or keep him with me. I let him go, got untangled and then caught him again, but I still wrestle with guilt because he didn't make it.)
Like many who have responded, my answer might be affected by factors other than diving. I was a firefighter and first responder for 27 years and I've had to make the same decisions many times. (Enter an engulfed house to look for victims? Easy call. Stand up to your ankles in gasoline while trying to extricate a gravely injured driver while electrical sparks pop over your head? That one's tougher.) I was also a certified lifeguard for a long time, and one has to make similar decisions in that venue, too.
The bottom line is that we all should consider the ramifications of our decisions well before they pop up. Good thread!

tstormdiver
January 2nd, 2007, 12:24 PM
This topic is certainly a double edged sword. If faced with such a situation, I'm sure that everyone would react differently depending on personality type & how close the person is to the diver in distress or danger. As many have mentioned, I would make every reasonable attempt or rescue or recover the victim, but if it involved a true risk of my own life.......... I don't know. I am on our mill's Emergency Response Team as a first responder, firefighter & confined space rescuer. In that fire/ rescue training & in the dive rescue training I've had it drilled into my head, not to become another victim for someone else to have to rescue or recover, thus creating a further risk to other rescuers. In a hopeless case (the victim is most likely deceased or is already deceased), I would most likely heed the warning that my fire/ rescue instructor when he said that " no 'body' is worth your life". If there is hope of saving the other diver with great risk to my self........... that's where the double edged sword comes in. Those decisions must usually be made instantly. A lot of times there are no second chances. If I attempt a rescue, I may rescue them, but then I may also become a victim myself, thus risking the lives & safety of others who must now, also come get me. If I decide that the rescue attempt is beyond my abilities & do not rescue that diver, then I must deal with the consequences of my decision. I would have to deal with the "what ifs" & the guilt that I may not have done everything in my power that I could have. If it was a family member or a very close friend, I really couldn't say how I'd respond..............

rawls
January 2nd, 2007, 12:36 PM
Excellent post TSandM

I say I would look back at the Rescue class and go by that. Don't create 2 victims and or two deaths. Having said that...I agree with jatoorish. It depends on who the person is. I don't have any kids, but if I did I would go down with them no matter what. I also have many, many close friends who dive with me. What would I do? If it's a stranger?... So, it's really easy for me to say I would look back at the rescue class...It's a whole different story when I am in that situation. Hopefully I won't find myself there...Once again...very good post...It really makes you wonder...

rubbachicken
January 2nd, 2007, 12:39 PM
i'd like to think i wouldn't leave someone, but i don't think i could give an honest answer untill after the event, i hope it never happens
i'm not sure i could remember all i was taught in the rescue course

awap
January 2nd, 2007, 12:44 PM
I will instinctivly help someone in need if I can. My survival instinct is also fully functional. I'm going to depend on them to work it out.

Rick Inman
January 2nd, 2007, 12:47 PM
I think, unless you already have a track record with these kinds of events, no one really knows what they will do when faced with a life-risking crisis. I've seen too many times when people's talk don't line up with their action when it hits the fan. People are often surprised to see who steps up to the plate in a crisis and who's over sitting in the corner sucking their thumb.

Of course, people who make a living dealing with emergences are the exception to this. But for the rest of us mortals, we really don't know how we'll react in advance, regardless of what we say.

We all like to hope we'd be there from a diver in need.

The truth is, you'll know what you'd do after it's happened.

Cacia
January 2nd, 2007, 12:52 PM
Well, I have been diving with divers who will intentionally take off down a wall in a downdraft at the end of the dive at 120 ft when everyone is starting to ascend. Someone will scurry off to "get" them.. By the end of the week, you just say to yourself "okay then...bye...you dope".

Seriously, once somebody keeps diving this pattern, you go through stages with them. First, you are willing to do more, then you are not willing to do anything not good for your own profile.


The truth is, you'll know what you'd do after it's happened.


you are right to an extent, but just like your training drills, you need to train your mind. A good example is a girl who says "oh, I could NEVER hit a kitty with my car" and she has a very good chance of being the one that veers off the road and kills herself on a tree. Divers can prepare themselves for certain actions by contemplating the variables. With road obstacles, you tell yourself "Just take it on", etc. With diving, I am square with the fact that there are situations I won't put myself in, nor do I want someone to die if I am out there being stupid. Because, sometimes I am doing something stupid. The only way I can retain that "right" is by acknowledging no one else is obligated to me. IF JB wants to help save me, then that's great. We like diving with people who have that mindset. You are on your own, if I can help and I want to...you are in luck. Don't COUNT on it though. COUNT on yourself and know that your decisions are your own, every foot you descend.

The best divers think this way, from what I have see. Because the thinking is not diluted.

IF your dive requires a team, that is a different story.

H2Andy
January 2nd, 2007, 12:52 PM
i think it will be a difficult choice ...

if there is no doubt in my mind that by helping that person i will die too, then no, why do it?

if there is a chance that by helping i'll die, i'll probably try my best to help (i say probably cause you never really know until the brown stuff hits the fan)

in other words, if i can think i can help despite the risk, i'll try to help. i hope.

Gary D.
January 2nd, 2007, 12:58 PM
Something you must not forget is that no matter how good of shape you are in, a truly panicked person can have super human strength. A little 90# weakling can gain control over a 300# weight lifter if you’re not careful.

We have gone over this before but there are times it is better to let the victim go unconscious before attempting a rescue.

You don't do anyone any good if you don't go home. ;)

Gary D.

String
January 2nd, 2007, 01:16 PM
Im lucky in that so far ive never been involved in a really serious situation so cant say how id act. I THINK i know how i'd act but its never been tested.

The only minor incidents i've had have mainly involved chasing people who lost buoyancy and started rocketing (2 feet first, dry suit, 1 just yo-yo then rocket).

In the first 2 cases resulted in rapidly ascending but catching, correcting and stabilising the person and stopping the ascent.

In the final case a person lost buoyancy from a depth of 34m (115ft?) during the ascent. Was yo-yoing +/-5 meters all the way up and rapidly. Chased, grabbed, stabilised as before but when we got shallower there was on way on earth i could hold him down any more. Split second decision was do i ride with him to the surface or do i just let go. I let go.

He ascended quickly to the surface and out of view (vis 3m or so), i stopped and did my stops. Due to my previous days of diving and earlier ones i had mandatory deco by that point. Although we left the bottom as planned the saw tooth and up/downs had pushed it over the edge. The buddy had not dived that week and was first dive of the trip so substantially less loaded. Based on that i decided he'd be relatively fine on the surface whereas i was at a substantially higher risk.

Im convinced i made the right call but the 10 minis hanging below the SMB thinking "did he make the surface? Did he stay on the surface or sink back down?" was horrible. Was incredibly happy when i eventually surfaced to see him uninjured and fine on the boat.

Relatively minor incident but i suspect id react similar again although as others have said it may depend who the victim is - a close personal friend/family member may push back the line of acceptable risk and i wont know until i come across that situation. Hopefully though i never will.

CBulla
January 2nd, 2007, 01:24 PM
Right on Gary! I'm a bit with Ken to.

At some point I think I've told anyone I have done a boat dive with once we've covered our dive plan, that if they so choose to break the plan by doing something like 'freak out', grab sea life and suffer painful consequences then freak out, drop all their gear and try to blow a lung out of their ear before hitting the surface, etc., they are going to do so without assistance from me. If there is a problem or possibility of a problem, confusion or you just want to look at the sleeping Goliath's tongue while its mouth is open and you fit inside, communicate that to me.

Maybe its the EMT in me, but I'm not willing to be a victim myself if the rescue or assistance or body recovery is out of the scope of a safe zone.

Absolute first rule of thumb for being a rescuer is to not become a victim yourself. One of my very first EMT response calls demonstrated that very clearly. Had we not assessed the scene and realized the area that the victim was in was a storage shed that contained chlorine, acid, etc., and that he was unconscious and coughing 30' past the door (it had signs on the back of the partially opened door of what the building contained) we would have walked right in and all 3 of us would have been victims just like him.

Gary brings up a great point - sometimes its just better to let them go unconscious. At least then they stop being a danger to everyone in the immediate vicinity. Well, unless they are already that way... then its up to you.. is it safe to retrieve this person? What danger exists to me by doing this rescue?

Then again you can bear hug the poor person till they calm down...face to face... let them see your eyes. :D

cummings66
January 2nd, 2007, 01:45 PM
I can speak from experience. I dive with anybody who wants to dive that I know will not kill me on purpose.

So, in my case I had a boat instabuddy who knew during my briefing what my mod was etc. I only knew him for a bit predive, he seemed ok at that point. I can't tell you why but I risked toxing to save him, he went so far past my mod that I shiver to think of it. I think there is a point I would have said I gave it my best, I know I was close to it.

