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Dive Dangers; The Differentiation between "SOLO" and "BUDDY"

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by ermaclob, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: On the Fun Side of Trump's Wall
    But there is no right answer ... not, at least, one that can be written down and applied to everyone. Opinions vary because we all base them on our personal experiences and diving environments ... and those can vary wildly from one diver to another. You need to apply context and judgment to what you read, and ask yourself if this applies to either your experience, your training, or your goals.

    I once had a student who got very upset with me because he was constantly asking me questions to which I replied "it depends". He is a very intelligent young man, and his goals were clearly aimed at technical diving ... but he lacked the experience to understand that the "cookbook" solutions he craved didn't exist ... and can't exist because every dive is a unique experience that requires real-time decisions. It wasn't until later ... when he finally got enough experience to get into technical training ... that he realized the validity of my answers.

    Diving in general is a very situational activity, and the most important thing you need is good judgment. This applies particularly to solo diving ... where you won't have anyone around who might, at least, question your decisions and make you think about them in a different way before jumping in.

    The question "am I ready to solo dive" is a common one. Unfortunately, it's like walking into an expensive restaurant and asking yourself "can I afford this?" ... if you feel the need to ask, the answer is no ...

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
    ermaclob and eternaljonah like this.
  2. VooDooGasMan

    VooDooGasMan Solo Diver

    Does Buddy diving kill you? Of course it does, go to many of dandy's threads and once someone reads they had a buddy, they post where was his buddy. To Buddy dive only then when you loose them your under stress to find them, so the stress starts right there in the buddy system then bad decisions are made.

    If you learn solo your air will always be your air, less stress on thinking you have to take someone to the surface.

    I can go on and on, yet someone stated that if a navy seal has a problem its there problem and they dive in a buddy system.

    I am going diving in a couple of hours with two other divers we will go below the surface at the same time, yet each of us will go a different way, I will dive deep, apparently the other will go deep also, and the other will be shallower unless he pops down on something I noticed on sunday, which is just a little deeper then wat he does every dive.

    Once we meet we will all let it be known we are diving solo, we may run into each other but other then an OK signal you just go on your merry way, or take a pic or short Vid.
  3. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: On the Fun Side of Trump's Wall
    There's a big difference between buddy diving and just jumping in the water with another diver. Buddy diving is a skill ... perhaps the second most important skill not commonly taught in recreational diving. Buddy diving doesn't kill you ... poor choices in who to dive with will put you in a situation that can increase your risks beyond your ability to deal with it.

    ... but if you're getting into solo diving because you're too lazy to learn proper buddy skills, the chances are pretty high that you're also too lazy to learn proper solo skills. Then all you've done is replace one set of risks with another set.

    Lack of buddy skills isn't, to my concern, a good reason to get into solo diving.

    Comparing today's typical recreational diver to a navy seal is like comparing a Kia Rio to a Mazerati GranTurismo ...

    What you're describing is three solo divers getting in the water at approximately the same time ... which is great as long as that's what you've all planned and prepared for. But it has nothing at all to do with buddy diving.

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
    DevonDiver likes this.
  4. sylpha

    sylpha Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: England
    if SHE is hot-looking in a wetsuit, i promise you i won'r be distracted:D
  5. waterpirate

    waterpirate Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Delmarva peninsula
    I think Bob is getting close to how I feel, but can not seem to put in words. We are all different and have had different experiances at different times during our diving carreers. When I first got to scubaboard I had a loud mouth and was pretty cock sure of myself and how I did things. My body was still young enough to cash the close calls my mind got me into, now at 46 not so much.

    Several years ago I noticed the old guys that were around were not anymore for one reason or another. It was then that I realised that people newer to diving than me looked to me for guidance weather I new it or not. That was a scarry moment for me, my actions had consequences for others. I changed at that moment.

    Knowing that the path you took to get to present will prolly not work for others due to the different thing is huge. Being at the top of the diving apex also made me realise what I did not know, and that really I did not know jack.

    So that brings me around to the recent noise on the board concerning: deep air, diving beyond your limits, and just plain dumb $hit. The proponants of such do not realise that people are watching them wether they know it or not and someone will think that because they survived they will to. I survived a lot of dumb $hit but I do not want to know that my pontifications got some one else in over their proverbial head.

    I fully support "rights of individuals" to do as they please and God knows we DO NOT need big brother regulation. I choose to exercise my rights to not unknowingly take someone along the path I took and not survive. This is why I am now a big fan of quality instruction, helium, and a list of other things including team diving if it is your bag. I guess the Beaver grew up, painfull to admit but I hope I am not finished.

    Painfully long and wax poetic, but it has been bugging me.
    p.s. I heard a rumor that I may get my trimix card if all goes well in Pompano beach in February.
    DevonDiver likes this.
  6. Barracuda2

    Barracuda2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Northwest Ohio
    Sorry I'm late to this discussion, but I just joined this group. IMO, based on my experiences, the bottom line is this: Whether you're with one buddy or 5 buddies; wreck, quarry, ice, or ocean diving, the second your head leaves the surface, you are on your own--in reality, you are solo and you better know how to take care of yourself. Most of the time your buddy(s) are 5 to 10 ft. away and either in front or behind you. Occasionally, you will monitor each other to make sure he/she is still with you. It takes only a second to fall into an emergency situation. If I'm behind my buddy, fat chance I'll get his attention in time to aid me; If I'm in front of my buddy, I have a chance; he, on the other hand, probably doesn't because I don't swim backwards constantly monitoring him. Do you have a better chance of survival with a buddy?---yes. Many times as I descended on a wreck with 3 other divers, I wondered that if I had an emergency situation right at that moment, (equipment, physical or whatever) my chances of getting assistance from any one of them would be slim to none. I don't know any divers that dive shoulder to shoulder, constantly looking for possible problems. My $.02
    KWS likes this.
  7. Akimbo

    Akimbo Lift to Freedom Volunteer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    Actually, buddy diving has more hazards because the diver can be thrust into the dangerous roll of rescuer. Granted, there are times when a buddy can help you as well. Just a technical correction, the hazards can be less and can be more.

