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Fiona Sharp death in Bonaire

Discussion in 'Accidents and Incidents' started by JohnnyC, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. hroark2112

    hroark2112 Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Raleigh, NC
    On my last several trips to Bonaire I had a number of people tell me "you aren't allowed to solo dive here!" at Buddy Dive. Even during Tek Week people would still try to tell me it's not allowed. I have always just employed the "smile and nod" defense while I walked down the stairs into the water.

    If the resort has decided to discourage the practice from their dock, I'll respect that. I'll just go somewhere more fun!

    The problem with people demanding answers will never go away. We will never definitively know exactly what the cause of this accident was in its entirety. We might be able to piece together what we think is the most likely scenario. I have read 2 different diluents mentioned, but not one that I'd feel safe using at 300'. The final determination in most dive related deaths is drowning, what we will never know is the exact cause. The most important lesson we can learn from most of these incidents is that we need to remember that when we're diving, we're in a hostile environment, one that requires equipment to sustain life, and we need to be diligent in the use and maintenance of that equipment.
  2. NothingClever

    NothingClever ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Red Sea and Atlantic Ocean
    Thank you, @kensuf, for being an experienced voice of reason here.
  3. lermontov

    lermontov Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: christchurch
    we'll never really know if Fiona planned to go to 91m - looking a the gas selection and quantities its hard to reconcile - theres no diver in my circle that would contemplate it. Maybe thats what people (me) are struggling to understand. How can someone of her calibre and experience make such an error? or at the least take such a huge risk?

    It seems such an incongruent picture, so much so I find myself reaching for other explanations. Like trying to complete a jigsaw with pieces that dont seem to add up.

    I guess there are those that knew her in the weeks before the dive, of her frame of mind and her personal life, these are things that we arent entitled to know, but want to know to try and make sense of it all, in part so that we can justify our own risk threshold, to see if were still inside the line.
    Hiszpan, kensuf and chillyinCanada like this.
  4. kensuf

    kensuf Cave Instructor

    That wasn't the point, but thank you.
    Storker likes this.
  5. kensuf

    kensuf Cave Instructor

    Fair point.

    During my first recovery there was a person posting on Facebook "live from the scene" -- he got a lot of facts wrong and it turned into a $h!t show. This is a beer discussion, you coming over for Thanksgiving?
    The Chairman likes this.
  6. John the Pom

    John the Pom Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sydney, Australia
    If someone does the training but doesn't put it into practise, then I guess whether or not they've done the training is irrelevant. We all tend to fall into bad habits, and sometimes a bit of a scare can serve as a healthy reminder. Unfortunately, if you are diving well outside the safe envelope, a bit of a scare can be enough to finish you off...
    Bob DBF, Hiszpan and The Chairman like this.
  7. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    Incredibly well put. Thanks.
    I don't think the word "rush" was ever used. Neither was "right now" or a number of other terms conveying an immediacy. SB happens to be the largest forum for divers, so here would be a great place to inform others about how to stay alive. However, anywhere would be great... but we don't see that. We see people entrenched in keeping secrets from others and telling us we have no right to know.
    Quite often, simply asking a question is seen as "demanding answers" from those involved in a recovery. I remember the event at Eagle's Nest well and I was accused of demanding answers when I had simply posed a question. I read and reread my question and never saw a demand. Perhaps, the emotional nature of the recovery made people read more into my question than what was there? Ken, you know I respect you and probably reccomend you more than anyone else for Cavern through Cave. I just don't see demands being made when a simple question is asked.
    Lots of international divers here and English is not their first language.
  8. Colliam7

    Colliam7 Tech Instructor Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Kents Store, VA
    Wow, that is a bit disconcerting. I have never had that experience at Buddy, diving recreational singles, or doubles with bottles. But, I have not been there the past two years.

    I am curious - were these 'staff' people, or just other divers that told you that?
    Yeah, that's the beauty of Bonaire. It would really be disappointing, though, if there really has been a policy shift at Buddy. The reason that I always stay at Buddy, is the convenience of diving on the house reef - with others, AND BY MYSELF.

    hroark2112 and chillyinCanada like this.
  9. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    The National Speleological Society (NSS) publishes descriptions of accidents and incidents involving caving, including cave diving. I am involved with the writing of many of the cave diving descriptions, and in doing so I frequently have to do investigations to determine what actually happened to the best of people's knowledge. In most cases, everyone involved is very helpful--extremely so. It is not, however, always the case. In some cases, I can tell people are withholding information or flat out lying to me in order to prevent the publication of information embarrassing to themselves or to others. It puts me in a real bind.

    In one (fortunately non-fatal) near-miss incident, there was a significant dispute as to what happened at one point in the incident. People published conflicting accounts in different media sources. I interviewed the key people involved and got the two different stories directly from the only two people who were truly there. When the stories are published, I have to identify sources, and I have to have their permission to do so. I was pretty sure Source A was telling the truth, and I was pretty sure Source B (the victim) was lying about the disputed portion of the incident, but Source B told me he would not allow anything he said to be used if I included Source A's information. Since without Source B's story, we really had no story at all, we made the decision to leave out the disputed part of the incident entirely. While technically that meant we were not taking sides in the dispute, the effect was exactly what Source B (who I believe was lying) wanted.

    There have also been cases where I think the withholding of information or the inaccurate descriptions were to avoid possible legal action. If you think you are going to be sued or prosecuted if you tell the truth, you have a powerful incentive to avoid that truth. That then brings an incentive to me as the reporter to avoid writing what I believe to be true in such a dispute, since I could then become unhappily involved in the legal proceedings. It makes things very tricky for me, and I have to use good judgment about what is published. That is the reason for some of the plain vanilla and non-informative publications of information.
    BlueTrin, Bob DBF, drrich2 and 7 others like this.
  10. Storker

    Storker ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: close to a Hell which occasionally freezes over
    I know. I still wanted to say it.

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