I knew from the start I was risking my life to save him, I monitored my depth and checked off the we're passing mod, we're passing contingency, we're getting deep, so far no symptoms, keep fingers crossed because nobody's going to save me. I got to the point where I asked myself how much farther I was going to take it. After the dive I can't say what I thought of this buddy, not nice.

There was a chance to save him so I had to try. I did and got lucky to boot.

For me it's not written in concrete, there must exist a chance my buddy will come out of it fine. I'm not going to risk my life to save a body.

I think you have the pro's and amateurs. I know what not to do, but within reason I'll make the attempt. There's no way I'd give up without trying.

gangrel441
January 2nd, 2007, 02:28 PM
It does no one, including the victim, any good to have a second potential victim in the scenereo. If you are positive you can either a) help the person in distress or b) attempt to do so while putting yourself at little risk, then the decision should be to help. Example of the diver on the 7 ft hose bolting for the surface...if the option is there to hold on to both of his legs to keep him from kicking, you may have a good chance of stopping him. If he is OOA, he is not likely to be able to inflate his BCD/wing, so kicking is the main means of propulsion he has to the surface. If you can't arrest him by holding his legs, you could always go for the tried and true punch in the gut. Unpleasant, but may save his life. However, if you find there is no way to bring him under control and you are going along for the ride, you gotta' cut him loose. No two ways about it. No matter how much you care about the person, you won't do him or her any good if you are sitting on the surface bent to hell right next to him or her. Subtracting a rescuer and dividing the resources of the remaining rescuers is not the right way to go. Sounds harsh, and people have a hard time with this one, but no matter how much you care about the person you are trying to rescue, the best chance you can give them is to not get hurt yourself.

ArcticDiver
January 2nd, 2007, 02:32 PM
This has been discussed many times with much the same range of replies that boil down to: "It depends".

First, when one brings up a topic such as this they should take care not to use such words as "blithely". That word connotes a casual disregard for the seriousness of the situation. Very few people are casual about an emergency situation.

There is no universally correct answer to the situation you raise. To say that someone who comes up with a different decision than you is wrong, or is making a casual decision is doing them a disservice.

I think most people, me included, are going to do the best we can based on our risk analysis at the time. It will be a field situation without the luxury of being able to consult with others. A decision will have to be made Right Now.

But the bottom line to me is:
I am called to risk my life; not sacrifice it recklessly. If the scenario is as you posit then to follow the panicked person to the surface is a reckless act according to my training and my analysis. That reckless act may result in more severe injury or even death to both. On the other hand letting the person go and then following them up using as rapid an ascent as is safe lets me be able to do what I can for the other person.

As has been posted many times; others may make different decisions based on their different analysis of the situation. I'll not criticize as long as they did make a decision and not let things happen with no action on their part.

UnderSeaBumbleBee
January 2nd, 2007, 02:50 PM
I think when people decide to get involved in any rescue on land or sea, they first decide if they will come out alive and then proceed. In the case the Pudget Sound diver who did not make it, I think it would be reasonable to conclude that he thought he could pull it off and get the guy off the bottom and then at worst case do a CESA. I don't honestly think he thought, ok I am going go down and die with this guy. I think it would be reasonable to conclude he felt he could make it happen.

Recently, I have taken some training provided by FEMA at the local level for CERT. The more training I get the more I understand how to calculate real risk and how to deal with an emergency and make a rational decision. I now understand that how I most likely I would have responded before my additional training would have put myself in greater danger.

I would like to think that I would be both willing and able to help anyone at anytime. I would also like to think that as I continue to get training and learn when I can realistically help and and be wise enough to know when I can't. I don't think you really know until the moment happens.

During my CERT training, the guy who taught it is on the rescue dive team. They got a call one afternoon after we had some local flooding and some boys were playing near a culvert. The bank caved in and one boy fell into the swift water and went into the culvert and was trapped below. He said it was the hardest thing to stand by with his dive gear and tell the crying mother no that they could not go down for the boy until the water receded. The water was too swift and too muddy and a diver could not make it back out.

It is my belief that the more training and experience that you have, the better you will be able to avoid danger in the first place or respond in the right manner should it come--that may or may not mean helping. I would like to think that I could help anyone at anytime without a second thought, but that just might not be reality, I truely might not be able to help.

That being said, I would have a really hard time if I wasn't able to help someone.

lamont
January 2nd, 2007, 02:52 PM
I'm one who would yank my reg from someone's mouth before we surfaced if I couldn't stop them. I would go up after them but to avoid the bends I would do it. How would you feel if you both got to the surface with the bends and you could do nothing to save the other diver? That's why they teach in Resue not to create two victims. The best chance you have to save someone is to be in better shape than they are in.

How guilty would you feel if you got bent and the other diver did not?

EDIT: I do agree that if it were my family member my brain might say "Let them go" but my heart would be saying different. I would still try to do a stop just under them and monitor how they were doing. If they were drowning, I would definitely save them.

If you are recreationally diving, your chances of getting bent are low. And if you do get bent you are likely to get fatigued first, followed by joint pain or skin bends long before you get type 2 DCS.

I can't believe that you would pull a reg out of someone's mouth rather than do a rapid ascent with them to the surface.

I'm prepared to blow off 20 mins of mandatory O2 deco at my 20 foot stop if my buddy toxes. I'm likely to take a type 1 hit to the joints and need to go to the recompression chamber, but I'm prepared to do that. If my buddy has a runaway inflator on deco I'm going after them, dragging them back down to depth and completing deco. Where it gets to the point where I'm not willing to risk DCS is if my buddy has a CVA at the end of a 240 fsw dive right before starting deco. I still need to do my deep stops and hand his body off to the support divers. I won't skip the deep stops on a significant dive.

Recreational divers should stop agonizing over pulling regs out of people's mouths -- exhale to the surface and go onto O2 and hit the chamber if you have any symptoms. Stop being so terrified of DCS that you'll kill someone else rather than running the slightest risk of DCS.

Darnold9999
January 2nd, 2007, 02:55 PM
Lynne you ask Interesting questions. Have been on both ends of a rescue or non rescue as it were. Once got myself into a situation that the DM basicly waved by-by good luck(you idiot:shakehead ). She made the right choice - I got myself out and she would have made that process much much more difficult attempting a rescue.

Have "helped" another diver (not a rescue but was going that way) and remember thinking "we are at 70 feet and going down - at 130 I am letting go". Didn't come to that but the thought process was there. Would I have followed through - probably not - know there is a safety margin so would continue until I was at the edge of the margin roughly 150 or so in that situation. If the problem had not resolved I think I would have waved by-by good luck. At least I like to think so. This was an insta-buddy so no relationship issues to deal with.

The problem I see with the whole rescue issue is that there is no black and white - just degrees of risk. At 70 feet was I at risk trying to stop a runaway sinking panicking diver? Yes, but a minimal risk - at 150 feet with the same diver yes but now the risk is extreme. Where exactly do you draw the line? A situation where a "rescue" is required is not a discrete event, but a whole series of events that lead up to it and then another different series of events that make up the rescue. The initial rescue might be quite benign and then go south rapidly - could you disengage part way through? Harder than not initialting the rescue at all - particularly narked and task focused.

IMHO it would be really really hard to make the decision not to help unless it was absolutly clear that helping would have no chance of success or was obvious that I would be the second fatality. Otherwise you step in and do your best and take your chances.

lamont
January 2nd, 2007, 02:55 PM
I think, unless you already have a track record with these kinds of events, no one really knows what they will do when faced with a life-risking crisis. I've seen too many times when people's talk don't line up with their action when it hits the fan. People are often surprised to see who steps up to the plate in a crisis and who's over sitting in the corner sucking their thumb.

I found that I did both. It was helpful to have other rescuers there since I definitely needed to reboot at one point right in the middle of it.

The Horn
January 2nd, 2007, 03:01 PM
One thing that makes the original question difficult is how the "imminent death" situation happened.

How many people have thumbed a dive or noticed an accident waiting to happen and due to proper training, situational awareness and quick reaction time stopped the incident in its tracks and thus ended the road to doom?

I guess that if the multiple boggies had occured to set up the diver in the position of death I already would be SOL to do anything further.

Meng_Tze
January 2nd, 2007, 03:02 PM
If you are recreationally diving, your chances of getting bent are low. And if you do get bent you are likely to get fatigued first, followed by joint pain or skin bends long before you get type 2 DCS.

I can't believe that you would pull a reg out of someone's mouth rather than do a rapid ascent with them to the surface.

