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"He's just a little green...."

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by Tractor Tom, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. Tractor Tom

    Tractor Tom Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Okeechobee, FL
    901
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    I posted this on Basic Scuba Discussions, but is probably as valid here...

    Here's an interesting story about a new diver. I'm trying not to pass judgement on this individual, just provide the information as I saw it take place.

    On Saturday, my partner, Dave, and I made three dives on the north shore of Higgins Lake in Central Northern Michigan. We got an early start from my place in Frankenmuth and were at the dive site by about 10:00. As we geared up, we talked to a father-son team who had just finished diving and got the lay of the land so to speak. The weather was great, the water calm and clear with vis around 60-70 feet on the first dive. The entry is from the beach, with a long shallow water walk (about 300 feet) to get to the edge of the swimming area and then a pretty good drop off into deeper water. We made our first dive and checked out a sunken cruiser that the father-son team directed us to, along with a couple other sunken boats by following a line. Walked up and changed tanks and then after a short interval, walked out and made a second dive, going along the drop off in the other direction.

    After the second dive, we decided to go have some lunch and have the tanks refilled and maybe make another dive or two. As we were taking our gear off, a young diver arrived in a small car. He had a "basic" kit with a BC, tank,weights, regs and gauges, fins mask and snorkle and booties. NO WETSUIT, Dave and I were drysuit diving, but all the other 6 divers we had seen at the site were wearing full wet suits. The young diver did NOT have a wet suit, and did NOT have a buddy, but was excited about diving the wreck. He asked me specifically if the water temp was less than 60 degrees. This is a LARGE, DEEP, spring fed, fresh water lake and at the 45-48 feet where the wreck of the cruiser is, I was reading temps around 47 to 48 degrees. I asssured him the water was quite a bit colder than that, and mentioned that he shouldn't be diving a site for the first time without a buddy (or ever for that matter). He told us that he had been diving the day before at Grand Traverse Bay and didn't need a wet suit then, but he had left his dive bag on the beach, unattended while he went diving and someone had stolen it...

    There was a diver with a pickup truck, parked next to us, waiting for his partner to arrive to make a dive. I mentioned to him that he should keep a dive on our 'hero' and see if he could buddy with him and his missing buddy. His statement to me was, " Oh, he's just green, he'll be alright."

    Well, we left the site, aired up and had some lunch at a local tavern. After a little over an hour, we were back at the dive site, and looking to gear up again. There appeared the young diver, having completed his unprotected dive to the wreck to take photos. He was shaking so hard that he could hardly speak. Said that the water was quite a bit colder than 60 degrees! This fellow as thin as a whip, with very little body fat and when I spoke with him, he was wrapped in a towel and shaking violently. His lips and feet and lower legs were a bloodless white/blue color. We advised him to go get a hot drink to warm his core and consider renting a wet suit from the shop around the corner from the site. I was amazed to hear him say,"I can RENT a wetsuit???"

    We made our third dive of the day, and I managed to recover a 20# fluke anchor from the bottom and take it up to the car.

    On the way out, we stopped again at the local dive shop to speak to the owner. He told us that the young diver had been there and had rented a wetsuit. But when he was filling out the paperwork, he commented that the owner would not be able to read the info as his hand was shaking so much that he was having problems writing.

    Kids, be careful our there! Even in the middle of July, diving in a cold freshwater lake can lead to hypothermia and certainly reduced mental capabilites brought on by the cold. I'm amazed that someone like our hero can complete scuba training and still dive in this manner...
     
  2. FSUgly

    FSUgly Barracuda

    226
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    WOW! ...Thats all I can say.

    :( :(

    Tom
     
  3. Windwalker

    Windwalker Barracuda

    286
    0
    16
    I am wondering what that diver was thinking! (or wasn't thinking)

    Sometimes being beat around the head and shoulders by a Clue-by-four is not enough.. it seems some people were absent during the Common Sense course.

    Its a good thing the guy lived! Hopefully that was enough for the gentleman to get some more training before continuing. (however, considering he rented a wetsuit, but still did not have a buddy.......):confused:
     
  4. seanrollins

    seanrollins Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
    112
    0
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    I'm surprised that you recommended he have something warm to drink. You never give a hypothermic patient hot fluids. That's the quickest way to administer a heart attack.
     
  5. zeN||

    zeN|| Barracuda

    414
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    It would be great if you divers would take someone like this aside and help show him the ropes instead of criticising him, he obviously has a lot of desire with not enough knowleadge zeN
     
  6. seanrollins

    seanrollins Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
    112
    0
    0
    Yeah, no kidding Zen. You'd think the the local dive shop would take care of that as well. I certainly wouldn't be renting a wetsuit to someone who could barely sign the rental forms.
     
  7. zeN||

    zeN|| Barracuda

    414
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    I'de rent him the wetsuit, and take him diving, show him the ropes, and give him a good head start:) zeN
     
  8. seanrollins

    seanrollins Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
    112
    0
    0
    Haha, yeah, of course. I meant that day. I would certainly do the same thing. This sport needs more people with your attitude.
     
  9. TJisthe1

    TJisthe1 Angel Fish

    46
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    Poor thing, that had to of SUCKED!!!!
     
  10. nessum

    nessum Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: BC, Canada
    390
    4
    0
    I'd say that's pretty irresponsible on the dive shop's part to rent him the wet suit. And I think perhaps more discouragement of this behavior from fellow divers was needed at the site?!
    But yeah, I can't believe that someone could complete training & do something like that. How could they possibly be certified?
     

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