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Fatal Accident in the Coron Area of the Philippines?

Discussion in 'Accidents and Incidents' started by NYCNaiad, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. DevonDiver

    DevonDiver Tech Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Subic Bay, Philippines
    Well, that's entirely dictated by agency syllabus and the individual instructor's capacity to supplement it.

    Nonetheless, doing a wreck course would inform the diver of the risks and limitations involved with non-technical wreck penetration.

    That information, if known and acted upon.....could have saved a life in this, and other instances.

    Beyond that.. we have to consider how the education given in specialist courses is respected and abided by.

    In particular, by dive "pros" who are supposed to have a 'duty-of-care' to customer safety, not a duty-to-entertain to customer's unqualified demands.

    But also by the qualified divers themselves... who have the ultimate responsibility in safeguarding themselves and whose duty it is to actually apply the training they are given...
  2. nelsoned

    nelsoned Tech Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Cincinnati OH
    One deadly reality is that "silt out" can happen when you arn't even thinking about it. With reel, line, light and training you have a much better shance to get out alive. Silt out -grab the line, can't find it,don't move, tie off and start looking. Been there done that. Practice practice, practice. Don't give the wreck/cave a chance to kill you.
    infieldg and NYCNaiad like this.
  3. Marie13

    Marie13 Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Great Lakes
    My limited penetration wreck class finished a few weeks ago. First two dives were on a Lake Michigan wreck. Penetration was started, but not finished as it got silted out the first person through (not me!) and viz was bad to begin with. So bad that instructors determined it was too dangerous to finish on the lake.

    Finished at the quarry several weeks ago on the 33ft cabin cruiser that's a straight swim through from stern to bow, but easily gets silted out, plus viz is often only about 10ft. Running line is harder than it looks. I was using a borrowed reel, and I finally got my own and will practice with it! Gave me a very healthy respect for the risks involved, but I had a ball. It was my favorite speciality (but then I'm a wreck nut). :wink:

    I can't say that everything I'm reading really is encouraging about Philippines diving.
  4. Peter69_56

    Peter69_56 Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Warragul Australia
    We were both wreck trained so somewhat different rules, but they met their obligations on our dives. I cannot however say if they do this consistently, or we were a once off? All I can say is that in our circumstance I was impressed enough. I have also been with dive shops that do very dodgy stuff so I have experienced varying qualities of leading dives.
    DevonDiver likes this.
  5. BubbleBubble7

    BubbleBubble7 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NYC
    Just dove some of the wrecks in Coron this year. I am PADI rescue, 200 dives, have done plenty of deep and wreck dives, but I do NOT have a wreck certification. I was surprised the shop wanted to put me on a 115ft/30m wreck dive with penetration right away (I hadn't been out on any dives with them and they did not ask about my previous wreck experience). I actually had to somewhat argue with them to move me "down" to the "easy" 80ft wreck...which I did with two people who had just been OW certified and were on their 7th dive.

    With wrecks being the primary attraction in Coron, and wrecks being- as a rule- deep and difficult, I think they feel forced to push the boundaries. I was also a little surprised that Nitrox wasn't totally ubiquitous here considering the depths. Not every shop offered it and I had to advocate pretty hard to get it for myself among those who did.

    That said, I did plenty of other diving in PHP with good dive masters and great shops with good safety practices....so don't let these anecdotal stories ruin your perception of diving in the country.
    Peter69_56 and kelvkwok like this.
  6. Saboteur

    Saboteur Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Canuckistan
    Vivid imagery....raises my heart rate reading about it.
  7. David Martel

    David Martel Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: California
    I'm Rescue/nitrox, ~210 dives and planned to go to Coron with my two teen sons, (AOW/nitrox ~75 ea) this January. Reading this thread, I am seriously reconsidering. I am not not ok with the S.O.P. of these dive shops and don't want to get into an disagreement about it on vacation. Apo Reef, what else is nearby that doesn't envolve wreck penetration. What is diving like at El Nido? (I've been to P.G., Bohol, Malapascua, Boracay).
  8. BubbleBubble7

    BubbleBubble7 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NYC
    I was going to say, you can find a good dive shop, just be prepared to advocate for yourself. I did find a shop there that was pretty great after some searching and I told them right up front which wrecks I was down for and which I was not....largely based on the reviews and profiles I read. Coron does have some stunning scenery and some cool wrecks. Also, there are Dugongs up on the other side of the island.

    Depending on what kind of diving you like, you might want to consider the Dauin area. They have some pretty great muck diving and you also have Apo Island nearby (different from Apo reef) that is a fantastic site. It's a short puddle hopper from Cebu or Manila.
  9. stuartv

    stuartv Seeking the Light

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Manassas, VA
    I agree that is is parallel to Cavern. But, I do not agree that it is analogous to TDI Adv Wreck.

    This is from the Standards for SDI Wreck:

    I think SDI Wreck, taught as a limited-penetration course, is closer to the equivalent of Cavern.

    I think TDI Adv Wreck is where you would learn how to do full penetration safely.

    I think it is "interesting" that Wreck is an SDI course (that can allow light zone penetration) but Cavern is a TDI course. And that getting to full cave is at least 3 courses. Even more for cave surveying and "stage cave". But, the total curriculum for wrecks is 2 courses. Maybe that's just down to the comparatively very limited size of any wreck. Nobody will be doing 4000m penetrations in a wreck....
  10. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: San Francisco, California
    I’m late to post but what a tragic, completely avoidable accident.

    I have about 135 dives under my belt and am just finishing up my DM. I’m heading to Coron in April as one of our stops and I can say with confidence that I am not comfortable with penetrating a wreck no matter what. I’ve done cavern diving and that is fine but first, I am way too worst case scenario for penetration and second, also feel like I do not have the proper equipment, knowledge, experience, and the right guide/instructor to take me.

    I am happy just checking out the wreck from the outside or a quick swim through but that’s it. Deep diving is fine and does not bother me. Will I be bored or disappointed?

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