I'm prepared to blow off 20 mins of mandatory O2 deco at my 20 foot stop if my buddy toxes. I'm likely to take a type 1 hit to the joints and need to go to the recompression chamber, but I'm prepared to do that. If my buddy has a runaway inflator on deco I'm going after them, dragging them back down to depth and completing deco. Where it gets to the point where I'm not willing to risk DCS is if my buddy has a CVA at the end of a 240 fsw dive right before starting deco. I still need to do my deep stops and hand his body off to the support divers. I won't skip the deep stops on a significant dive.

Recreational divers should stop agonizing over pulling regs out of people's mouths -- exhale to the surface and go onto O2 and hit the chamber if you have any symptoms. Stop being so terrified of DCS that you'll kill someone else rather than running the slightest risk of DCS.

well put Lamont

The Horn
January 2nd, 2007, 03:10 PM
What about outside the box, indirect assistance as it were. your going to run out of air messing with this diver at depth so clip a reel onto the guy and ascend. buddy is on the other end so you could find, pull up later???

Lift bag the diver and get to the surface?

self preservation is a hard thing to understand???

Darnold9999
January 2nd, 2007, 03:11 PM
Recreational divers should stop agonizing over pulling regs out of people's mouths -- exhale to the surface and go onto O2 and hit the chamber if you have any symptoms. Stop being so terrified of DCS that you'll kill someone else rather than running the slightest risk of DCS.

Well said, the tables computers are just guidelines that are designed with so much safety margin in them that it takes in the entire bell curve of responses. In normal diving stay within them and you have virtually no chance of DCS. In a rescue situation you have an enormous safety margin re DCS - skip the safety stop, exceed the ascent rate etc. Where the margin is not so large is air. When the guage says 0 psi you stop breathing.

Rick Murchison
January 2nd, 2007, 03:40 PM
People can speculate all they want but you just dont know untill your there. Id like to think I would just let them go but my Hx of 20 something years of EMS has proven to me that when push comes to shove I will put myself in danger to a reasonable level.I think this is about the best assessment I've seen so far. I'm one who tends to "leap right in" - and calculate the risk as I go...
---
Another issue. On most recreational dives, even with a "fair" decompression obligation, I would make a brief excursion to the surface to "deliver" a diver who needed gas from me and that I couldn't stop from making the ascent, followed by an immediate descent to, or below, my first decompression stop, where I would commence a "double schedule," or as long a schedule as my gas supply allowed... and I'd most likely be just fine. When I think of scenarios where my deco load would be so great that I couldn't or wouldn't accompany such a diver to the surface, I can't think of one where I wouldn't have a deco bottle I could somehow hand off and send along as I disengaged and sent said diver aloft on his own.
---
The "impossible" scenario is the 200+ foot dive with 30+ minutes bottom time when Joe has his leg ripped off and has passed out before his buoyant release to the surface. I reckon I'll figure out what to do with that one when it happens.
Rick

Rick Murchison
January 2nd, 2007, 03:43 PM
Recreational divers should stop agonizing over pulling regs out of people's mouths -- exhale to the surface and go onto O2 and hit the chamber if you have any symptoms. Stop being so terrified of DCS that you'll kill someone else rather than running the slightest risk of DCS.Worth repeating.
Rick

Diver Dennis
January 2nd, 2007, 03:57 PM
Recreational divers should stop agonizing over pulling regs out of people's mouths -- exhale to the surface and go onto O2 and hit the chamber if you have any symptoms. Stop being so terrified of DCS that you'll kill someone else rather than running the slightest risk of DCS.

So you are saying that it will kill them if the reg is pulled out of their mouth?


I'm one who would yank my reg from someone's mouth before we surfaced if I couldn't stop them. I would go up after them but to avoid the bends I would do it.

You will note that I said I would do it before we reached the surface, not that I would not go up with them. I stand by that. They would not die because of lack of air.

lamont
January 2nd, 2007, 04:04 PM
So you are saying that it will kill them if the reg is pulled out of their mouth?

If they inhale water and laryngospasm or hold their breath on a rapid ascent that'll do it. Rapid ascents are dangerous, but not from the DCS risk, but from the embolism risk. If you're the donor in an OOA which results in a rapid ascent you can just breathe out or go 'ahhh' and be okay. Yanking someone's reg out of their mouth during a rapid ascent, though, greatly magnifies the risk of them ascending with a closed airway which will kill them.

Diver Dennis
January 2nd, 2007, 04:06 PM
I added more after you may have been posting to my first response.

JeffG
January 2nd, 2007, 04:06 PM
So you are saying that it will kill them if the reg is pulled out of their mouth?
You may have created a potential more dangerous situation by doing so.

It nice that people are giving the stock "rescue class" response, but if my buddy is in deep do do...I'm going to follow him to make sure he is ok.

Dennis, there is a reason you are a solo diver and I'm not. ;)

On more extreme dives, my team mates are my friends and I would be willing to take hit to save them and in a standard rec dive, the chances of getting hurt are pretty small. So I would not abandon them to their fate.

Diver Dennis
January 2nd, 2007, 04:07 PM
It depends where they are in the water column when you do it.

JeffG
January 2nd, 2007, 04:10 PM
It depends where they are in the water column when you do it.
What...pull the reg out?


Why do it in the first place? The chances of getting hurt are slim.

Green_Manelishi
January 2nd, 2007, 04:12 PM
Am I prepared to do it? Yes. I am also prepared to shoot to defend my life or my family. Will I be able to do it when I have to do it? I won't know until I am faced with that very difficult decision.

Diver Dennis
January 2nd, 2007, 04:19 PM
I have to be honest. My gut reaction is that I would pull the reg out before we surfaced but I would not leave them. I mean close to the surface. I see your point about the risk being small but the people I dive with if I'm not alone are all insta-buddies and that is the way I feel. I can see feeling different about someone I dove with all the time and although it might make me look like a cold hearted bas***d, that is the truth.

Maybe I should always solo.

EDIT: I should add that I'm not taking 40', I would have no problem doing it from a relatively shallow depth but 100' or more? I don't think I would be at the surface with them, I would bail at 15' or 20'.

lamont
January 2nd, 2007, 04:27 PM
It depends where they are in the water column when you do it.

no, it really doesn't. the fatality that we had here earlier in the year started as a LOA at 100 fsw, it progressed to an OOA at 10 fsw -- something went wrong with the OOA and the diver either held her breath while ascending from 10 fsw or inhaled water and laryngospasm'd and from 10 fsw she blew her lungs, embolised and died.

when you snatch the reg from a diver who is otherwise OOA and is rapidly ascending, anywhere in the water column, you are asking for this kind of outcome. as long as you are on a recreational dive, and you can hold your airway open as you ascend you are not putting yourself at significant risk of DCS (recreational diving does not have a significant DCS risk) or of embolism (everyone does a rapid ascent in their OW course practicing CESA and submariners practice it for escaping from subs, as long as your airway is open you are okay).

H2Andy
January 2nd, 2007, 04:43 PM
lamont, i've always believed that the real risk to the OOA victim is to come up holding their breath.

if two divers come up fast breathing, the changes of a DCS are slim to none, and then easily treatable anyway. it's not deco diving.

that is why the only time i've been in this situation, i went up with my buddy. i thought that would be the less risky thing.

Diver Dennis
January 2nd, 2007, 04:48 PM
I understand your point Lamont and I have done a few fairly deep CESAs but a paniced diver might be holding their breath even with a reg in their mouth. I have been involved in an OOA before with a diver who calmed down as soon as they got air my air. I have not had to deal with a run away. This thread may change my mind about how to handle it.

cerich
January 2nd, 2007, 05:22 PM
I'm a little in shock that so many feel they would rip their octo out of a OOA divers mouth if they were being pulled to the surface!

Ask any Cayman DM/Instr who has been on the job for a little while, we all have had divers on our octo dragging us up, we've all slowed them down as much as possible but all ended up on the surface with a scared diver after the elevator ride. I can think of only a couple of times I've heard of this actually ending up in the chamber for the donor and that was when this happened on the forth dive of the day.

ArcticDiver
January 2nd, 2007, 05:27 PM
It is interesting reading the current discussion of both the general strategy and specific tactics of dealing with an underwater emergency. The items metioned fit right in with previous discussions. Differing attitudes but no one is taking the situation lightly. Which is as it should be.

Several times in my life I've been in situations where serious injury or possible death were involved. Despite past experience each one was brand new. Each reinforced the fact that no one knows exactly how they are going to react when it is time to make that instant decision.

I can remember one case where everything happened so fast no one even had time to think, let alone act. In another it developed so slowly there was lots of time to think, plan and execute an appropriate response. Yet another was a situation where the rules said: "Don't go in there. Wait for more people". But, I took a calculated risk, went in and did the rescue. I got away with it; that time. And so on.....

