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Accidents and Incidents:What mistakes have you made?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by gcbryan, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. gcbryan

    gcbryan One Bad Hombre

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Seattle
    We're always trying to learn something from the Accidents and Incidents reports...sometimes we do and sometimes there's not much to learn.

    As we know it's usually the little things that add up to make for a bad day...the commonplace things rather than large things that stand out.

    What are some of the mistakes that you've made that came back to bite you?

    You can tell the whole story if you'd like or just tell what (perhaps) commonplace mistakes you made that probably all of us are guilty of from time to time.

    We don't necessarily learn something from every incident report because a lot of them are health related. I suspect many of the rest however are little things that added up along with a little bad luck on that particular day.

    I won't detail the whole story with my comments (I think I've done that elsewhere anyway) but I'll just say that higher wind than expected made for a nasty dive in a narrow high current area on one particular dive and diving with a new, much too tight drysuit neck seal caused a problem on one particular dive.

    What kinds of easily overlooked things have come back to bite you on your dives?
  2. vjanelle

    vjanelle Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Weight belt on too tight, resulting in air being trapped in legs in my dry suit. Apparently I paid very good attention during the part of the dry suit class at doing forward somersault recoveries.

    Not tightening the wing nuts on my BP/W, resulting in occasional teasing from shop & boat crew.
  3. Crush

    Crush Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Western Canada
    Reposted from http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/5050986-post111.html

    In Oct 2008 I was a newly-minted diver who had about 20 dives under his belt and had been certified five months earlier. I believe that I had not yet completed my AOW training. I am land-locked, so most of my dives had been in fresh water, that is, dull and gray. I check my gauges religiously - you would think that I would be the last person to get near-OOA. However, in Oct 2008 I jumped into the water off Quadra Island in British Columbia. I had never seen such colour and I spent the dive giggling like a little girl. Oh sure - I checked my gauges a few times, but I was very distracted by the invertebrate life, plus I was getting used to the current a bit (which was actually fun). At one point my dive buddy (who knew that I was new) motioned for me to check my gauges. I found to my surprise that I was down to 300 psi (in one Al 80) at 70 fsw. We had previously agreed that since I was a hoover I would surface on my own. I signaled my intent to surface and made a controlled ascent at about 60 fpm to thirty feet (consistent with my training), then at 30 fpm to twenty feet where I held on to some kelp and did a full three minute safety. As it happens, every inhalation at 20 feet dropped my tank pressure by about 5 psi. When my full three minutes were up I ascended slowly to the surface and ended up with a huge 50 psi (about ten breaths) in reserve.


    Postscript: According to my basic-OW licensing agency (ACUC) my depth restrictions were 80 feet for the first 20 dives or 10 hours accumulated dive time, then 130 feet after that point.
  4. travis99

    travis99 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Maryland
    Forgot to turn my air all the way on, just cracked the valve. Didn't find out until I was at 75 feet. Always have your buddy double check your gear.

  5. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    Not checking buoyancy characteristics on borrowed tanks and ending up underweighted and badly out of balance.

    Carefully adjusting my weight for fresh water for a dive, and forgetting to do the same for my scooter (diving with a negative scooter is a real PITA).

    Not gauging a tank before throwing it in the car. It's embarrassing to show up to dive with someone you don't know and have to admit your tank is half full.

    Miscalculating slack. We were lucky, because we were SO wrong that we knew it the minute we got in the water. If we'd gotten in a bit earlier, we might have thought we were going to be okay, and then had a frightening time trying to get back to the exit.

    Those come off the top of my head (the first two were this month).
  6. iztok

    iztok PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Charlotte, NC
    Jumping off the boat (Atlantic Ocean) w/o fins. Since I make great effort not to fin when submerging I didn't even notice until around 10ft underwater turning horizontal and tried to kick. Needles to say it was subject of much laugh on the board when I surfaced and kindly asked for fins. Lucky the place was reef (of Key Largo) and max depth was only 30ft or so and water was calm.
  7. peterbj7

    peterbj7 Dive Shop Owner Rest in Peace

    # of Dives:
    Location: San Pedro, Belize and Oxford, UK
    Actually I'd say always check your OWN air, but do it properly. Directly before you enter the water take a single deep breath and watch your pressure gauge. If an analogue one moves AT ALL, even if it goes directly back, you have a problem. A digital one may dip very slightly and immediately return to the same pressure that was indicated before.

    In general never rely on your buddy or anyone else for life sensitive checks.
  8. super7

    super7 Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: TYO, JPN
    Going too far trying to shed weights diving alu tanks, got underweight on ascent.
    Got positively buoyant after using more than half of the tank, and needed to keep finning head down to stay in the same depth after ascending to 10m. Luckily found a line to hold onto for the safety stop, and after the stop, sort of rappelled upside down to the surface.
  9. knowone

    knowone Regular of the Pub

    Plenty of heart pounding boundary pushing issues but no mistakes. Ok. Someone drove off with my integrated weights but I had a belt with me anyway.
    Mistake. Cigarettes. Not being as fit as I should be.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2010
  10. Ed Palma

    Ed Palma Solo Diver

    Wreck penetration with unfamiliar gear (1st time in OW with a al40 stage) - progressive entry without a guideline, poor situational awareness. Subsequent silt-out inside the wreck, got turned around inside, didn't tie off at that point, and started off in the wrong direction.

    All this on one dive.

    I'm back to diving reefs for the meanwhile again...

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