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Line Of Duty Death - Michael Burgan, Sugar Creek Volunteer Fire Department, OH

Discussion in 'Public Safety Divers/Search and Rescue' started by BladesRobinson, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. Norrm

    Norrm Banned

    Well a few thoughts come to mind when reading the article.

    Although it's not clear exactly how much weight the victim was wearing, it's assumed to be about 36 lbs.

    The victim didn't just put on the 36 lbs and jump in the water, he worked his way up to that amount over the course of a few dives, he was positively buoyant with only slightly less than that amount on the preceeding dives and discussed this with other divers who recommended adding the extra weight. So the statement that the BCD with a lift capacity of 40 lbs was not sufficient to bring him to the surface is incorrect because he was a heck of a lot less than 36 lbs negative!

    His first rescuer should have manually inflated the BCD before he did anything else, to be sure he wouldn't sink. That was a blatent error and the outcome could have been vastly different if the victim didn't sink below the surface after he reached it the first time in a panic.

    Also if he couldn't sink in freshwater with almost 36 lbs of lead he must have been significantly overweight. This dive accident was clearly due to a lack of fitness more than anything else.

    My condolences to the family.
  2. Divegoose

    Divegoose Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Vancouver Island
    What stands out to me is the comment in the report "The victim held a basic open water sport diver certification for recreational SCUBA diving, which consisted of four dives that he completed in August 2004. In July 2011, the victim completed two additional dives, logged in his log book as Dive No. 5 and Dive No. 6. Both dives were actual calls to respond with a regional dive team. Dive No. 5 lasted 17 minutes at a depth of approximately 8 feet. Dive No. 6 lasted 30 minutes at a depth of approximately 10 feet."

    Almost 7 years from the time of basic open water certification, until the time two dives were conducted on actual calls. There is no indication of public safety dive training, yet he was allowed to dive on an actual call. It may sound harsh, but I would question the leadership of the dive team for allowing this to happen.

    That said, condolences to the family and friends of Captain Burgan.

    Jared0425 and IncreaseMyT like this.
  3. Ice diver Alaska

    Ice diver Alaska Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Alaska

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