Don't overthink the problem in advance. When it happens to a large extent Luck and Time will determine the outcome. The Stop, Breathe, Act strategy has a lot to be said for it.

Blackwood
January 2nd, 2007, 05:37 PM
I think it is situational.

I wouldn't risk myself if I thought there was little chance of the victim's survival.

cudachaser
January 2nd, 2007, 05:47 PM
I tell my students that in the case of a panacked diver...."Don't try to be a hero...get something between you and the victem"

Diver Dennis
January 2nd, 2007, 06:37 PM
I'm a little in shock that so many feel they would rip their octo out of a OOA divers mouth if they were being pulled to the surface!

Ask any Cayman DM/Instr who has been on the job for a little while, we all have had divers on our octo dragging us up, we've all slowed them down as much as possible but all ended up on the surface with a scared diver after the elevator ride. I can think of only a couple of times I've heard of this actually ending up in the chamber for the donor and that was when this happened on the forth dive of the day.

I wonder if it could be training? How any threads here talk about not going past NDLs and slow ascent rates? Lots and divers are trained from day one not to make fast ascents. Most divers are not DMs and do not have the experiences with as many different divers as a DM does. I'm wondering what instructors teach about what to do in a situation like this. Are students told this is low risk or is this discussed at all?

JeffG
January 2nd, 2007, 06:45 PM
I wonder if it could be training? How any threads here talk about not going past NDLs and slow ascent rates? Lots and divers are trained from day one not to make fast ascents. Most divers are not DMs and do not have the experiences with as many different divers as a DM does. I'm wondering what instructors teach about what to do in a situation like this. Are students told this is low risk or is this discussed at all?
Or it could be because of the "don't make it two victims" attitude that you see all over this thread.

In the context of a panicking diver, that "rule" holds true but following a diver to the surface doesn't really fall into that category. Sounds good on the net, but in practice doesn't really make sense.

Diver Dennis
January 2nd, 2007, 06:49 PM
But this is about being dragged by a panicked diver to the surface, right? I was speaking in the context of a run away ascent, not just blowing a safety stop.

JeffG
January 2nd, 2007, 06:55 PM
But this is about being dragged by a panicked diver to the surface, right? I was speaking in the context of a run away ascent, not just blowing a safety stop.
Being at the surface ready to give help and being at the surface being attacked by a panicked diver is 2 different things.

I would a be with my buddy all the way to the surface, panicked or not. If they were freaking out, I would be behind them but I would still be on the surface.

I would not be at 15 ft doing my safety stop, hoping that they would make it.

cerich
January 2nd, 2007, 07:03 PM
I would guess that we (instructors) do drill in a slow assent rate to our students (because it is the best way to do it), so to contemplate a super fast assent is just a huge NO NO from what they have been taught and scares the you know what out of folks... but a fast assent doesn't equal being bent in every (or even very few) cases when you are looking at recreational limit diving.

Same thing on your comment on "blowing" a safety stop. Yup it is a great idea to do one, but it is a "safety" stop, not mandatory deco and 99.999% of the time not doing one doesn't have any bad effects.

I've seen both super fast (out of control over 100fpm) and skipped safety stops cause otherwise feeling fine divers have a panic attack that they just bent themself.... the reality is that most divers on most days will get away with it. (otherwise in resort areas we would be having a diver death a day vs. the more normal one or two a year) When a diver does get bent doing one of these two 90% of the time a 6a treatment or two is all it takes to resolve. (boring....)

lamont
January 2nd, 2007, 07:05 PM
I would guess that we (instructors) do drill in a slow assent rate to our students (because it is the best way to do it), so to contemplate a super fast assent is just a huge NO NO from what they have been taught and scares the you know what out of folks... but a fast assent doesn't equal being bent in every (or even very few) cases when you are looking at recreational limit diving.

Same thing on your comment on "blowing" a safety stop. Yup it is a great idea to do one, but it is a "safety" stop, not mandatory deco and 99.999% of the time not doing one doesn't have any bad effects.

I've seen both super fast (out of control over 100fpm) and skipped safety stops cause otherwise feeling fine divers have a panic attack that they just bent themself.... the reality is that most divers on most days will get away with it. (otherwise in resort areas we would be having a diver death a day vs. the more normal one or two a year) When a diver does get bent doing one of these two 90% of the time a 6a treatment or two is all it takes to resolve. (boring....)

I had a rapid ascent from 70 fsw on one dive where I had added thermals without adding additional lead. I managed to get up to around 30-40 fsw before I lost it and shot to the surface. No damage done other than to ego.

JeffG
January 2nd, 2007, 07:07 PM
I had a rapid ascent from 70 fsw on one dive where I had added thermals without adding additional lead. I managed to get up to around 30-40 fsw before I lost it and shot to the surface. No damage done other than to ego.
I had one of those due to a 30 lb dropped weight belt. Speadeagle and scream to the surface ;)

Still managed to survive.

lamont
January 2nd, 2007, 07:07 PM
But this is about being dragged by a panicked diver to the surface, right? I was speaking in the context of a run away ascent, not just blowing a safety stop.

Yeah, I'm thinking of worst case you're down at 100 fsw and your buddy goes OOA on you and then his inflator sticks on (don't think too hard about this hypothetical case) and you both shoot to the surface.

cerich
January 2nd, 2007, 07:19 PM
Yeah, I'm thinking of worst case you're down at 100 fsw and your buddy goes OOA on you and then his inflator sticks on (don't think too hard about this hypothetical case) and you both shoot to the surface.

an OOA diver on your octo in a panic does drag you up very quickly, I've had them pressing the "up" button (inflator, why do instructors let students get away with thinking ofit as that?) full bore while on my octo at 100 ft., kicking up while I hold hold on for dear life with one hand and wrestle the inflator away (if possible...) and try to dump air from their BC with the other. Sometimes you manage to slow things down, others they pull you up quickly enough that you become positive as well and with everything going on you just can't stop it, all you can do is watch them to make sure they aren't holding their breath (and if they are punch them in the gut) and enjoy the ride up. Once on the surface I bite my cheeck HARD, then put a smile on my face and ask them if they are OK in a nice voice (after all they did pay and calling them all the names I thought of during the assent would just be bad for business)

This normally happens all of 4-5 mins into the dive when you would never expect them to run out of air that quickly (but they do!:D )

piikki
January 2nd, 2007, 07:21 PM
This "punch in the gut" seems to be a maneuver I will have to add to my practice regime :)

cerich
January 2nd, 2007, 07:24 PM
This "punch in the gut" seems to be a maneuver I will have to add to my practice regime :)

high up just under the ribs, it doesn't (nor should it be) hard, just enough to get them to breath out, once they do they don't hold their breath anymore.:D

Gary D.
January 2nd, 2007, 07:41 PM
Lmont and JeffG are proof on why you should never rip the reg out. They, as well as many others on this site have done the same thing including myself and are here talking about it.

The industry has pounded SLOW assents and Safety Stops so deep into peoples heads that some think if you miss one or the other you’re going to die but your not. You have better odds of being OK than FUBARED.

It all boils down to Risk VS Benefit. The more training and experience you have the more you can recognize it and decide what to do in any given situation.

A lot of people THINK they have been in serious rescue scenarios when in fact they were just dealing with a minor problem. It also goes the other way where people ARE in a real rescue situation and don’t or can’t recognize it. Not knowing you are in one can be deadly. You need to KNOW when and when not to go in and assist or try to assist.

This thing can be Monday morning or arm chair quarterbacked for ever but it boils down to knowing when and what to do at any given time.

I have seen some people that had a 15’ safety stop so ingrained in their heads that they insisted on doing one on EVERY dive. Even a 10’ dive needed a 15’ safety stop. We argued about this and I finally just gave up. DUH! This guy needed hand lotion poured over his hard head to try and soften it up.

Relax, there has been a very large safety margin built into diving. Granted there are people that will get bent or worse playing well within the limits. But the majority can get away with somewhat serious violations (by today’s standards) and come out just fine. I'm not saying to forget the safety guidelines but if you have to violate them in an emergency it doesn't mean your a gonner.

Another thing to remember is that not that many years ago the NORMAL assent rate was 60 fpm. Nobody had even heard about a safety stop and we’re still here thousand of dives later.

The bottom line is remembering that air, speed up or down is not an issue if you jump in to help someone and they have enough adrenalin pumping to now have control of you. Now who is the victim?

Leave the reg in, follow them up and stay as far away from them as you can. Then talk about it on the surface.

Gary D.

dumpsterDiver
January 2nd, 2007, 09:04 PM
Finally a lot of good advice on the "buddy pulling you to the surface" scenario. As long as everyone is breathing (on most recreational dives), everybody gets to go home and lie about the incident.

