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Accident & Incident Discussion - Northernone - aka Cameron Donaldson

Discussion in 'Accidents and Incidents' started by Pedro Burrito, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. Pedro Burrito

    Pedro Burrito Moderator Staff Member

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Boussens, Canton de Vaud, Suisse

    A ScubaBoard Staff Message...

    This is the place to discuss the incident with Cameron Donaldson.

    It is not the place to discuss the search and rescue phase : Search and Rescue - Scubaboard Staff Member - Northernone - Missing in Cozumel

    Nor is it the place to discuss remembrances, love, or anything positive you feel about Cameron : Northernone - aka Cameron Donaldson

    If you want to follow the thread, click on the Watch Thread link below the title on the right side of your screen. Please do not post a following post.

    What do we know about the incident?

    • He entered the water at 2:30 pm on Saturday, 16 March.
    • He was diving on the northwest side of Cozumel
    • He was solo diving
    • He was diving side mount
    • He was diving Air with two aluminum 80 cubic foot tanks
    • He had a scooter with him
    • He was wearing a full 5mm wetsuit
    • The currents were reported to be strong in the area
    Add more details, please.[/modpost]
  2. Wookie

    Wookie Secret Field Agent ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    He was not equipped for solo diving aside from redundant gas supplies. He appears to have had neither a DSMB, a lift bag for a flooded scooter, redundant buoyancy (not a requirement, but a fine idea), or any signaling device. None of those would appear to have contributed to the initial cause of disappearance, but none were available to assist in his recovery either.
  3. jstrang

    jstrang Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: burlington, ON, CANADA
    He was an experienced diver and from all accounts had done this shore dive many times.
  4. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives. ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
    Hi jstrang,

    Please read Wookie's post. Experience, professional status, and local knowledge does not alleviate the need for a trained buddy, a dive plan, and proper redundant gear/SOLAS gear while tec diving. The current is always present at Cozumel, it just varies in velocity.

    Solo diving in benign conditions should be taken seriously.

    A quote from Shearwater Research's Perdix AI Nitrox manual: "You really are risking your life with this activity."

    Take this sport seriously, please.

    Dive safe and don't let mother nature hurt you,
    AfterDark, BikerBecca, Laval and 8 others like this.
  5. johndiver999

    johndiver999 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Gainesville FL
    I thought I read in another thread that the currents on the day of the accident were very strong and unusual - possibly over 5 knots.

    I also read that he would typically dive below 150 on those dives and would incur 30 minutes or more of deco. I have also read that he frequently engaged in spearfishing at those depths - pursuing Lionfish and carrying the speared fish with him.

    The comments above are more questions rather than answers, but clarifying or validating some of those factors would seem important to better understand the situation.

    The contents of his two tanks might be of interest as well. Was it two tanks of air and no deco gas?
    What was his planned maximum depth?
    Was he diving deep air solo?
    Why was the search delayed for about 4 hrs after he was late?
    It may be too soon to make specific inquiries about some
    of these topics, but they seem to be important pieces of the puzzle.
  6. Timmy V

    Timmy V Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ottawa, Canada
    How do we know he didn't have any of the equipment you mention? Did I miss a thread stating this?
    shoredivr likes this.
  7. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    Some of your questions are answered in this post below.

  8. abnfrog

    abnfrog Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: great white north
    wookie hit the nail on the head , but as a solo instructor youteach you do need alt lift , as far as I know he was just kitted out in SM config not solo , I think when this is over we should talk about style of diving and just what diving philosophy was used on a day to day to see if there were holes in it ....hopefully with cam
    Marie13, MargaritaMike and markmud like this.
  9. Vicko

    Vicko Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Komizža, Croatia
    I lost a friend this same way a couple of years ago. Went solo (freediving) he was a diving instructor, in top form and then one day he did not come back from the dive. 7 days of searching managed to find his body and camera. After he speard a fish he smiled for the camera started to ascend and just stopped moving. Turns out a massive brain bleed killed him before he hit the surface.

    No matter what equipment you carry sometimes bad stuff happens.
  10. abnfrog

    abnfrog Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: great white north
    ANA spot on I feel the same as you ....about being straight up , doesn't make you super poplar , I don't think they would raise 100 buck to find me ....im glad he was well liked

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