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Accident & Incident Discussion - Northernone - aka Cameron Donaldson

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

  1. jstrang

    jstrang Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: burlington, ON, CANADA
    Don’t undersell yourself Ray. Maybe it should be WWRS. What would Ray Say.
    NYCNaiad likes this.
  2. RayfromTX

    RayfromTX Student Of Gas Mixology Staff Member ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Hill Country of Central TX
    probably something inappropriate
  3. bada3003

    bada3003 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Indiana
    The UV18 (unless the motor has been mod'ed) has a stronger motor (more winding) than the old UV26 but it's still heavy at 70+ lbs and lacks power compared to the newer DPVs. In high flow caves, you can expect to achieve crawling speed. Against strong currents, it's no match unless going sideways.

    As to safety, ocean currents, to me, is the most unpredictable and risky element of diving. All else pales in comparison. Always carry tall SMB and two reels, at a minimum. I also carry a foldable snorkel, an air horn, a light to attach to the SMB. Drysuit pockets help carry this stuff. Redundant buoyancy (in wetsuit) is advised, and if possible, carry one of those locator devices. Murphy will come visit. It's not a question of if but when.
  4. ChuckP

    ChuckP Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cozumel
    As for possible medical events, I’m not a doctor by any means but over my years, I’ve seen three people pass completely unexpected, all from some type of anyorism, I don’t even know how to spell it.

    41 year old guy, dropped in his driveway, just before taking his son to soccer practice - I was on the phone with him a minute before.

    32 year old guy tubing, fell off the tube, they picked him up but he was gone.

    40 year old guy, working with his mom at their pizza shop - looked at his mom and hit the floor, gone.

    All these guys I knew - they weren’t drug users, heavy drinkers or out of shape - you could look in the mirror and see them. They were good, honest family guys - you’ll never know why it happened. There was never any medical history that said it might happen, it just did.

    It sucks, sucks a lot. Sometimes you get to thinking about them and you wonder, this incident happens and you wonder.

    Don’t dwell, live, do things, give back, just be a great person - sometimes you’re not in control of the plan
  5. RayfromTX

    RayfromTX Student Of Gas Mixology Staff Member ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Hill Country of Central TX
    I asked Bonnie why he gave her his camera when they separated for him to go deeper. Her reply follows.

    "He always gives me his camera unless there is absolutely no or little current. You can't take macro photos in a current. So I almost always kept the camera while he did his going deeper part And yes he liked his hands free while going deeper."

    I didn't realize that. That's why there are so few pictures of the deep stuff.

    "Right, The camera was for the deco part of the dive ...in the shallows with time to look for the little stuff. We had done it that way many times. And we always stayed at least 20 minutes more than the most conservative amt of deco time. He.always wanted to be extra safe on deco length (I think especially for me) and also because we both absolutely loved being at 10 ft looking for little things he could photograph."

    Easier done on a shore dive. Probably one reason he preferred it to boats.
    eleniel, mtngoat2674, oncor23 and 5 others like this.
  6. Hiszpan

    Hiszpan Nassau Grouper

    I have been following SB for over 2 years but only now decided to register to post something.

    It might be far fetched observation, but for the last week or so, around the time when that incident happened, I have observed very low tides in Bermuda where I live. I have never seen them so low as during this last 7 days.

    I wonder if that implies that currents in general could be stronger than normal around this part of the globe? The recent incident in Cayman seems to also have been caused by super strong current.
    lv2dive and chillyinCanada like this.
  7. diversteve

    diversteve Technical Admin

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Almost none of that applies here. He was a certified instructor for two different agencies, had his scooter with him for less air consumption, was full cave certified - not that it applied but it shows the discipline. Also didn't someone say he was diving sidemount doubles?
    eleniel, chillyinCanada, MMM and 2 others like this.
  8. Protondecay123

    Protondecay123 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Apex of Moronia
    And yet the result is here and here we are having this discussion. Solo technical dive with a ripping current. Unusual DPV mount, going below recommended recreational depths solo is dangerous even if you are a multi-agency instructor. If you go back to the original thread the dive plan decribed shore diving in a 6 knot current, leaving the dive partner at 70 few to descend to 120-150 fsw for 5-10 minutes. That dive plan at its maximums would have a decompression obligation whether you have a scooter, cave certified, or multiagency instructor or not. You can look at the dive charts and see. One poster from Coz said the current was ripping at 6 knots that day. Plus the risk of nitrogen narcosis as pointed out by PADI’s technical director. Its seems that frequently in the A&I section we read a lot about technical dives. On your own, you are free to do what you want and can rationalize/normalize what you like. It’s your life, do what you will. But clearly in looking at this incident you can see that multiple guidelines and recommendations were exceeded particularly with the conditions.
    abnfrog and Jayfarmlaw like this.
  9. Hiszpan

    Hiszpan Nassau Grouper


    A quick look on the tide table shows a high magnitude of difference (for Bermuda conditions) between low and high tides starting from 16/17th of March onwards. Normally the difference is well less than a metre for most times, here we can see more than 1 metre difference on few days.

    Then we also had Super Moon on the 21st, so days leading up to and after that would have lower lows and higher highes in terms of tides, as the moon is at it's closest to Earth.

    As a side note, I am sure the actual tides were lower than the indicated 0.1 metre above Chart Datum, as I have observed a lot of rocks couming out of the water that I have never seen before. The answer to that might be a strong, persistent low that was blowing NE winds of 22+ knots for at least 5 days since 17th of March.

    That might explain stronger currents. That might also help in future planning of wall dives around the places, where currents could be an issue.
    Seaweed Doc likes this.
  10. RayfromTX

    RayfromTX Student Of Gas Mixology Staff Member ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Hill Country of Central TX
    I've asked more questions. Here are the responses. As I have said, it is natural for people to jump to conclusions. They will usually be off the mark.The blaming tone is what makes people reluctant to share what they know in these threads. Cameron was more transparent that that because he cared for others more than for his ego. I am sharing this in that spirit. I have not felt like asking these questions sooner. This discussion is irrelevant to our search for Cameron on the surface which has up to now been our primary focus.

    Bonnie, where was the scooter when you separated and how strong was the current?

    The Scooter Was In Front Of Him Not Stowed behind. I have felt the current stronger there on other dives.. the current was strong but let's remember I was able to navigate 2 miles of that reef at 70 - 90 ft that day. I realize currents can be stronger and different at deeper depths.
    shoredivr, oncor23, lv2dive and 5 others like this.

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