Along those lines: The idea that "you should only help a distressed buddy if you are absolutely sure that providing assistance will not put you in some kind of danger"; would seem to ensure that most recreational divers will NOT help at all!

I have had to help divers on a number of occasions and each time, it has presented me with some level of increased risk; if buddies are not willing to accept some level of risk to assist eachother, then what safety advantage does a buddy provide?

Often, if a buddy can react immediately to the minor emergency, then the situation can be defused and things won't escalate. If I'm tangled in a net, I would hope that if I had a buddy that he would act quickly and carefully rather than stand there and try to determine if approaching a net MIGHT endanger him.

I like to dive solo and one of the primary reasons is that I would rather not make the moral commitment to endanger myself to help some weenie...

piikki
January 2nd, 2007, 09:23 PM
I wonder if it’s easier to rationalize helping someone shooting up to surface (perceived safety?) than follow someone to depths that one knows are beyond their comfort zone (or maybe something they never experienced) - and where one can assume becoming somewhat impaired? Dropping below 200ft where I have never been would certainly be different issue than being dragged to surface from rec depths to me - even though I never experienced either.

Diver Dennis
January 2nd, 2007, 09:56 PM
So this is not true? ;)


Basically, you don't want to end up in a decompression chamber, they are expensive. It all depends on how deep you go and for how long. you can even be at 10 feet and have to decompress. Now when you talk to people that participate in decompression dives, they dive down to their depth for how ever long, and then they sit at 20 ft to decompress the nitrogen out of their bloodstream. Nitrogen in the bloodstream will be further discussed in your OW class. Now, if someone tries to cut off some of their time at 20 ft or they dont stop at all to decompress, they will get decompression sickness. then they will go to the deco chamber to do their decompression obligation at the expense of your wallet. So, in the end, NO dive (Recreational, technical, i'm guessing but commercial) is planned to go to the chamber, that is an extra cost that is not needed unless in an emergency.

This was a post here on SB that no one corrected from a diver with over 200 dives.

I have to admit that I thought DCS was more of a problem. As I said, I've never had a runaway but I, and I'm sure a few others reading this, thought it was more of an issue in a rocket ascent. I learned something new today because I asked questions. Thanks.

Rick Murchison
January 2nd, 2007, 10:07 PM
Just to back up Lamont and JeffG with some real data, I'll cite a specific case where there was a fairly substantial deco obligation - one of Sheck Exley's dives he tells about in Caverns Measureless to Man, which was to 300' for 10 minutes.
Here's the profile from a modern deco algorithm:

Dec to 200ft (2) Air 100ft/min descent.
Dec to 300ft (2) Air 120ft/min descent.
Level 300ft 7:10 (10) Air 2.12 ppO2, 300ft ead
Asc to 120ft (13) Air -60ft/min ascent.
Stop at 120ft 1:00 (14) Air 0.97 ppO2, 120ft ead
Stop at 110ft 2:00 (16) Air 0.91 ppO2, 110ft ead
Stop at 100ft 1:00 (17) Air 0.85 ppO2, 100ft ead
Stop at 90ft 1:00 (18) Air 0.78 ppO2, 90ft ead
Stop at 80ft 2:00 (20) Air 0.72 ppO2, 80ft ead
Stop at 70ft 2:00 (22) Air 0.65 ppO2, 70ft ead
Stop at 60ft 3:00 (25) Air 0.59 ppO2, 60ft ead
Stop at 50ft 3:00 (28) Air 0.53 ppO2, 50ft ead
Stop at 40ft 4:00 (32) Air 0.46 ppO2, 40ft ead
Stop at 30ft 6:00 (38) Air 0.40 ppO2, 30ft ead
Stop at 20ft 9:00 (47) Air 0.34 ppO2, 20ft ead
Stop at 10ft 13:00 (60) Air 0.27 ppO2, 10ft ead
Surface (60) Air -15ft/min ascent.

Sheck's actual profile was a rapid emergency ascent to the surface from 130' chasing his buddy, where after a few minutes they were able to descend to about 30' and use what gas they had for a "winging it" decompression, staying at 10' for a half hour longer than the bend-o-meters they were carrying said they shoud.
They were sure they would be bent, but they weren't!

To me that says I'd have to have a mighty heavy deco load before even considering not going all the way up with a buddy, and certainly no recreational profile would qualify.

Rick

FredT
January 2nd, 2007, 10:21 PM
If there is no option to my death in a vain attempt to save anothers life, that other diver is toast. I'll recover the body next dive if possible. If I have a chance to save the fool without dying myself I'll do all I can to get them up.

I've seen "the eyes" several times, and all reached the surface breathing. This included the very drunk individual we pulled out of a station wagon at about 110' after he drove off the top edge of a submerged cliff. We went down expecting to pull a body and tie a line on the wreck, instead we got a live'un who did NOT want to stop to decompress. 4 of us held him while we were buddy breathing 'cause he WASN"T giving up the reg he had.

I've had to do about a 120' deep bounce from where I was down Santa Rosa Wall to pull the over weighted beginner diver up from over 200' down as he drifted "along" the wall. It pretty well screwed my dive as we spent the rest of the drift at 20' off gassing while I growled at him.

There have been other dicy moments spearfishing on the rigs where some assistance to a buddy was required to get him untied from the structure or disentangled, and a time or two where I was the buddy lashed to the rig....

In all cases it was a case of do what needed to be done, and to do it NOW before the situation got a lot worse and out of control.

FT

1_T_Submariner
January 2nd, 2007, 10:34 PM
Hard Question. Great responses! Thanks for all of the Info. I would have to say I think I would try to save someone without killing myself but, I'm just not sure.

jeckyll
January 2nd, 2007, 10:36 PM
Some really good points raised.

As I'm thinking through the different posts, perhaps it's due to the focus on slow ascents that I'd said I wouldn't allow myself to get dragged to the surface.

I've never been faced with a diver who was panicked or OOA and hope I never find myself in that situation. But if I do find myself getting dragged up, I guess I would try to get negative if possible and slow things down...

ArcticDiver
January 2nd, 2007, 11:24 PM
Some really good points raised.

As I'm thinking through the different posts, perhaps it's due to the focus on slow ascents that I'd said I wouldn't allow myself to get dragged to the surface.

I've never been faced with a diver who was panicked or OOA and hope I never find myself in that situation. But if I do find myself getting dragged up, I guess I would try to get negative if possible and slow things down...

Although OOA is the specific emergency in this thread; the mental response attitude is the same regardless of the emergency. So, it pays to think in terms of Risk Analysis and Action as well as specific emergencies.

jeckyll
January 3rd, 2007, 12:04 AM
ArticDiver: I've actually gone after a buddy who's inflator stuck open. He was shooting to the surface from 70 fsw or so. As I said in my first post in this thread, when the brown smelly stuff hits the spinning blades, I still think that people react mostly on instinct.

I didn't think "I'm ascending too fast" or "I'll just watching him buoyantly ascend". It was all reaction. By 30 fsw I knew I wasn't going to catch him and gave up and slowed my ascent.

Steve_Dives
January 3rd, 2007, 12:08 AM
I had one of those due to a 30 lb dropped weight belt. Speadeagle and scream to the surface ;)

Still managed to survive.

You've given me another reason to hate weight belts! :D

Steve_Dives
January 3rd, 2007, 12:41 AM
Good question. I liked H2Andy's response, to which I will say ditto. I fear for humankind if we are unwilling to take a risk to save each other. How much risk and for who is the critical question.



in other words, if i can think i can help despite the risk, i'll try to help. i hope.

I'm reminded of a story on NPR from a couple weeks back. Scenario 1 - Five people are standing on one railroad track and will be killed unless you push a button. Pushing the button diverts the train onto another track where one person is standing and will be killed. Scenario 2 - Same thing, only to save the 5 you have to push someone onto the track and they will die. In all cases they are total strangers. While the choice is the same (kill 1 or kill 5), the choice made by most people was to kill 1 in Scenario 1, but kill 5 in scenario 2. The difference here is that to save one we have to get near the train, and maybe into its path.

Gary D.
January 3rd, 2007, 12:57 AM
So this is not true? ;)



This was a post here on SB that no one corrected from a diver with over 200 dives.

I have to admit that I thought DCS was more of a problem. As I said, I've never had a runaway but I, and I'm sure a few others reading this, thought it was more of an issue in a rocket ascent. I learned something new today because I asked questions. Thanks.
I don’t know where that post came from but a lot of dives are planned for a chamber ride. They are mainly in the Military and Commercial field. Doing it for sport diving would be idiotic at best.

