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Fatality in the Vandenberg Wreck, Key West Florida

Discussion in 'Accidents and Incidents' started by Arcilux, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    I don’t blame the buddy at all. Article said he had to surface.
    infieldg likes this.
  2. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    Tunnel vision or getting too focused on something is one sign of being narced. My buddy for the 117tt dive swore he wasn’t narced. He clearly was.

    I get mushy brain. Thoughts feel “thick.” Hard to describe, but for me everything went into slow motion.
    AfterDark and Bob DBF like this.
  3. MalibuJerry

    MalibuJerry Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Malibu
    Marie13 I would highly recommend it. Nitrox (32% to 110) and then a light tri-mix after that (or at least 28% Nitrox). Not only will it be safer because you will have a lower PPN2, but you will enjoy the dive more as you will have more clarity. I think you are making a very smart move to do it.
  4. johndiver999

    johndiver999 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Gainesville FL
    If you are planning to dive with a buddy to a depth where narcosis is a reasonable possibility, then it is strange to act as if the actions of a narced buddy are unexpected. It also seems that if you willingly accompanied them into that depth, that you should be prepared to implement some sort of "extra" effort to preserve their safety.

    If you buy your buddy 8 beers at the bar to help celebrate his divorce, then you probably should have some sort of game plan when he tries to drive home.

    We don't know what level of effort the buddy expended in this situation and we might never know how much time or extra air he had available to allocate toward making any sort of "extra" effort to avoid an accident.

    I think something along the lines of what Marie 13 did (i.e., get in their face and shake the crap out of them) is a pretty reasonable amount of extra effort to salvage a situation, after normal communication has broken down and narcosis seems to be occurring. I don't think a recreational diver "owes" a typical buddy a lot more effort than that or has a duty to significantly compromise their own safety.

    The report that the buddy left the deceased does not in any way lead me to the conclusion that he is as fault for the fatality. Perhaps additional information would cause me to think differently, but the complete gear removal aspect seems pretty unusual.
    Kha, jsisemore, AfterDark and 3 others like this.
  5. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    My nark theory is diver 1 is at turn pressure signals diver 2 it's time to go up. Diver 2 looks at his SPG, dosen't understand what exactly it means, but figures it's plenty of gas to continue and waves off his buddy instead of finishing the buddy dive properly. Even if he read the gas right, I can tell you from personal experience, it's not hard to get disoriented (lost) when narked. I've seen divers get narked fairly shallow, and, when narked, all it takes is a small error to be in over one's head.

    I can get pretty insistent.

    If the "this is a buddy dive, we splash togather, dive togather, and surface togather" and "any diver can end the dive at any time" are said out loud in the dive plan, trying to discuss this underwater is avoided. Not that I have had a lot of instabuddies, I have found for the most part they agree, and are decent buddies.

    Ultimately, one has to keep oneself safe, and if your buddy swims away, that pretty much dissolves the buddy team.

    It's not like alcohol except it does impair one, more like a real bad flu, one where you can't think, only without any of the other symptoms. The issue with narcosis is that you may not feel it at all, until you have to think, make a decision, and act. It narrows your perception, yours was narrow already so I'm not surprised you didn't notice. I'd bet money that if you had looked at your SPG, turned it over, and tried to remember what it was (never mind what it meant), you couldn't.

    Dark Wolf, Nirvana, AfterDark and 4 others like this.
  6. John the Pom

    John the Pom Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sydney, Australia
    Potentially a hazardous situation, because it is very easy to feel pressured into pushing the limits of a dive, or doing something highly risky such as an unplanned penetration into a wreck, by a buddy - especially for inexperienced divers. Like you, I mostly dive with a regular buddy (my wife) but I have been paired up with many unfamiliar buddies and, while I've mostly had a great time, I have had enough bad experiences to make me very wary of diving with people I don't know.

    The most memorable time was diving a small wreck in about 27 metres which was home to several bottom-dwelling sharks. The guy I was buddied with decided it would be a good idea to grab one by the tail and pull it out from under the piece of wreckage where it was peacefully resting. Well, I got to watch my first shark attack, which was quite interesting. Did I feel any obligation to intervene during the attack? Not really. To be honest, I was cheering for the shark. But I did help him to ascend with a shredded BCD, which I figured was about as far as my duty as buddy extended.
  7. Capt Jim Wyatt

    Capt Jim Wyatt Hanging at the 10 Foot Stop Staff Member

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Key Largo
    EAN32 is more narcotic than air.

    Oxygen is more narcotic than nitrogen.

    Choosing EAN32 to reduce narcosis will not work.
    Dan G, yle, The Chairman and 11 others like this.
  8. uncfnp

    uncfnp Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina
    Just posted this in the spin off thread too. It would seem that oxygen is not as narcotic as nitrogen under the conditions (partial pressures) encountered in diving.

    Duke Dive Medicine and drrich2 like this.
  9. AfterDark

    AfterDark Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Rhode Island, USA
    Some artificial reef wrecks don't require penetration certs. they are sanitized and holes are cut in the hull and bulkheads.
    No matter where you are inside the wreck you can see light somewhere around you. The Spur in NC is like that.

    just sayin'
    Bob DBF likes this.
  10. Steve_C

    Steve_C Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh, NC USA
    Having done a guided dive or two to 100 ft is not the same as just diving to 100ft and may not give a full experience. Most of the decision making on a guided dive is taken care of. When diving without a guide and with a buddy the decisions are up to you. (Actually with a guide you should be ready to make a decision too of course)

    I do a lot of dives to 80ish ft. I do not worry about narcing but I notice a slight slowing if I have problem solving to do. Once I hit 100 ft there is definitely some slowing of my thinking. I find I need to make an effort to keep on task and check air frequently. Sense of time is off. My dives all have a hard bottom at 115 ft or less. Have had one dark narc on a ledge at 105 ft. Was an over cast day so dark and gloomy. Got a very strong feeling of dread. Went away once I went up a few ft and got back within sight of the anchor line. Had dove this ledge before without such an issue. I do not do instabuddies past 90 ft. Dive either with an experienced dive buddy I know or with a hired DM.

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