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Diver missing - Pelham, Alabama

Discussion in 'Accidents & Incidents' started by aeweems12, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. aeweems12

    aeweems12 Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Alabama
    UPDATE: Crews trying to find body of experienced scuba diver in - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

    "PELHAM - AL - Multiple Shelby County crews are searching the water at Dive Alabama to find a missing scuba diver. Pelham Fire and Rescue says the experienced diver was supposed to resurface around 4 p.m. but never did. Submerged vehicles and training platforms are making the search more difficult.

    Firefighters say the man went on a dive alone in a deep part of the quarry. His dive was scheduled to end around 4 p.m.. When he didn't resurface a few hours later, the Pelham Fire Department was called.

    Right now, submerged cars, buses and boats, as well as training platforms are obstacles to search crews. Divers are on boats using side scanning sonar to find his body.

    Pelham firefighters haven't released the diver's name. But they say he was very experienced with several certifications, including cave diving. They also say he was using a re-breathing system to give him more time in the water. With his experience, they believe something went wrong.

    According to Dive Alabama's website, the quarry is a popular scuba dive site. It ranges in depth from four feet to 140 feet. Visibility is about 25 feet. The temperature ranges from 86 degrees at the surface to around 54 degrees at the bottom. "
  2. Phil_cotton

    Phil_cotton Registered

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Pell City, Alabama
    Thoughts and prayers with the family. Was diving at the same time at Pelham.
  3. mselenaous

    mselenaous Island girl ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Key Largo, FL... Dive Capital of the World
  4. aeweems12

    aeweems12 Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Alabama
    He still hasn't been found: Search continues for missing diver in Pelham quarry | AL.com

    Authorities are using deep-water divers and a boat with sonar scanning to continue the search for a diver who went missing Saturday evening in Pelham. The missing man, whose name has not been released, is a certified solo diver. At 2 p.m. Saturday, he went to Dive Alabama on Industrial Park Drive.

    He filed a dive plan, which outlines when and where he planned to go that afternoon, said Deputy Chief Blair Sides of the Pelham Fire Department.

    The man planned a two-hour dive in the quarry, a popular dive site. It includes many underwater attractions and training platforms. Its depth ranges from 4 feet to 140 feet, according to Dive Alabama's website.

    When he had not checked in by 5:30 p.m., employees became concerned and called the fire department. Authorities began searching almost immediately in the areas determined by the man's plan. Some parts of the 40-acre quarry are about 150 feet deep, requiring special equipment.

    "We're concentrating on the areas of his dive plan right now," Sides said. "It would be very rare for him to deviate from what he filed on the dive plan."

    The Calera Police Department has a boat with side-scanning sonar, which allows its operators to look at the bottom of a body of water and locate structures.

    Certified deep-water divers, Pelham's dive rescue team and Calera police continued the search until 1 a.m., despite poor visibility. They resumed the search at 7 a.m. Sunday and have continued all day, joined by the Trussville dive rescue team and the Alexander City rescue squad.

    "If we're unsuccessful, we'll continue to expand the surface area until we locate him," Sides said.
  5. roll_tide_daniel

    roll_tide_daniel Registered

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Magic City, AL
    This is just awful... I have dove there 3 times in the last 5 weeks. Thoughts and prayers to the family.
  6. Phil_cotton

    Phil_cotton Registered

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Pell City, Alabama
    Search still continues. I had hoped that they would have found him by now, but it is a lot of water.
    Keeping the divers in thoughts and prayers to keep them safe while they are searching.

    Search continues today for Tennessee diver missing at Pelham quarry | AL.com

    PELHAM, Alabama -- Emergency personnel are planning to use a remote-controlled submarine in addition to divers as efforts continue this morning to locate a Tennessee man missing since Saturday in a former quarry used for deep-water swimming.
    "We've been searching a lot of probable locations," Pelham Fire Department Deputy Chief Blair Sides said in front of the Dive Alabama facility on Industrial Park Drive. "There's still a lot of area in this quarry that has got to be searched."
    Authorities have not identified the missing man, who is described as a 49-year-old from Tennessee. Sides said the man was familiar with the Dive Alabama site.
    "He would come down here very often. He got certifications here. He was a very experienced diver," Sides said, noting the man had technical certifications.
    Staff at the facility had contacted first-responders sometime after 5:30 p.m. on Saturday when the man failed to check in. He had arrived at Dive Alabama at about 2 p.m. on Saturday for a planned two-hour dive.
    "The quarry is a popular dive site which has many underwater attractions: fire trucks, cars, boats, a school bus, and several underwater training platforms," according to Dive Alabama's website. "The depth of the quarry ranges from 4 feet to 140 feet with an average depth of 100 feet."
    Sides said the quarry's depth combined with limited visibility pose challenges for the search crews.
    "The problem we have is it's so deep," he said about personnel going 140 feet below the surface. "Your regular rescue divers can't go to that depth."
    Dive crews require specialized equipment to safely swim to the bottom of the quarry, Sides said. "Our dive team in Pelham can't go below 60 feet," he added.
    The search crew includes divers from throughout Alabama, as well as personnel from Tennessee and Georgia, Sides said.
    "You've got a three-dimensional, 27-acre area you've got to search," he said. "We've already ruled out a lot of the shallow areas" that are 60 feet or less.
    "Visibility is less than 10 feet. There's a lot of silt on the bottom. He could be down in that silt and we could not even see him," Sides said.
    Search efforts today will include a remote-controlled submarine arriving from Tennessee, as well as the ongoing use of divers and sonar.
    Sides said rescue workers have responded to people drowning in the Dive Alabama site in past years, but most of the cases involve witnesses. "This guy was a certified solo diver. He files a dive plan and dives by himself," he said.
    Bagster likes this.
  7. darushin

    darushin Rebreather Pilot

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa FL, USA
    Identity released
    Pelham authorities identify missing diver; search continues at former quarry site | AL.com

  8. clownfishsydney

    clownfishsydney Contributor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Sydney Australia
    I dived there in February 2012, it is not that big that they should not be able to find him by now.
  9. darushin

    darushin Rebreather Pilot

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa FL, USA
    Another story about the diver:

    Friend of Tennessee diver missing in Pelham: 'He was a very experienced diver' | AL.com

    ---------- Post added October 7th, 2014 at 08:20 AM ----------

    I find it very odd that he would deviate from his dive plan after reading the articles. I know as a tech diver our plan is very important, even to the point that when I have been ahead of schedule I have actually stopped and waited to allow me to get back on schedule and sync up with my plan.
  10. bbentley40

    bbentley40 New

    I was planning on diving there this weekend, but obviously that trip is probably going to be cancelled if they are still not able to locate him. The quarry is small, but the southern portion drops down to around 150ft and vis is generally horrible even in the shallow parts. I have heard is near blackout at depth. At this point I guess all prayers just have to be that they find the body for the sake of the family. :(

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