Gary D

lamont
January 3rd, 2007, 02:29 AM
So this is not true? ;)



This was a post here on SB that no one corrected from a diver with over 200 dives.

I have to admit that I thought DCS was more of a problem. As I said, I've never had a runaway but I, and I'm sure a few others reading this, thought it was more of an issue in a rocket ascent. I learned something new today because I asked questions. Thanks.

What you quoted is a good attitude to have about decompression. It is incorrect to state that you can go only to 10 fsw and have to decompress though. At that shallow of a depth the ppN2 in even fully saturated super slow tissues is under the 1.0 ambient at the surface and the tissues will not bubble (you need an oversaturation / overpressurization gradient in order to form bubbles). For the tissue compartments which can reach close to saturation in a recreational dive the tissues can also withstand roughly 2 times or more oversaturation over ambient before there is significant bubbling on a direct ascent at 60 fpm. That is what defines an "NDL dive".

Now there is decompression and offgasing that needs to occur on those dives. You'll probably feel better and you'll bubble to offgass a lot less if you treat all NDL dives as deco dives and do slow ascents. You may also run a risk of DCS if you do NDL dives with fast ascents over a long period of time (the larger the numbers the more it may catch up to you). It may be particularly bad to do back-to-back rapid ascents since the free phase bubble load from the first rapid ascent may get shunted on the second dive and cause fairly bad type 2 DCS.

So, yes, you want to be cautious in your day-to-day diving and minimize your DCS risk. But, no, you don't want to be overly fearful of DCS in the event you've got something that is really potentially life threatening going on. You simply have not ongassed enough inert gas into the fast tissues which are going to bubble significantly enough to give you a bad hit. Your blood will only have about a 2.5 x oversaturation compared to ambient and that can be tolerated. This is different from a technical diver who may have 5x or more oversaturation compared to ambient in their fast compartments and needs to do some decompression or they'll explosively foam in their blood (or you drop back down like Sheck did and turn a 5x oversaturation in a 2.5x oversaturation which is tolerable).

Do you want to do 100 dives like this? No. Do you want to do 100 dives like in sets of two repetetive dives? Hell no -- that's particularly bad since bubbles from the first dive may shunt on the second. But on a single dive to save a buddy, the risks of type 1 DCS (pain) are probably 1 in 100 or lower, and the risks of type 2 DCS are probably neglibible.

redrover
January 3rd, 2007, 02:58 AM
I have a track record of always going the extra mile but I think Diving will be a rough one for me. I don’t think I can say an absolute; yes I will do whatever it takes.
I do know it won’t matter one iota who the person is or isn’t, but there is a pretty big grey area of circumstance where I’ll just have to make the call when it happens.
I think I can just say no if the risks outweigh the probability of success. I won’t like having made that decision, and knowing that will affect when I make it.

I do know for an absolute certainty I do not want anyone to be injured to save me. If I live and they don’t, that will be the most horrible thing to live with. Only slightly less horrifying is they’re alive and harmed. Could have been harmed sucks a big one.

IceIce
January 3rd, 2007, 03:11 AM
I didn't read all the posts, but what is the difference with the thread earlier? Why this similar thread?

I still have to answer that I will let the buddy go up to the surface alone, if he/she is a stranger. I might regret it later if something bad happened to her, but I don't see that I can provide good help if I was injured. Different with good friend or family, I'll go up with them, I guess it's different about how we see things in different situation and who the person involved. The main reason about why I would risk myself by riding up with someone I know because I can say that I know their ability and I'm sure if they can help it, they wouldn't do that. For strangers, I don't know whether they are fooling around and end up risking themselves and others, and I certainly wouldn't want to risk my life for this reason.


To anyone reading this - here's the bottom line. I will not give my life for yours. I love you all. I love you more than I can convey, but there are people on the surface that I love more, and I will not wreck their lifes by dying to save yours. I'll do everything I can for you, short of dying.

Frank and well put.

JeffG
January 3rd, 2007, 03:23 AM
I didn't read all the posts, but what is the difference with the thread earlier? Why this similar thread?

I still have to answer that I will let the buddy go up to the surface alone, if he/she is a stranger. I might regret it later if something bad happened to her, but I don't see that I can provide good help if I was injured. Different with good friend or family, I'll go up with them, I guess it's different about how we see things in different situation and who the person involved. The main reason about why I would risk myself by riding up with someone I know because I can say that I know their ability and I'm sure if they can help it, they wouldn't do that. For strangers, I don't know whether they are fooling around and end up risking themselves and others, and I certainly wouldn't want to risk my life for this reason.

You say "Frank and well put"...and I say, I wouldn't dive with you or if I did...I wouldn't trust you for anything (might as well be solo)

onfloat
January 3rd, 2007, 03:50 AM
You say "Frank and well put"...and I say, I wouldn't dive with you or if I did...I wouldn't trust you for anything (might as well be solo)
Ditto

Ben_ca
January 3rd, 2007, 04:03 AM
You say "Frank and well put"...and I say, I wouldn't dive with you or if I did...I wouldn't trust you for anything (might as well be solo)

I have to agree with Jeff and Onfloat.

I am my buddies keeper!

I do pick my dive buddies and unless he is waving me off as he is in the jaws of the landlord I will try my best to help both of us get home.

Rule #1 Should keep you from getting in that situation in the first place....but that's for another forum

jeckyll
January 3rd, 2007, 04:05 AM
I have to agree with Jeff and Onfloat.

I am my buddies keeper!

I do pick my dive buddies and unless he is waving me off as he is in the jaws of the landlord I will try my best to help both of us get home.

Rule #1 Should keep you from getting in that situation in the first place....but that's for another forum

What if it's someone who just swims up and muggs you for your reg?

I know it's unlikely, but it has happened...

JeffG
January 3rd, 2007, 04:10 AM
What if it's someone who just swims up and muggs you for your reg?

I know it's unlikely, but it has happened...
Then it would be a recreational dive (I just can't see that happening otherwise), so I would still follow them up.

I just can't see how someone can say they would let someone go to the surface under duress.

lamont
January 3rd, 2007, 04:10 AM
What if it's someone who just swims up and muggs you for your reg?

I know it's unlikely, but it has happened...

My big concern there is going to be protecting my backup regulator, as long as I can breathe its all good...

jeckyll
January 3rd, 2007, 04:15 AM
My big concern there is going to be protecting my backup regulator, as long as I can breathe its all good...

I thought those would be the answers ...

Which reminds me that I've been meaning to swap the yellow cover on my secondary to something less likely to get grabbed.

GA Under Water
January 3rd, 2007, 04:27 AM
You have a Secondary Reg and If that is a problem you have an Inflator Fill your BC breath from the Inflator it will not take long to get to the surface just tilt your head back open your throat and enjoy the ride. Your BC if it has release valves will let go the excess and you still have some to breathe. you may have to use the tongue guard to block water from the inflator but hey, you still have air if needed. If you get the bends, it is better than being dead from Lung overex or just drowing.

I am sure the person that just ripped your regulator from you doesn't care about YOUR life at the time. but One of you has to remain calm.

As for Tangles. I carry 2 blades on me. One on my Leg one on my BC that folds easy open, both serrated. if I can't get to one to cut the tangle I can get to the other. Plus there is an Extra to let my Buddy do some cutting to free themselves and make the experience as short as possible.

Be a boyscout under water, always be prepared. This requires a certian extent of pecimisim to plan for something bad. but aint it grand that conversations like this come up. And in an OOA sitch you should be close enough to your buddy not to have the panic set in too awful.

Yanking your Reg out of someone elses mouth on a rec dive is just calus though. Remember your training. The life you save could be your own.

RS
January 3rd, 2007, 04:51 AM
Thanks for giving me this interesting read. On about my fifth dive my buddies mask just popped off and up he went for some air so I wrapped up his legs and went with him. He kept breathing and after a minute or so of panic on the surface he was OK. We weren't deep (~40fsw) but it was an unfortunate start to diving for me, as he was more experiencd. I always thought that was a stupid thing for me to do, but maybe your instincts are right sometime, as he needed some help getting it together on the surface. I didn't go back to fetch his mask.

Lamont and Jeffg, you guys are right on. Thumbs up back atcha!

R

IceIce
January 3rd, 2007, 06:18 AM
I mentioned that if it's a stranger, I won't follow him up. My first reaction is to let him/her go up, with that, I'll yank my reg. I explained in my post earlier that I might not have enough time to do the proper response, like dumping his/her air or communicate because, most probably the diver who take your reg and bolt to the surface is a panic diver and everything should happen very fast. I try to look at it realistically.

As I say, if it's my buddy that I know, I will follow them to the surface because I'm sure enough they might have other problem, I might know their style of diving.

