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

 

  1. #151
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    electrix's Avatar
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    I have a GoPro camera that I have used to video classes, distance is very deceptive, you can be at arms length and it looks much more, 10 feet away looks like 25', after that it looks like you are in the next county. At the surface he was right next to his dad and it looks like to me at around the 5 minute mark he was close enough to the wall to touch it. I would not think twice about diving with the Dad when it REALLY COUNTED he kept his head, and that is a lot more than I know about the rest of you. No offense but talk is cheap how many instructors drowned last year?
    Sorrows likes this.
    I am their leader, which way did they go ?

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    fred3798's Avatar
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    I find the video very hard to follow. I have appreciated the entries above that have pointed to specfic events at specfic times. I don't see Dad come down, fill son's BCD and take him up for example It would be very helpful and educational for me if someone could spend a couple of minnutes and give a bit of a chronology of what we are watching. BTW, I continue to believe that there is no need to be nasty in assessing events.
    Darol likes this.
    Fred

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    Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InTheDrink View Post
    Don, just to make a quick point. Frequently in high current negative entries/hot drops are necessary where you meet somewhere below. You often do not drop at the same time.

    Your protocol would break down in these not infrequent scenarios.

    John
    hmm... I'm trying to visualize what exactly the circumstances would be where you have a lot of current and would't want to descend as quickly and as close to each other as you could to avoid being separated?
    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    hmm... I'm trying to visualize what exactly the circumstances would be where you have a lot of current and would't want to descend as quickly and as close to each other as you could to avoid being separated?
    Agreed- drift dives should have organised entries so that everyone jumps, signals OK and begins descent without any fluffing about. Captains/guides are usually pretty good at putting you in a place where you have the best chance of getting u/w, then getting your bearings and then meeting the current as you descend. The worst thing is for a diver to jump, and then take off their mask to spit in it. (especially when specifically told not to approximately 2mins before)

    On a boat in NZ when we didn't have space for all divers to enter together, we used a drift line behind the boat for people to hold after entry. Kept the group together and everyone was able to catch their breath before making the descent. I think this is the most painless way for entries but not very practical if the boat is constantly underway.

    I have done negative entry dives with other instructors/DMs during staff dives. But those entries as well were coordinated so that we were jumping a bit like skydivers exiting a plane, swimming down and holding on.

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    Scurby and family, as has been stated repeatedly, thank you for having the courage to post your video in this forum. This is the forum where it is picked apart and disseminated. If that is emotionally disturbing, as it would be to me if it were my family, then remember what this is for: to find what went wrong, what could have been done differently, and to air it out so that these seeds can be planted in our noggins to possibly one day help one of us survive a similar event. We are all human, and have the panic bug, as pointed out by Grateful Diver. Thus, performing perfectly during an event such as this just isn't really realistic to expect. So you do the best you can do. Dad did; and son is here to talk about it. Please do not take what is said here as personal attacks, they are not. If possible, cut thru the emotion response, and learn from it, as Im sure you already have.
    We dove Cozumel for 10 days, leaving the day before this video was made. My wife and buddy were caught in a downwelling, but were able to kick out of it horizontally. We also had one on Palancar Bricks, bubbles going down, but ducked thru the wall and got out of it. We did not get caught out in the blue, as it seems to appear you all did.
    Again, my hat is off to you for posting something so difficult. Many people will take something from this that may one day make all the difference.

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    I'm glad that all 3 of you are now safe. Thank you for posting this video, as I'm going to analyze it by myself and see how I would react to this, if it would happen to me. I cannot imagine how your son felt during that time. I hope he will continue diving.

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    Bison Ravi's Avatar
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    Please add my thanks to Scurby for posting the video. It is very hard to react to an emergency situation and for one I think the father reacted very well when taking into account the experience and the situation.

    I won't repeat all that has been said, but would like to point out something that is bothering me a lot in many of the comments. Please excuse me if this has been said before, but I didn't see it.

    Many people are saying "if caught in a down current, get away from the wall". I'd be interesting if someone could enlighten me because to me, that sounds like bad advice.

    Here is the way I see it: When you are trying to swim against a current, you get to the bottom. Why?

    1-Because of the friction created by the bottom, that's where the current is the less powerfull.

    2-You got something to hold on into if the current is too strong to swim against. You can also crawl your way up the current.

    I believe the same is true for a wall when in a down current: the current is less powerfull next to the wall, and you can hold on to it and either wait for the current to be less strong or follow the wall to get out of the current horizontally.

    What if you go over the blue and the current isn't lower? You could get pretty deep very fast, with nothing to stop you.
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  8. #158
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    Even if the bottom is at 400 feet?
    Quote Originally Posted by Bison Ravi View Post
    Please add my thanks to Scurby for posting the video. It is very hard to react to an emergency situation and for one I think the father reacted very well when taking into account the experience and the situation.

    I won't repeat all that has been said, but would like to point out something that is bothering me a lot in many of the comments. Please excuse me if this has been said before, but I didn't see it.

    Many people are saying "if caught in a down current, get away from the wall". I'd be interesting if someone could enlighten me because to me, that sounds like bad advice.

    Here is the way I see it: When you are trying to swim against a current, you get to the bottom. Why?

    1-Because of the friction created by the bottom, that's where the current is the less powerfull.

    2-You got something to hold on into if the current is too strong to swim against. You can also crawl your way up the current.

    I believe the same is true for a wall when in a down current: the current is less powerfull next to the wall, and you can hold on to it and either wait for the current to be less strong or follow the wall to get out of the current horizontally.

    What if you go over the blue and the current isn't lower? You could get pretty deep very fast, with nothing to stop you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by boulderjohn View Post
    Even if the bottom is at 400 feet?
    I interpreted his post as recommending that you cling to the wall, which, for a downcurrent, would be analagous to the bottom for a normal, horizontal current. That way it made sense, though I disagree.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bison Ravi View Post
    I believe the same is true for a wall when in a down current: the current is less powerfull next to the wall, and you can hold on to it and either wait for the current to be less strong or follow the wall to get out of the current horizontally.

    What if you go over the blue and the current isn't lower? You could get pretty deep very fast, with nothing to stop you.
    Some prefer to get close to the wall and crawl up, but I don't as you are not out of it really. Still got to deal with it at the top. This thread mentions the DM rescuing two who did that and were stuck. Horizonal might work, yeah - as whether you go horizontal or away, the currents are generally narrow like rip currents on a beach.
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