    Perhaps this version would help make your point: You just don't have the 'insurance policy' of a buddy being present, but you also don’t have the contingent liability.

    Expanding a little more: A diver assisting their distressed buddy becomes the rescuer and is therefore at greater risk than the solo diver — who like him/her is not in distress at that moment. That’s great when both divers have the skill to hold up their end of the bargain. Unfortunately, all too often it is a case of the incompetent striving to save the panicked.
    KevinG58, DevonDiver and KWS like this.
  8. Akimbo

    Akimbo Lift to Freedom Volunteer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    If I had unlimited financial resources I would never dive solo again. I would have a team of at least three highly skilled divers to:
    • Ride shotgun for me
    • Be my tender
    • Stay out of my way
    • Follow me wherever I wandered
    • Watch for potential hazards
    • Carry a camera in case I wanted to take a photo
    • Lug any artifacts I might salvage
    • Carry far more gas than I care to
    • Never stir up silt
    • Monitor my decompression obligation
    • Shoot a SMB for my (OK our) stops
    • A chase boat would be following our bubbles and immediately drop an O2 hose when the SMB broke surface
    • A hyperbaric physician would be onboard to supervise running the chamber for Sur-D-O2 and treatments.

    And that’s just when I didn’t feel like using the sat system! Until then, most of my dives will be solo, I'll manage my own risks, and I have to carry my own crap.
  9. KWS

    KWS ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SE TEXAS
    Since we are all in this forrum and not the more general forums I hope that my next statement will be understood. A buddy is a tool and not an emotional crutch to make it through our day. The term buddy in it self suggests that it is more than that. It has tones of "sig-0" or partner, ect . That may be the relationship when surfaces = dives, but when the dives outnumber the surfaces that body with you is a tool and not an object for bonding with, we have been taught from our beginnings to : dont go out at night alone, look both ways before you cross. safety in numbers. It is the kind of overprotectionalism that make mothers sleep well at night. It for the most part works well statistically when all dives are critiqued. Tthe flaw in the sample group is the group itself. it is not right to say that, in a groupe , the chances of a driving accident going to and from work is low when the 80 percent of the groupe works out of thier home. Equally is it not valid to say workplace acidents/incidents are higher than ever when you work at home and accidents include spilt coffee, the kids scraped knees. So is the same for diivng.

    Perhaps if diving problems were catigorized by incident type and its buddy (tool) based involvement/resolotion was determined our numbers would be different. So lets for a minute toss out all uneventful dives from the sample groupe. Look at only dives where buddy intervention would be needed. My guess would be that the failure rate would be so high diving would be banned. In my beginning days, we dove in the workd of j-valves and horse collars. Successfull recovery from an OOG due to having your buddy tool with you was very high. or at least perhaps the failure rate of successfull resolution without a buddy was high. I dont think it ranks so high in this day and age. I say this because we have different toolsets. In this case j-valves replaces with k valves and gages, horse collars relaced with bcd's, second air sources.,smb's,, the list go's on and on to the point that the buddy has no/little single source Functional safety value as a buddy based survival TOOL. Because of that, the buddy takes on a whole new purpose. Almost all of it has nothing to do with survival as much as increasing the divng experience (bonding,,,, makes me feel warm allover). (speaking from the bow and aow aspects). I think diving solo with others makes for a more enjoyable dive.

    We all have heard stories of the buddy saving the day, and the buddy is the first one the finger is pointed to when things go south. I have not seen the hero buddy myself as much as i have seem problems escolate from the failing buddy. Yet we certify people as bow's and just assume the buddy portion of the new diver is just as qualified as the diver portion The combining of Agency placed limitations that exclude diving in situations that have little tolllerance for buddy failure, and instilling survival fear in each new diver that contemplates diving without said buddy, produces paronoid compliance and results in a relative incident free stats. face it when you get your new shiney bow card,, it is saying that you are profiecient in conducting a basic (minimal/no hazzaed) dive without KILLING YOURSELF, not that you are a buddy. No mention of a buddy in that level of certification. (as seen by the cert recipient) If that were not true then gui and the likes would not be teaching FUNCTIONAL buddy and team skills/concepts. Any diver that goes out with a nonfunctional set of tools is an anchor to ones self and others. Because I blelieve that , I believe that I DIVE SOLO WITH OTHERS. The SOLO arena has limitations, and through individual risk assessment those limitations are taken in consideration in the limits of the planned dive. That individual thought process is not only alien to the bow, it is one of many aspects that distinct us from the more fundimental divers. I would also submit that the time comes when, those with higher aspirations move on to more buddy/team based diving groups such as the more technical groups have done before us.
  10. Akimbo

    Akimbo Lift to Freedom Volunteer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    Even though I am a supporter of qualified people solo diving, I’m not sure that is a well-informed reference. SEALs are well-known for watching each other’s backs. Their willingness to put their life on the line for shipmates is legendary. Granted, a SEAL’s use of the buddy system is far different than the high dependency on buddies that dominates today’s liability-obsessed recreational curriculums.

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