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Four common causes of accidents for less experienced divers

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by 2airishuman, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. 2airishuman

    2airishuman Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Greater Minnesota
    I think there's a lot of truth in that.

    ---------- Post added January 12th, 2016 at 03:56 PM ----------

    I take the DAN statistics and reports with a grain of salt, because when exhaustion of the available supply of breathing gas occurs, it is not necessarily the case that a simple failure to watch the SPG caused the accident. Poor gas planning, current, surface conditions, equipment problems, etc., can lead to the same outcome.
  2. hroark2112

    hroark2112 Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Raleigh, NC
    Diving beyond training and/or experience
    Buddy separation
    Poor physical conditioning
  3. Redshift

    Redshift DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Finland
    You could also look at the BSAC annual incident reports.
  4. Neilwood

    Neilwood Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Scotland
    I think this is a good time to bring up Jim Lapenta's sticky on "who is responsible for what" - link

    At the end of the day, even while diving in a buddy pair, you should be aware enough to ensure your own safety. Knowing your own experience, knowing your own physical condition etc and making sure you are within your limits
    fjpatrum likes this.
  5. freewillie

    freewillie Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: SoCal Beach Cities
    calculating weight.

    no wetsuit = 6-8% body weight
    3 mm = 8% body weight
    5 mm = 10% body weight
    7 mm = 10% + 3-5 lbs.

    The above will put you in the ball park for guesstimating how much weight you should start with. There is also very little excuse for not doing a pre-dive weight check. Every boat I've been on has included in the briefing doing a weight check before the dive starts. That means it is up to you as the diver to get your gear on quickly and get in the water first to do your weight check. By the time you've done your weight check there will still be some person on board still gearing up and not yet in the water.

    Take them with a grain of salt but you are arguing in a circle. Even if planning, conditions, equipment problems leads to low on air situation it was the simple fact you were not checking your air that leads to the accident. By far and away the most common trigger leading to diving accidents is getting low on air or out of air. You should account for all the variables that affect your air consumption and adjust accordingly. There is very little excuse regardless of external factors for not adequately monitoring your gas.
  6. DiverDownD3

    DiverDownD3 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: SOBX, NC
    I think the biggest issue for new divers (such as myself) is you typically tend to dive with people more experienced than you. You can become complacent in the fact that they are your safety net and they won't let anything happen to you. Which is completely wrong.
    Always remember you are responsible for your own safety.
    _shark_whisperer_ likes this.
  7. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    Poor planning, look at SPG and seeing higher use of gas you revise your plan.
    Current, look at SPG and seeing higher gas use you shorten your dive.
    Surface conditions, I use a snorkel.
    Equipment problems, although catastrophic equipment failure is rare, it can happen. However, most failures are more benign and if the bubbles don't tell you the SPG will.

    My point is that by monitoring the SPG, a diver has the ability to change his dive plan dependant on the status of his most precious resource. Task loading will have divers missing their SPG checks and if the timing of checks is for 30' and they are at 100', things can get out of hand quickly.

    Basking Ridge Diver likes this.
  8. Seymour Fisch

    Seymour Fisch Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Vancouver, BC
    Great post and great thread!

    It'd be overly dramatic to say that Scubaboard has saved my life multiple times, but threads like this and the helpful tips from you all have definitely kept me out of trouble on several occasions.

    I'm one of those inexperienced divers renting gear, and in my short time diving I've encountered:
    1. A reg mouthpiece missing a ziptie. I don't know how likely it would have fallen off, but thanks to Scubaboard, I noticed this at the time of rental and got a different set.
    2. A reg where the exhaust valve was stuck open, so when I inhaled (fortunately, testing while on the boat) I was freely inhaling from the atmosphere instead of the tank.
    3. A reg set where on each inhale, the SPG dropped by 1000psi or so.
    4. A reg set where on each inhale, the SPG dropped about a hundred PSI. (I dove this one anyway, as I knew we were on a shallow dive. Not sure if that was wise or not.)
    5. A tank yoke o-ring that was leaking enough to bleed off about 500 psi in a few minutes on the boat. (Most rental places seem to be perfectly happy with people diving with a steady stream of bubbles from the o-ring -- are they that expensive and/or are dive ops that poor? But in this case, it was a lot more air.)
    And on my very first dives without an instructor, I also saved my instabuddy from entering with her air off, and helped another diver thread his tank camband (OK, that last one was Dive Training magazine, and not Scuababoard).

    If it weren't for threads like this one, I think some of those situations would have been very un-fun for a very new diver.

    Amen! I'm generally a get-along-don't-be-that-guy kind of guy, but the level of safety-mindedness here in Scubaboard is a great antidote to normalization of deviance. In cases #2, #3, and #5 above, it was all the old Scubaboard posts echoing in my head that gave me the presence of mind to refuse to dive the gear. I announced my intention to sit out the dive, but fortunately in each case, the DM managed to find an alternative that worked. (Unfortunately, I think in some cases the DM just used the defective equipment, although as noted by others, a more experienced diver can better handle the task loading of defective equipment.)

    Ha, I resemble that remark. I feel quite good in the tropics, but I'm still struggling with my drysuit buoyancy control. I wear 8-10lbs in a 3mm wetsuit, but 32lbs in a drysuit. I hate the extra 22lbs/10kg topside, and in the water, that's translates into a 10l bigger bubble of air I've got to manage.
  9. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    This may be a big problem, but not because of diving with experienced buddies, because of becoming complacent. I believe besides divers with very few dives and those who have been inactive, another group prone to accidents are those very experienced--ei.even instructors and very experienced tech. divers. Apparently they too can become complacent as they have escaped harm for maybe 1,000 dives. I have read that maybe the "safest" divers are those somewhere in between--good enough to be solid divers yet not overly confident. I'm no expert on any of that. But as to new divers buddying up with experienced ones (particularly those with Rescue Cert.), I always advise it. But as you say, avoid being dependent on them--figure you are diving solo but with a buddy. The alternative of course means two newbies, neither rescue trained or even experienced. I guess the trick is to try to always think of today's dive as your very first no matter how long you've been at it or how many times you've dived that site.
  10. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    I'm not a fan of "diving solo but with a buddy", because you are not diving solo, and a mindset like that could easily end in buddy separation. Around here we call it same ocean buddy. Not that having redundant whatever is a bad thing, it is the mindset of diving solo that has to go when you are diving with a buddy, or team. I dive with newbies on occasion and find it interesting that most have little understanding of effective buddy diving, as most seem to act like following behind or leading without paying attention to their buddy is acceptable. Let's say I dissuade them of that notion if I continue to dive with them.

    As for two newbies diving, the OW class was invented so that upon finishing the class, those two newbies could dive together safely. I believe that might be the crux of the problem.

    As for treating every dive as your first, I'll pass. I like to remember every foolish blunder and close call I ever had in the water over the last 50+ years so I don't have to do it over, as I get older my aversion to accidents grows stronger.

    I may be old, but I,m not dead yet.

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