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Thread: Unplanned deco / OOA incident

 

  1. #1
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    Unplanned deco / OOA incident

    I had an interesting experience on a recent trip to the Philippines.

    There were 6 guests on the boat, and two local guides. All reasonably experienced recreational divers - no clever stuff on the cards.

    Dives 1 and 2 were uneventful, other than me having an absolute hissy fit with one of the Russian chaps with the group. He had a fancy SLR with twin strobes and insisted on lying full length on the coral to use it. I got very angry watching him kick up huge chunks of previously pristine soft coral. This resulted in much underwater tank banging and some very imaginative hand signals. My tirade continued on the boat. Anyway... I digress.....

    Third dive of the day, after a relatively short surface interval. Dive plan was 18m / 60min dive, gentle drift from one mooring line to another. My buddy (who is also my partner) and I dived to about 18m, before getting low on no deco time and (cursing the choice to dive on air rather than nitrox) shallowed up for the rest of the dive. It was a stunning reef, we had a camera so had plenty to keep us interested in shallower water. About 30 mins into the dive, we spotted the afore mentioned photograper chap down at 20m taking pictures. His buddy was obviously as low on no-deco time as we were and was up at 5-8m. Interesting. One of the guides was pretty close to the photographer so we left them be. About 5 minutes later, they swim past us, photographer breathing off the guide's tank. My buddy and I exchanged raised eyebrows but didn't think too much of it. The next time we saw him, he was with the other guide - breathing off *his* tank. The first guide was rising to the surface.

    By now, we were coming up on 60 minutes and almost under the boat. The reef was shallow, so my partner and I long cleared our safety stops mooching about looking for interesting macro shots. The guide caught my attention and asked me how much air I had left. I'm pretty good on air, it had been a shallow dive, so I had well over half a tank left. I signalled as much and the guide asked if I'd share air with our photographer friend. Hugely confused, I swam over. The guide told me that our friend was OOA, and showed me his computer - it was showing a 6 minute stop needed below 5m!!! So he was out of air and had hit deco time. I gave him my octo.

    He was obviously a bit stressed out, so I tried to keep him calm and settled us to hold on onto a rock as there was a little current running. There were no dramas - I had tonnes of air left (although he sucked through it at an alarming rate!), and we waited out his stop. His computer cleared, he handed me back my octo and bolted for the boat. My buddy and I followed straight after at a slightly more conservative pace.

    I found out later that he was qualified to PADI Rescue level and had over 150 dives logged. How can you get to that level of experience, manage to clock deco time *and* run out of air?

    I got a curt 'thank you' from him when we got back on the boat. Now I wasn't expecting a declaration of undying love or anything, but the tight git didn't even buy me a beer in the bar that night! Can you believe that?
    MarkHerm likes this.
    There are 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't...

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    Maybe he was embarrassed or ashamed of what happened (what he got himself into?).
    Even if that were the case, he should have been more pleasant, and appreciative.
    Nice work on your part.
    BTW, what was the guide doing while you were sharing air??

  3. #3
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    divin'dog's Avatar
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    No surprise. It takes all types... Certifications (his rescue) really don't mean anything unless you practice what you learned, otherwise it just becomes an empty title.
    Jax likes this.

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    Wow.....what a DB


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    ScubaSteve's Avatar
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    I for one am not surprised but I would also not worry too much about. Guaranteed he was embarrassed as anything.....especially considering it was you...he who had been yelling at him earlier. I bet he was very thankful but could not get past the shame and embarrassment. My take anyway.
    "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

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    BluewaterSail's Avatar
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    This is why the dependency on computers is so scary. Some people take no responsibility for planning their dives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by miked View Post
    BTW, what was the guide doing while you were sharing air??
    He was almost OOA too after sharing - so had surfaced, but was watching from alongside the boat.
    There are 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't...

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    supergaijin's Avatar
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    "I think computer mistake" said to me after a dive where another 'experienced' Russian's D9 was in error mode.

    He was diving with another guide the day before, had evidently gone in to deco and surfaced without doing his stop. I was checking computers at our safety stop the next morning and saw his computer in error mode. So not only had he omitted deco obligations the day before, he then went diving the next day and then wanted our spare computer to make the second dive that morning.

    It's hard to know whether to laugh or cry sometimes.
    Jax likes this.

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    jar546's Avatar
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    He was probably using a Suunto computer
    http://www.photoeditingforum.com/forum.phpa new forum for editing photos
    "The more I learn, the more I realize just how just much I don't know"

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    TSandM's Avatar
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    We dove in Lembeh a few years back with a fellow who was an avid macro photographer. He got his own dive guide, because the resort knew that, if he found something interesting to photograph, he would stay underwater until he ran out of gas. It is amazing how careless of their own safety people can be.
    "If something goes tits up, don't count on rising to the occasion. You will fall to what you have truly mastered." (PfcAJ)
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    In my experience, divers who run out of air are either: a) distracted, b) inactive divers who are inattentive to their gauges, or c) are oblivious to an equipment issue. On the facts given I will go with a combination of a and b. Photos, bad habits with respect to the reef; non-responsive to warnings. I think I have dove with this guy.
    DivemasterDennis

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