If a stranger came and rob my reg, and tried to drag me to the surface, I don't see why should I follow if I could resist. Under many circumstances, I might not be able to resist, as I'm light and wouldn't have enough time to react. But if I could, I honestly would. I might feel guilty later, but that's my reaction.

Fair enough.
I agree to disagree. I don't really want to dive with a person if they expect me to give up my life, unless you are not a stranger.

D_B
January 3rd, 2007, 08:20 AM
Thank you for your posts Lamont, I think I have enough understanding now, that I would go up with someone if they snatched my reg and bolted ( I did preface my earlier response on that thread with ... fear might cause me to pull the reg from there mouth .. I no longer think that would be the case)

As for this thread and would I be able to not save someone, if I knew that doing so would put me at great risk? I still don't know, but I do still think that it would make a difference if it was someone I know, or love.

Thanks for giving me a better understanding, Lamont, you too Jeff, and as always, good post by TSandM

I will add that I do feel responsible for my buddy's wellbeing and would do everything I could to help them .. they are my buddy .. I also think you should dive like your solo .. think about what you do first , "be prepared" like a boy scout, don't just blindly rely on your buddy (or DM) to help you out

Diver Dennis
January 3rd, 2007, 10:28 AM
What you quoted is a good attitude to have about decompression. It is incorrect to state that you can go only to 10 fsw and have to decompress though. At that shallow of a depth the ppN2 in even fully saturated super slow tissues is under the 1.0 ambient at the surface and the tissues will not bubble (you need an oversaturation / overpressurization gradient in order to form bubbles). For the tissue compartments which can reach close to saturation in a recreational dive the tissues can also withstand roughly 2 times or more oversaturation over ambient before there is significant bubbling on a direct ascent at 60 fpm. That is what defines an "NDL dive".

Now there is decompression and offgasing that needs to occur on those dives. You'll probably feel better and you'll bubble to offgass a lot less if you treat all NDL dives as deco dives and do slow ascents. You may also run a risk of DCS if you do NDL dives with fast ascents over a long period of time (the larger the numbers the more it may catch up to you). It may be particularly bad to do back-to-back rapid ascents since the free phase bubble load from the first rapid ascent may get shunted on the second dive and cause fairly bad type 2 DCS.

So, yes, you want to be cautious in your day-to-day diving and minimize your DCS risk. But, no, you don't want to be overly fearful of DCS in the event you've got something that is really potentially life threatening going on. You simply have not ongassed enough inert gas into the fast tissues which are going to bubble significantly enough to give you a bad hit. Your blood will only have about a 2.5 x oversaturation compared to ambient and that can be tolerated. This is different from a technical diver who may have 5x or more oversaturation compared to ambient in their fast compartments and needs to do some decompression or they'll explosively foam in their blood (or you drop back down like Sheck did and turn a 5x oversaturation in a 2.5x oversaturation which is tolerable).

Do you want to do 100 dives like this? No. Do you want to do 100 dives like in sets of two repetetive dives? Hell no -- that's particularly bad since bubbles from the first dive may shunt on the second. But on a single dive to save a buddy, the risks of type 1 DCS (pain) are probably 1 in 100 or lower, and the risks of type 2 DCS are probably neglibible.

I think someone mentioned breathing fast as you go up. Is that a good procedure? I would like to know what you suggest as the proper procedure in the event this happens. Again, I admit that I thought DCS was more of a factor in this scenario and was wondering if there was something you could do to mitigate it if you find yourself being dragged up. Obviously, getting negative and trying to slow them down, if you have time, would be one thing.

TSandM
January 3rd, 2007, 11:09 AM
Jeff, you're my kind of diver.

When I dive, mentally I have made a commitment to my buddy or buddies to be there for them -- to be a resource and an aid, and to do whatever is within my power to help them (which is why I really need to practice the toxing diver rescue that I bombed so badly in the last class I took, as Kirk knows :) ). Peter and I have talked, for example, about what happens if you're in a cave and something goes wrong, and you end up with enough gas to get one person out, but not two. What would you do? I don't know the answer, because I think the people who are saying you can't know what you'll do until you're there are quite right. But I can't see myself swimming off and leaving someone to drown if there is any hope of saving them at all.

piikki
January 3rd, 2007, 11:24 AM
I think D_B summed up a bit what this thread has done. Given a little more info for making a smart decision in a situation that regular/newer OW divers maybe consider to be extremely dangerous when it indeed may be is not.

I’d be interested in hearing more about other examples, like OP’s original example, Chad. Established knowledge of consequences regarding those kinds of situations must be harder to come by – and there is another boogieman lurking. If you know you will run out of air yourself, get possibly lost or swept away while ending up in depths you never encountered… would you go save someone? It’s way easier for the ones who know and trust their chances of getting hurt are minimal to state they’d never yank a reg out of someone else’s mouth. What about in a situation where the risk is more unknown but pretty grave. What about when your gut says odds are really not in your favour if you go to help – do you still do it?

I have an example that reveals what a monster I am. I was on a charter where two men bragged how they had just ran out of air on 120ft dive that day. One added joyfully how he “runs out or very low on air nearly every time” hehe. The wreck we were diving was at 95ft in swift current. Both men had trouble getting off the boat, one had tank on backwards and it had to be swapped, and then they proceeded drifting under the vessel before being able to grab the line. We had tried to sway the captain from telling that the wreck’s silty cargoholds can be penetrated - to no avail. These guys were going in. Their equipment was less than average OW diver – for example snorkeling fins on one, and definitely no reels etc.

When waiting for our chance to get into water in this mess, we looked at each other with buddy. “We are staying on the other side of the wreck from these two”. Then I said to buddy “ and make sure you won’t go saving them from the dark holds because then I will be forced to come too”. I am nearly 100% sure I would not have ventured to overhead to risk our lives in an environment that I have not trained for - even if I expected someone to die because of no intervention. I still think it would have been stupid to make possibly 4 victims out of sheer stupidity of two.

FredT
January 3rd, 2007, 12:09 PM
As a quick aside, due to a "critter interaction" I've been forced to do an emergency buoyant ascent from about 160' in about 15 seconds without getting bent. Very special circumstances posted elsewhere but it does prove that even a very fast ascent from deep is not necessarily as deadly as PADI scare tactics would lead beginning divers to believe.

Deep excursions, also if short, are not as deadly as some believe either. Most divers will find that what they can do in an emergency is way beyond what they THINK they can do. The real danger is to trust that the adrenaline rush can compensate for gross stupidity. It can't. Stupid can still get you very dead very fast. When the world turns brown react quickly with a reasoned response and all survive. Get stupid about it and nobody does.

FT

cerich
January 3rd, 2007, 12:26 PM
I would much rather have a very fast uncontrolled assent from 120' having been there only a minute or two than a very fast uncontrolled assent from 60 ' after 40 minutes.

On deep no deco recreational dives it is your fast tissues that limit you, on shallow it is slow tissues (somehwat simplified), on deep dives you have much less residual loading whole body wise when you follow recreational no deco. tables

gangrel441
January 3rd, 2007, 01:49 PM
Though I assumed that the risk of a rapid ascent is a bit higher than many of you more experienced divers state, I do agree that there is no such thing as a risk-free rescue. The risk is one of the factors that must be assessed (often, in the blink of an eye). I did learn to dive back in the days when recommended ascent rate was 60fpm, there were no safety stops, and navy tables were the norm for recreational diving. In an actual rescue, a safety stop would never even cross my mind. With the buddy rocketing for the surface, I would have done what I can to arrest his ascent while he is on my air. If that became impossible, I would have probably pulled my reg back, though I am seriously rethinking that after reading many of these posts.

I do believe, as has been stated here already, that a rescue of a diver who has gone much deeper than planned, especially one who has exceeded MOD on a Nitrox dive, or a diver heading beyond recreational limits on a single AL80. Of course, the go/no go decision is far from cut and dried, but these situations put the rescuer at considerably higher risk.

drbill
January 3rd, 2007, 01:57 PM
I've made some rescues over 45 years of diving. However, I don't think one really knows how far they would go to save another person by endangering their own life until the situation actually presents itself in real time.

I'd like to say I'd risk my life to save any of my regular buddies, but I can't say that with any certainty. The proof would be in the pudding. Fortunately 85-90% of my diving is solo, so the only one I need to worry about "saving" is myself!

WJL
January 3rd, 2007, 03:11 PM
The real danger is to trust that the adrenaline rush can compensate for gross stupidity. It can't. Stupid can still get you very dead very fast. When the world turns brown react quickly with a reasoned response and all survive. Get stupid about it and nobody does.

