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Ever Had An OOA Situation?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Tekk Diver, Oct 18, 2003.

Have you had an unplanned OOA situation?

  1. Yes.

    12 vote(s)
  2. No.

    43 vote(s)
  1. Tekk Diver

    Tekk Diver Instructor, Scuba

    I've been reading these threads on donating regs in OOA situations..and the best way to go about OOA.. etc, etc..

    So.. How many of you out there in "ScubaLand", have actually had an unplanned OOA situation while in open water..?
    How did you & your buddy(s) go about solving the problem?
    Did the OOA situation even closely resemble what you experienced in confined & OW training..? Or was it a situation you were completely unprepared for...even with OOA training/procedures?

    Let's hear it.
  2. Kaos

    Kaos Nassau Grouper

    Never came across an OOA situation in 450+ dives (knock on wood) :)

    However, I once gave my octopus to my buddy during a safety stop. I had a 104 cu ft, she an 80 and she was down to 500 PSI, so I thought rather than her coming back up with 400 PSI and getting blasted by the DM, she can just share the 1100 PSI I got left for the three minute hang.

    Turned out to be a great learning experience as I realised my standard-lenght octopus hose wasn't long enough as we had to be in each other's faces in order to share my air. I now have a 6-foot octo hose, I've tested it with a buddy, we cwere able to swim side-by-side without any danger of the reg being yanked out of her mouth.
  3. CincyBengalsFan

    CincyBengalsFan Instructor, Scuba


    I wasn't a part of it but I witnessed one once and it went textbook @ 70 ft. down off of PC, Fla.

    Other examples are referall students I've taken and in fact some of them from the local PADI instructors who have taken the DIR course. A few of these students freaked out during the O/W Reg. Removal and replacement. As they were not out of air but they thought they were. They tried to bolt to the surface EVERYTIME. I've been teaching for 7 1/2 yrs. and everytime one of these idiots thinks they can't breath they try bolting. No, they don't try to take my reg. from my mouth..They BOLT! Or at least TRY..:D
  4. baenglish73

    baenglish73 Angel Fish

    My wife/dive buddy had a 1st stage fail (I think) somewhere around my 20th dive. We've done about 50 dives together now.

    She couldn't breathe off the primary or backup. She swam over, tapped me on the shoulder, signalled OOA, and I gave her the OW style backup. We made a less-than-stellar buddy ascent but with appropriate arm clasps for stability. We forgot to empty her BC, so we went up a little fast. Overall, I give the recovery an 8 out of 10. The situation was so calm and deliberate that it was surreal.

    I took YMCA classes with a PADI OW checkout.
    Wife took PADI classes and checkout.

    Reg donation:
    I was taught to bring the backup around the top of the right shoulder, make a long U out of the backup hose and tuck the U into the cumberbund. It comes out really easy, and it doesn't dangle (at all). I don't like cumberbunds though, they always constrict my diaphragm (air breathing muscle not the contraceptive) by the time the BC is snug.

    My wife keeps her backup tucked into one of the tiny plastic D-rings that were meant for BC adjustment. I can calmly hold my breath about 1:30 with mild hyperventilation, so I figure she has about 45 seconds to unhitch that damn thing if I'm ever in trouble.
  5. roturner

    roturner ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands, Netherlands
    I had a "sort" of OOA. I was playing the victim for rescue (this was many years ago before I adopted the bungie octo) and the rescuer knocked my reg out of my mouth when he was "rescuing" me. He then proceeded to lift me in completely unique way by holding both of my arms over his shoulders and sort of slinging me over his back. My arms were trapped, my regs were both floating somewhere behind me and he was making a slow ascent. When I realised I couldn't make it to the surface like that I struggled to get free of him, which wasn't easy because the harder I struggled the harder he held on. Once free I didn't bother looking for my own regs. I signalled OOA and asked for his primary by pulling on the hose. I was focused on his primary and if he didn't give it to me I proabably would have taken it anyway. We initiated buddy breathing and finished the ascent like that.

  6. Tekk Diver

    Tekk Diver Instructor, Scuba

    That's one hell of a way to be rescued.
    Especially if a diver is unconscious yet still breathing from his reg... Very easy for the reg. to fall out in this case..and you'd never realize he lost his reg...carrying the victim "piggy-back".

    Interesting experience that must've been.. to say the least.
  7. donclaypool

    donclaypool Solo Diver

    When I first started diving, I was "brave and stupid" and much too comfortable. After running out of air twice ~90' ,solo dive, in cold dark seawater while chasing king crab, I realized that this was how people got bent or killed. Each time I did a controlled ascent, keeping my pounding head cool enough not to panic. Then spending the evening snuggled up with an o2 tank and monitoring myself for signs of dcs. The second time I had a new spg and in a quick glance misread, or thought I had enough air to persue those legs a bit more. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.

    On my first 100' cert. dive, my buddy's reg free flowed and I escorted him on a slow ascent to the beach. He refused my octo so I held his bc in one hand to control his ascent and my octo in the other for when he needed it. All went well except for blowing the safety stop. We'd only been down a few minutes so I wasn't too concerned.

    Last weekend, there were three of us on a 90fsw wreck. One of the other divers, the last one off the wreck, charged 20' up our ascent line from the wreck to the 2nd diver. I was about 20' above them on the line. I was signalled to come down to them and the diver snatched my octo and started breathing from it, indicating regulator problems but showing me 1000 psi on his spg. I found his tank valve closed about 11/2 turns. He resumed using his reg and we ascended as a cluster to 20' where he did an extra long safety stop.

    From these and a few other potentally bad experiences, I've found that a rational mind, avoiding panic, and thoroughly thinking through a bad situation is the best means of getting through one. But preparation and planning cures most before they happen. Buddy checks, pre dive, and familiarity with your buddy's gear is critical.

  8. cudachaser

    cudachaser Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Cocoa Beach, FL
    At 80ft down to 500psi...Saw a lobster in went in after him...well all of sudden air got very hard to breath...new exactly what was happening...Fortunately buddy was close and I got his octopus (yes we had octopuses back then, an optional thing) and we made a normal ascent. Only problem was that buddy never bothered with maintenance on his octopus...very hard to breath off but it was enough.
  9. roturner

    roturner ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands, Netherlands
    Actually during the incident itself I just went into "how to solve this problem" mode. After the fact it started to sink in how it could have ended and it was quite a while before I wanted to play rescue victim again.... :)

  10. mddolson

    mddolson Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Belleville,Ontario, Canada
    My friend (instructor) chaperoned a newby once on a dive. He was not aware of how new the newbie was and didn't notice that the newby never checked his air supply through out the dive. When my friend shows his pressure gauge to the newbie, he takes his first look at his gauge and OMG we're at 60 feet and down to 300 psi.

    The good thing is my friend is in good shape and had 1200 psi in his tank. They start up the anchor line and newbie spots his dive knife knife on the bottom.
    Does he hesitate, or signal his buddy? nope! He rockets to the bottom after he precious knife. He retrieves the knife, resheaths it and is about 10 feet away from my friend , who spotted the mad dash and headed back down after him, when he runs out of air.

    My friend assisted him with a 7 ft hose , calmed him down and they made their way up the anchor line, completed a 3 minute safety stop and all ended well.

    Needless to say newbi bought the beers that night.

    That Knife must have been worth dying for!

    Mike D

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