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new diver - first dive problems

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Matt Spear, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. Matt Spear

    Matt Spear Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Hawaii
    Hey Divers,
    Just got certified last week - went way more than I should have on the first dive I know. One thing after my incident I was wondering is how long do you have when you really feel like air is out to when it's really out?
    So I went out to Kaʻena Point Oahu on my Kayak with my new scuba equipment - and checking the water frequently it didn't look I was that deep - but it ended up being over 100'. I went to the bottom and quickly realized that my 3000 psi air was running out much faster than my training dives.
    I had a speargun with me to try and land something for dinner. The area was baron, however, but I had a mesh experiment bag with me also. It consisted of balloons, spoons, fake rubber squid, and fishing line. Since there was nothing to shoot, I decided to try my experiment. I disarmed my speargun, and fumbled with all my items what were tangled. Well, it must have worked because a moster fish I have always dreamed of landing swam out of nowhere right in front of me. Unfortunately, my speargun was on the ground. I knew my experiment was a success.
    After going to the surface (a little bit uncontrolled - I wanted to stop at 15ft but just kept going) - I realized I couldn't pull my anchor up. I only had about 600 psi left - but thought I could make a quick drop back to the bottom and pull it up. Well, I was wrong - when I got to the anchor I "pretty much" ran out of air. The reason I say pretty much is there were still very small breaths coming out. I took the anchor and starting swimming up as fast as I could, deflating my BCD as I went up from the training. I quickly realized that I should be inflating the BCD as I had no air - trying to get air but only a tiny bit of air came out. It seemed to take forever to get to the surface and I knew I messed up. My question now is when does zero air come out? How long from that first warning difficult breath to zero air (Not that I'll ever be in this situation again)? When I got to the surface, I was gasping for air, light headed and wondering if I was having an emergency I couldn't recover from.
    I realize I was stupid and didn't have the experience to do what I did. I do take everything I do in life to the extreme but know I should have done a few more shallow dives. Thanks everyone.
  2. KWS

    KWS ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SE TEXAS
    When learning things the hard way ,,,,, surviving can sometimes be its own reward..

  3. BoundForElsewhere

    BoundForElsewhere Waiting for the zombies ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: NYC
    Congratulations for making it back to the surface.

    And for thwarting evolution.
  4. loosenit2

    loosenit2 si respiratio sub aqua amet ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Texas
    1. I am glad you are alive.

    2. You make it sound as if you were diving solo? Sounds like on your first dive after certification you 1. went solo, 2. went to 100 ft to fish or do experiments, 3. after ascending with 600 psi went back down to 100 ft. If all that is right you did three things, any one of which is a recipe for disaster all by itself. Part of being a good diver is being able to assess risk and do good mishap analysis, in other words critically examine what happened and get to the true proximate cause of incidents, SB will likely be very harsh on you in this thread, but not to discourage you from diving but to help you better understand and get better. I solo dive, I enjoy it very much, but you have to have the requisite experience to stay calm under pressure and reasonable redundant equipment to allow you to work though a problem, if you just certified last week you have none of those things. Diving deep can be very fun but you have limited NDL, generally you only have time to accomplish one specific objective, planning on 2-3 objectives in a deep dive, especially with no experience is a disaster waiting to happen. Finally descending again to a deep depth, especially with very minimal air, is going to get you seriously hurt, either from running out of air or taking a DCS hit.

    3. As to your question, how long between when you feel like you are out of air and when you actually run out of air, you know the answer to your question from your training. At 4 ATA the air in your tank is 4 times the density it would be on the surface. As you ascend that gas expands. That is why they taught you to keep your regulator in your mouth because you are going to get some air as your ascend.
  5. Zef

    Zef Divemaster

    Ummm...I don't think this is accurate. A scuba cylinder is a non-flexible vessel...the air inside does not expand as you suggest. My understanding of the voodoo that goes on is that the difference between the pressure differential of the air in the tank compared to the ambient pressure becomes such that the regulator can not deliver air any longer. As the ambient pressure decreases as one rises in the water column the pressure differential changes which allows the regulator to once again deliver the limited amount of air that is left in the tank...until the tank pressure again drops to the point the regulator can no longer compensate for the current ambient pressure.

    To the OP....congrats on not winning a Darwin award. Not sure who trained you or how you were trained...but it is evident that you either lack fundamental understanding necessary to dive safely or are willfully ignorant of the training you received...in either case you are in urgent need of re-training. Find a diving mentor to learn from because if you continue diving in the way you describe you are very likely to injure or kill yourself.

    Good luck.

  6. NothingClever

    NothingClever Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Red Sea and Atlantic Ocean
    Matt Spear,

    +1 to the above. Not really any way to sugar coat it - you sound grossly negligent. You’re going to give somebody a great opportunity to employ their rescue skills or a PSD a chance to recover you for your family to bury you.

    There’s an odd chance you’re trolling from a shop or perhaps a licensing agency to see how the community will react. Your incident report sounds almost too disastrous to be true.
    Roy_W, nippurmagnum, NelleG and 5 others like this.
  7. Ministryofgiraffes

    Ministryofgiraffes Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Toronto
    Ooohhhhhh buddy... there might be some dying in your near future if you aren’t careful :) make sure you will is in place.

    ‘but seriously. If you don’t know the issues with bouncing to 100ft with 600 psi, you need to go back to the drawing board..

    if the dying doesn’t scare you, the deco maiming should. You can cripple yourself if you blow past your stops or end up with a limp arm for the rest of your life..etc. Embolism is real.
    mallbritton, AfterDark and Matt Spear like this.
  8. Vitesse2l

    Vitesse2l Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Devon UK
    I really hope this is a troll. Task overload and failure to retain info from a recent certification.

    Pretty much pushes all the scubaboard buttons!
    dberry, AfterDark and Soloist like this.
  9. GreggS

    GreggS Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Thomasville, NC
    This was my line of thinking as well while reading his account. For a first dive after certification, this account is, quite frankly, incredibly stupid. So much so that it reads more like a work of fiction than a true account. Solo diving on the 1st dive, descending to 100 feet not once, but twice on a single tank, the second time with only 600 psi, and coming up from that depth uncontrolled and as fast as he could. If all this is true, it is amazing he didn't get either a dcs hit or an embolism. I know he said he was OOA but still getting sips of air, but this whole ordeal sounds irrational so why should we believe he would act rationally and not be holding his breath to some extent while ascending.

    And to top it off, after an ordeal like this, his question is just how much air is left in the tank when it shows or breathes empty? Really? He should be questioning everything he did prior to that point.
    Matt Spear, eleniel and Soloist like this.
  10. Soloist

    Soloist Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina
    Try looking at this thing (see picture) throughout your dive. It actually works better than “feel”.


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