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General Vortex Incident Discussion

Discussion in 'Cave Diving' started by sabbath999, Aug 25, 2010.

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  1. Cave Diver

    Cave Diver Divemaster

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    It really depends on the situation and the skill/comfort level of the diver.

    I don't want to appear harsh here, but odds are if something happens to your buddy in a cave and they become unresponsive, you can't save them. The first rule of rescue is not to become a victim yourself. You have to make a linear penetration out, possibly navigating minor (or major) restrictions before you can attempt to surface. Many cave dives also incur deco obligations and bringing an unresponsive diver back with you is going to slow you down and possibly increase those obligations and decrease your gas supply. It's not like a simple open water ascent to the surface thats only minutes away.

    In addition, caves can have sawtooth profiles where you're ascending and descending which can complicate things.

    In most instances I think the best course of action would be to secure them to the main line and get out as quickly as possible to get fresh responders with adequate gas supplies to effect the recovery.
     
  2. Rick Murchison

    Rick Murchison Trusty Shellback Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Gulf of Mexico
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    Right off hand I can't think of any situation where I'd not try to get a non-responsive buddy out as fast as I could. If there were some weird circumstance where I couldn't, I'd do my best to mark the spot with a line, but unless it means becoming a casualty myself, my buddy's coming out with me.
    Rick
     
  3. Kevin Carlisle

    Kevin Carlisle Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Wetumpka, Al
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    The harsh truth about what we do.
     
  4. diverdoug1

    diverdoug1 Marine Scientist

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    If I had a buddy become nonresponsive /unable to maintain respirations in a cave, my decision to bring him directly out would depend on the minimum amount of time it would take me to get him to the surface. I f there was absolutly NO CHANCE I could get him to the surface (without killing myself) in a time frame consistent with life, I would tie him off. If there was a chance I could save him then we are off to the races!
     
  5. Crush

    Crush Solo Diver

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    Location: Western Canada
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    The article writes:

    Cadaver dogs indicated Monday the scent of a body below the surface of the water, but Ben McDaniel’s body has not been recovered.​

    I am employed professionally in detecting chemical traces. The idea that dogs can detect a body where none is visible in hundreds of feet of tunnel with minimal flow is BS. This is not opinion, it is scientific fact.
     
  6. mike_s

    mike_s Solo Diver

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    as for "minimal flow" referenced above, Vortex puts out something like 28 MILLION gallons of water per day. So even though the surface seems flat and calm, there is a LOT of water moving through there and down the stream.

    I wouldn't characterize it as "minimal flow" is all.
     
  7. Spd 135

    Spd 135 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Slidell La
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    You have missed the mark on this one. The cave (spring) is the source of the water here. It is captured in a basin and then it runs off. Flow is not minimal in fact is pretty decent.

    I work with HELP Search and Rescue here in Louisiana. I dive and run side scan sonar for them. They have tracking dogs and cadaver dogs. The dogs used on this team can smell bodies under a still pond or on the raging Pearl River. These dogs have located a body around Hattisburg that had been buried for two years. I also run tracks with our police K-9's and have seen them find a suspect hours (5-6) after the incident several times in the last 19 years. If the cadaver dogs are showing interest, especially if more than one does, than you can pretty much count on that. A K-9 nose is a very solid resource. :coffee:
     
  8. Rick Murchison

    Rick Murchison Trusty Shellback Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

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    As for getting water that's been by places 1500' in the cave to the surface at the floating dock, we need to look at velocity, and the flow at Vortex is plenty to carry water from 1500' back out into the main spring basin within a few hours, no problem. As the body's likely been down there at least seven days now, if the body's producing any chemicals they're definitely in the spring basin where the dogs are.
    Whether the concentrations are high enough for a dog to detect is a question I'm not qualified to answer, but the flow's there... even the little branches that I'd characterize as "still" have enough flow to carry water into the main tunnel within a few hours, where I'd estimate the flow to average some 10 feet per minute.
    Rick
     
  9. Hetland

    Hetland Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Gulf of Mexico
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    As someone who has spent almost seven years working hand in hand with narcotic-detecting dogs, I can say for a fact that you are wrong. Show me a scientific device that can smell cocaine inside of a welded metal container, that's inside of a gasoline tank... filled with gasoline, and I will show you a dozen dogs that could do it faster.

    And I can't smell cocaine from 5 feet away, but I sure as hell can smell decomp.
     
  10. Cave Diver

    Cave Diver Divemaster

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    Keep in mind, it doesn't say the body of what. They could be picking up the scent of a dead raccoon for that matter. I think it's a bit early to make any assumption on what they alerted on.
     
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