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Reports of Monterey fatality

Discussion in 'Accidents and Incidents' started by anchochile, Feb 8, 2020.

  1. anchochile

    anchochile Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Northern California
    208
    138
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    There are reports on social media of a fatality at the Breakwater in Monterey, CA today.
     
    markmud likes this.
  2. MPaul

    MPaul Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: San Jose, CA, USA
    14
    5
    3
    Any links? I can’t find anything
     
  3. Ouvea

    Ouvea Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: CA, USA
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    Can you provide the source? There are two very active FB groups, Monterey County Dive Reports & Monterey Bay Scuba Divers Open, neither of which have made any mention of an incident. My buddy was there this morning and he did not make any mention of any problems.
     
  4. anchochile

    anchochile Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Northern California
    208
    138
    43
    Reported on the Scuba Divers Open group.
     
  5. Ouvea

    Ouvea Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: CA, USA
    721
    145
    43
    Ah.. Early morning report. Missed it. Did not look promising from what I read.
     
  6. wnissen

    wnissen ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Livermore, Calif.
    537
    311
    63
  7. wnissen

    wnissen ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Livermore, Calif.
    537
    311
    63
    It was surprising to me that there were so many people in the water. Things looked reasonably calm once you got past the surf, but just a couple hours after the fatality we saw several open water classes going in. They were each at a 4:1 ratio, which suddenly doesn't seem so great when you're talking about people who have never done a surf entry before.

    The gentleman who died was quite large, I'm sure that is a risk factor when you add in all the gear plus the extra weight needed for neutral buoyancy. It's not always possible but my personal goal is to train more vigorously than the actual event, so that when things go sideways there's a bit of margin. PADI makes it seem like moderate fitness is fine for most types of diving, and I just don't think that's true.
     
    markmud likes this.
  8. elgoog

    elgoog DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco Bay area
    716
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    My buddy and I were there to do some drills for an upcoming tech class. Both of us have a lot of experience diving in these conditions and it was still challenging, even at 40ft. Viz was 10ft at best and we were getting thrown around in every direction by the surge. Getting in and out of the water was tough even with the knowledge of exactly where the rocks, dips and worst breaks were.

    The amount of water moving around was insane. For people who have not dived Monterey conditions before, it would have been really bad. New OW students?? Craziness. @Rob Wilks mentioned it in the other thread and I agree with what he said there - I don't understand why classes go out in these conditions. The risk you take is completely unnecessary with people just barely used to breathing out of a regulator. With that viz and movement, you can't maintain control over even the smallest group of OW students.

    After we got out, I even saw an OW group doing snorkel drills in the break zone - what in the absolute-f*ck-use-a-tiny-bit-of-common-sense made the instructor think that was a good idea?!?! The main group with the instructor was in the calmer water at least 50 yards away from the students demoing the "skills". It looked like someone was watching them from land but those folks were at the top of the stairs with their suits rolled off, no masks, fins, etc close by. Get rolled in that break with a snorkel and you're looking at even more incident reports. There's no way anyone was getting to them in time to help if it was needed.
     
    auto, markmud and Bert van den Berg like this.
  9. wnissen

    wnissen ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Livermore, Calif.
    537
    311
    63
    We saw a pair of tweens doing the SSI Open Water "snorkel dive", which is something that I'd never heard of as someone who took PADI Open Water. There were several of us bystanders just watching them to make sure they got in okay.
    In my fairly unexperienced opinion, there wasn't much need for fins, since all the problems were in the relatively shallow water right on the beach. I think fins would just slow you down. Snorkels would have been a good idea. The waves were not anything crazy from a boogie boarding standpoint, say, I'd happily go body surfing in those conditions. But when you get an exhausted person with 50+ lbs. of gear and shuffling along in their fins, it becomes a problem. One person whom we relieved of his gear and helped get to his feet was so bushed that when he tried to re-kit on dry land his legs started to buckle again. Certainly good practice, learned I can release someone else's weight belt and a drysuit inflator hose while still keeping an eye on the next set of waves.
     
    eleniel and markmud like this.
  10. MPaul

    MPaul Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: San Jose, CA, USA
    14
    5
    3
    Just read a reddit post stating that the incident was caused by a cardiac arrest, not a drowning or getting dashed against the rocks. Seems this gent was with a dive op out of Sacramento doing an OW checkout dive.

    Really sad news, my heart goes out to everyone involved.

    (edit: link https://www.reddit.com/r/scuba/comments/f0z5hm/tragedy_at_breakwater/)
     
    eleniel and markmud like this.

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