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Dave Shaw - An Amazing Bloke

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by LastManOut, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. LastManOut

    LastManOut Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: I'm a Nomad, so I could be anywhere
    Now there's a valuable addition to the thread.

    Does it look to you like this is an elaborate page?

    Hmmm... Looks to me like it's a totally simple site that has been set up purely for information purposes, and somewhere for people to access Dave's equipment specifics and dive reports should they feel the need. Shaw didn't have the personality of a braggart or a big talker, a rarity in this industry - something you would know if you read up on him.
  2. austriandiveress

    austriandiveress Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Vienna, Austria
    I recently read "Diving into Darkeness", one of the (apparantly) several books regarding this body recovery. It was one of the most gripping tales I have ever read, and I couldnt put it down until 4:30 am. when I was finished.
    I really have mixed feelings about this. Sure, he was an adventurer and seemed to be a great friend and modest guy. But still..... if somebody here on SB were to dive in as risky a manner as he did, I cant help but think that this person would be flamed like crazy, rather than praised as a hero...
    I dont know if what he did was noble, or if it was simply selfish: if I recall correctly it was his idea to recover the body, and not the parents of the young man who had died.
    To me, its noble to risk your life to save a life, but to put yourself in a situation where your own chances of survival arent that great, to recover someone who died 10 years earlier...I dont know.
    The book made me worry about some divers that I know well, who like to "push the envelope"..... I guess some people never think it will happen to them.
  3. tedj101

    tedj101 Angel Fish

    To put a slightly different spin on this, why is this thread on the "basic" scuba discussions board. It is not about basic scuba -- anything but, actually. It involves two dead divers neither of whom was, from the contents of the stories referenced here, involved in a basic scuba situation, and it could scare the bej*s*s out of people who are interested in basic recreational scuba and basic scuba discussions. Such people include new divers, not quite yet new divers, spice of recreational divers (my wife would go ballistic if she read this stuff since my teen age daughter and I dive together), parents of recreational divers and significant others of recreational divers all of whom might well get the idea that basic scuba is more dangerous than they had been lead to believe by reading this thread. I really think this topic should have been posted in the advanced or tech section at the very least. Yeah, I know, the original poster wanted it to get as much exposure as he could, but actions often have unintended consequences.

    Just another POV...

  4. Buoyant1

    Buoyant1 Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Hershey, PA
    I just read Diving into Darkness and throught it was a great story...no matter what the perceived benefits of the recovery were, and the complications that were sitting in front of all of them the whole time, reading about the guy showed that recovering that body was in his 'makeup' and nothing was going to stop him from doing it. It was probably destined to be a failure from the git-go, but give the guy credit for trying and (technically) succeeding, although he paid the price, and his poor family and friends have to deal with his loss. Tragic, but that's what I gather the guy wanted to do.

    Ironically, while I was reading the book, I stumbled on his website and was freaked out for a moment. I didn't know that it was still there, and it was just weird to click a link and get there?!?!
  5. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Instructor, Scuba

    IIRC at the time someone told me that he was pushing his rebreather beyond it's specified limits (something to do with the filter medium being the wrong type/size or something) and that he probably lost consciousness as a result of that.

    I think people who are willing to take great risks and push the envelope have gotten the diving community to where it is. Unfortunately sometimes Darwin is waiting in ambush just on the other side of the razor edge they walk and it the difference between an amazing dive and a tragic end can be infinitely small.

  6. Gene_Hobbs

    Gene_Hobbs Instructor, Scuba

    Seriously, you should read the paper... This fatality is one of the few that is easily explained and well reported. I already posted this but here it is again.

    Mitchell SJ, Cronjé FJ, Meintjes WA, Britz HC (February 2007). "Fatal respiratory failure during a "technical" rebreather dive at extreme pressure". Aviat Space Environ Med 78 (2): 81–6. PMID 17310877.

    I second the move of this thread to a better location...
  7. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Instructor, Scuba

    yeah, the article says "Extreme hypercapnia eventually led to unconsciousness". I don't think many people dispute that. The part where the discussion was focused at the time was the *how*.

    In the article you quoted it was saying that was work induced. The going assumption shortly after it happened was that the reason his body couldn't keep up to the work level had to do with a combination of the physiological effects of extreme depth plus pushing the limits of the technology.

    I thought it was an important distinction at the time because it draws a line in the sand where not only human physiology becomes a risk factor but the technology would appear to be a limiting factor as well....

    It's just a thought.


    P.S. where would you like to have this moved? One of the tek forums?
  8. IceBergSlim

    IceBergSlim Instructor, Scuba

  9. rawls

    rawls Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina
    As far a "Basic Scuba Discussion", the lesson to come away with is to Plan your dive and dive your plan.

    This is a fundamental precept that is taught in our basic open water classes. No matter how advanced our diving becomes, this precept is always a priority.

    It gives us an example of what can happen if we do not, and unfortunately Mr Shaw did not do this.

    It is a good reminder for me too...
  10. austriandiveress

    austriandiveress Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Vienna, Austria
    As many of you are more familiar with Dave Shaw than I, I'd like to ask this: I got the impression from reading "Diving into Darkness" that Mr. Shaw led an incredibly busy life, juggling diving with his work as a pilot for Cathay Pacific. From the author's description, it seems that he often fit in his diving during the brief "turn arounds" between trans-continental flights. Several times I thought that he simply couldnt have observed the recommended "no fly" intervals after diving; I found this fascinating, especially considering the extreme depths to which he was diving.
    Does anyone know more about this?

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