FTThis is a good point, but my (limited) experience with adrenaline in emergencies is that it pretty much makes you stupid. It's as if the messages your brain is sending you are all in capital letters and phrased as simple commands. E.g., RUN AWAY! HIDE! HELP THAT PERSON! DO SOMETHING!

It's when you get the adrenaline-fueled DO SOMETHING command that you tend to do the very next thing that pops into your brain. This way be good or it may be bad, but the compulsion is hard to overcome.

Adrenaline is a CNS stimulator that is heavily biased toward action, to the severe detriment of contemplative thinking. It is released into the brain when doing something - anything - is generally better than doing nothing. Which is why training and training and training to the point of rote response is a good idea - so you don't have to think, you just react.

FredT
January 3rd, 2007, 04:23 PM
Step one is to think the word PANIC! to remind you not to. Once the proper action is quickly determined the adrenaline rush is fine.

FT

wardric
January 3rd, 2007, 07:00 PM
Good question indeed.

In a real life or death situation, I would be ready to die for my kids only. I would not risk my life to save even my wife if it would mean certain death for both of us, and she would do the same. We talked and agreed about it and one of us must survive to raise our children the way we decided to, until they are old enough. That being said, we try not to put ourselves in that situation so we dont do dangerous sports or activities together without the kids if possible.

Now in the situation described in this thread,(ooa, rapid buddy ascent dragging you, etc.), I had never tought of it thoroughly and I dont know what would have been my reaction. But now at least, i think I might remember the discussion here and have a better reaction. It is better to think about possible emergency situation and imagine a course of action before it actually happens. Learned that in rescue class too.

Now for the personnal experience, I was once in a life threatening situation. Without my good buddy, I would have been in serious trouble. We did (as calmly as we could) what we had to do. But my buddy was never himself endangered to the point where he had to make a decision to let me go or stay with me. I wonder what he would have done. We will never know, and it's better that way :)

Steve_Dives
January 6th, 2007, 06:53 PM
I was on a charter where two men bragged how they had just ran out of air on 120ft dive that day. One added joyfully how he “runs out or very low on air nearly every time” hehe. The wreck we were diving was at 95ft in swift current. Both men had trouble getting off the boat, one had tank on backwards and it had to be swapped, and then they proceeded drifting under the vessel before being able to grab the line. We had tried to sway the captain from telling that the wreck’s silty cargoholds can be penetrated - to no avail. These guys were going in. Their equipment was less than average OW diver – for example snorkeling fins on one, and definitely no reels etc.


TS's OP sent my thoughts to one of the recent Lessons for Life in SCUBA Diving magazine (I subscribe for that article, the rest is just the gravy). Two new AOW (I think) divers, both female, were on a wreck dive when one decided to penetrate the wreck through an opening in the hull - not part of their training, not part of their dive plan, and without even a thumb spool although they did have lights. It's a great story, but I won't repeat it here. They made it by the skin of their teeth and at least two divers surfaced OOA. The story had a happy ending because one of the buddies remained within eyesight of the hull breach and signalled a more qualified diver who made the rescue.

I'm with you on not following the bozos inside the wreck as I am not trained for it. And I wouldn't want to be near them in the water.

What I might do is check the experience level and equipment the other divers have - seeing if we can preplan a rescue if the need arises. I generally get that info in the normal predive chit chat, so it's just a matter of asking what we should do about the idiots. On a boat taking people with OW only, the best we might be able to do for the two diving hazards is note their entry point.

Gary D.
January 6th, 2007, 08:08 PM
This is a good point, but my (limited) experience with adrenaline in emergencies is that it pretty much makes you stupid. It's as if the messages your brain is sending you are all in capital letters and phrased as simple commands. E.g., RUN AWAY! HIDE! HELP THAT PERSON! DO SOMETHING!

It's when you get the adrenaline-fueled DO SOMETHING command that you tend to do the very next thing that pops into your brain. This way be good or it may be bad, but the compulsion is hard to overcome.

Adrenaline is a CNS stimulator that is heavily biased toward action, to the severe detriment of contemplative thinking. It is released into the brain when doing something - anything - is generally better than doing nothing. Which is why training and training and training to the point of rote response is a good idea - so you don't have to think, you just react.
Most Cops and Firemen are adrenaline junkies. It must make you real stupid because when prople are running away from a fire or gun fight we head for it. :D

Gary D.

Soggy
January 12th, 2007, 02:12 PM
I'm prepared to blow off 20 mins of mandatory O2 deco at my 20 foot stop if my buddy toxes. I'm likely to take a type 1 hit to the joints and need to go to the recompression chamber, but I'm prepared to do that.


No matter how good your deep stuff is, blowing off 20 minutes of O2 deco is likely to expeditiously give you a severe Type II hit or worse. It's not just going to be a little tingly feeling in your joints. Don't kid yourself.

Personally, I'd blow off a few minutes of deco or ascend to a shallower stop in order to pass someone off, but I'm not going to blow off ridiculous (20 minutes is a ridiculous amount to just ignore) in order to save someone who is likely already dead. Obviously, the situation is circumstantial. I'd do my best to go up with someone on a recreational level dive (or prevent them from going up if necessary).

I wonder how the attitude differs from those who have been bent vs those who have not.

piikki
January 12th, 2007, 03:34 PM
I wonder how the attitude differs from those who have been bent vs those who have not.

I have also wondered how the attitude differs between those who have at least once been seriously hurt (and suffered consequences) in general vs those who never have. Not claiming all who have escaped serious injury/illness are (still more of) so called 'invulnerables' but being faced with death/permanent damage and discomfort is a great eye-opener and puts some things/risks into new perspective.

LavaSurfer
January 12th, 2007, 03:44 PM
Could you abandon someone in trouble, and how would you cope with it if that person were permanently injured or killed as a result?


It would be hard but yes. I would do all I could and then back off.
Its like they say on Everest, Rescuing someone will be the last NICE thing you do.

I think responsibility stops just shy of your own death.

LavaSurfer
January 12th, 2007, 03:48 PM
This is a good point, but my (limited) experience with adrenaline in emergencies is that it pretty much makes you stupid. It's as if the messages your brain is sending you are all in capital letters and phrased as simple commands. E.g., RUN AWAY! HIDE! HELP THAT PERSON! DO SOMETHING!

There are theories to back this up. One theory is that when adrenaline starts pumping, at high levels you actually go into an autistic state where you focus on things vs. people. Your reactions become cold and reactionary instead of calculated. Adrenaline works good right up to a tipping point where it makes you stupid.

I was a fireman for 10 years and almost lost my life due to stupidity and after the incident I couldn't even comprehend my actions, they were stupid.

Debraw
January 13th, 2007, 12:47 AM
It would be hard but yes. I would do all I could and then back off.
Its like they say on Everest, Rescuing someone will be the last NICE thing you do.

I think responsibility stops just shy of your own death.


Ditto.....

Zeeman
January 13th, 2007, 01:18 AM
Like a few people here, I would do everything I could so long as I was sur ein myself that it wouldn't kill me. I have several dangerous hobbies, and I think "being prepared for the worst" is the best way to deal with it.

I guess everyone should ask themselves whether or not they are prepared to die for what they do. If the answer is no, then it's probably a good idea to find another hobby. By the way - being "prepared to die" does not mean "you will die", it means that you accept that it is possible, and you take the best steps you can to minimise the risks.

z...

David K
January 13th, 2007, 01:50 AM
What if the action you need to take to help puts you at risk, whether it's a panicked diver

A dive buddy experiencing CO2 toxicity, would be a handful for anyone to help.

CO2 toxicity can be caused by the combination of a low performance regulator, a high level of physical activity & a dive near the limits of recreational diving.

CO2 toxicity creates the sensation that the gas coming out of your regulator isn’t doing you any good. If this spins out of control the distressed diver can go primal looking for a regulator that works.

I experienced this first hand early in my dive career, fortunately I stopped swimming calmed down & reduced my depth, as quickly as it had come on it went away. I came close to spitting out my regulator @ 100ft in order to get a good breath. Had I spun out of control & gone primal my dive buddy would have been at great risk had he attempted to help me.

Doing a deep dive (i.e. beyond recreational limits) on air in a current is a recipe for CO2 toxicity. The solution under these conditions is to use helium in your mix (easier to breath than air), use a high performance regulator (reduces the work of breathing) and employ a scooter to reduce your level of physical activity.

There is a reason deep air divers dive solo, if they go primal only one person is going to die.

My training would cause me to intervene & attempt to help my buddy at the risk of my own demise.

David K

D_B
January 13th, 2007, 08:39 AM
Doing something that is fun, usually involves risk, and it seams, the more fun it is, the riskier it is

Understand those risks, do everything you can to mitigate those risks, accept them, and then enjoy whatever it is you like to have fun at.
... Zee got it right :D


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