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Thread: First-hand account of down current, with video footage

 

  1. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by scurbyduck View Post
    The instructor remembered nothing she didn't remember clinging onto the wall, and the student said he was a gonner had it not been for the DM.
    Wow. Was that a local Instructor? Both of them sound overcome with fear and clueless on how to swim out of a downwelling. I've never been caught in a rip current, but it's the same principle: swim across it to escape.
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  2. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by scurbyduck View Post
    The instructor remembered nothing she didn't remember clinging onto the wall, and the student said he was a gonner had it not been for the DM.
    Sounds like a case where remaining with a buddy would have resulted in two deaths.
    Tim
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    Composed of elite divers with Macho mentalities, back when men were men, and FEAR was a lispy companion of the common Man. It was a time before insurance liabilities, lawsuits or beauracratic regulation of the "sport". Guerrilla divers didn't need "Buoyancy Compensator Vests". In fact, "Anyone who needs a BC deserves to drown" was a popular adage. Exploration and the Hunt came first, excitement and fun followed. Safety was the stepchild of fitness, good reflexes and a cool head.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    It's easy to quarterback from a keyboard, because the unmanageable run-away ascent wasn't an existing condition to overcome, it was caused by the rescuer, it was a created condition due to using both BCDs instead of one.


    This has been the point that the current while strong and angling slightly downward was not the mythical deadly down current that so many posters are now posting on scubaboard about, and asking if it's safe for them to dive in Cozumel because of these mystical downcurrents and incidents like this one recorded on video that appear to record how dangerous they are. The reality is this was self-induced, a too fast descent, bad habits such as the diver using only his legs and fins to stop his plumet, not adding air to his BC to get to neutral prior to feeling the pull of the current.

    This video to me is the opposite of what many see it as, it's a good example of how manageable a Cozumel down current really is. If you follow your training and dive conservatively there should be nothing to worry about. As TSandM stated, more than one diver on this same dive was able to easily descent and rise and move about in the current. The video shows the fine line in diving how you can be either in total control of yourself and out of control. It's a great video for study.



    When I first got to my son I grabbed hold of his bc and inflated mine and was kicking hard this didn't really didn't seem to be cutting it I thought I was losing ground that's when I put some air in his bc. My computer profile supports my recollection. I don't know how it would have turned out had I inflated the one, but that's not what I did. I thought once I started upward I could bleed some air and control the ascent, but with all the bubbles it was hard to find his inflator hose and fought this situation all the way to the surface.
    Gdog, Ayisha, Mike and 1 others like this.

  4. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    It's easy to quarterback from a keyboard, because the unmanageable run-away ascent wasn't an existing condition to overcome, it was caused by the rescuer, it was a created condition due to using both BCDs instead of one.
    In theory I agree with you. In practice ... unless the rescuer had been through a rescue class it's unlikely he was ever taught how to bring up another diver in this fashion. And even if he was, a rescue is a dynamic situation that often bears little resemblance to the controlled environment in which training occurs. Given the experience of these two divers, I can think of several outcomes that would have had far more serious consequences than this one did ... the rescuer could have done things better, but the salient point is that he got them to the surface without either of them getting hurt. However managed, that is the ultimate goal of any rescue.

    It's easy to "analyze" a situation like this when you aren't under the stress of dealing with it. It's another thing entirely to be in the position (particularly as an inexperienced diver) trying to remember what you were taught in class ... if you were taught it at all. It's yet another level of stress when the person you're trying to rescue is your son.

    As I see it, there are several learning opportunities here. One is how to handle a situation like this one better ... that one's easily fixable with a well taught Rescue class. Another is how to use better judgement to keep yourself out of the situation in the first place. That one's more difficult and subjective, in part because people go to places like Cozumel to experience dives that are often not prudent choices for divers of their experience and ability level ... and most of us are exceptionally good at imagining ourselves to be more skilled than we actually are. Yet another is the value of practicing learned skills so that when needed you don't have to put effort into "remembering" what you were taught to do ... people seldom take the time outside of class to practice basic rescue skills, despite the value such practice would bring to their real-world diving.

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
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    Analyzing is what we do in this forum. Bob I totally agree with everything you said.

    Scurbyduck - nobody can fault you for anything you did and the results, especially since the results were 100% positive! The process of analyzing what happened is like watching video footage with the winner of the Indy 500 and discussing how they could have shaved 4 seconds off their finish time. The long and the short of it is they still won, and the long of the short of it is that your son is alive and well.
    t-mac likes this.
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  6. #136
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    Interesting how a lot of the comments seem to join in on the "this could have been handled better" tone. It's short of saying "it's your own fault, you screwed up", or even "I would have done much better!"

    Aren't almost all incidents and accidents of this kind? Couldn't almost all have been averted if the affected person(s) did something different? Why point it out repeatedly?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TSandM View Post
    You know, in reading more posts on this thread, one thing strikes me -- the instructor and student who got stuck at 165 were each rescued by the DM -- so the DM was able to go down to that depth, TWICE, and bring people up . . . that means that it was quite possible to get out of the situation, because the DM did it TWICE. We then have to ask: What did the DM know, or what could he do, that he could easily enough manage the problem, where four other divers were unable to do so?
    .
    I can answer that one because i asked him that very question. he showed me his bc and said it had 60+lbs of lift. I think mines like 22 lbs.
    RickyF likes this.

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    Yet another is the value of practicing learned skills so that when needed you don't have to put effort into "remembering" what you were taught to do ... people seldom take the time outside of class to practice basic rescue skills, despite the value such practice would bring to their real-world diving.
    I think of how many times I've seen divers who are "certified" and have trouble with the very basic
    skills, like clearing a mask.
    Last edited by Darol; April 24th, 2012 at 06:25 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfx View Post
    Interesting how a lot of the comments seem to join in on the "this could have been handled better" tone. It's short of saying "it's your own fault, you screwed up", or even "I would have done much better!"

    Aren't almost all incidents and accidents of this kind? Couldn't almost all have been averted if the affected person(s) did something different? Why point it out repeatedly?
    Because picking incidents apart might give us the little edge we might once need to get out of it, just like the divers in this incident got out of it..
    It is virtually never one factor alone that cause an issue, but a blend of several things and always, to some extent, even if just being there a human factor.
    The good thing about near misses is that although a human factor contributed to the situation getting bad, its also what corrected it.
    Picking incidents apart and looking at what was done right and what could have been done better we can discover ways to prevent getting into those situations, as well as options as to how we can act to get out of them as well as possible should we already be in those situations.
    Mike likes this.
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    I wonder if periodic short term exposure to risk can decrease your longterm risk of accidents. I hope it does..

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    Quote Originally Posted by dfx View Post
    Interesting how a lot of the comments seem to join in on the "this could have been handled better" tone. It's short of saying "it's your own fault, you screwed up", or even "I would have done much better!"

    Aren't almost all incidents and accidents of this kind? Couldn't almost all have been averted if the affected person(s) did something different? Why point it out repeatedly?
    I'll second tigerman.

    I'd guess that if you start at the beginning of this thread and list all the tips and information it contains, you'd get a list of a minimum of 20 beneficial pieces of information. Just think the benefit of any diver who reads one of them and it wakes something up inside them.
    Mike

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