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Shannon Lewis - The True Story

Discussion in 'Cave Diving' started by Capt Jim Wyatt, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. cerich

    cerich ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    the log is not a swimming pool environment by any stretch. That said, as a cave diver the assumption she could make it from the log to the stairs is not unusual and an assumption I believe that most other cave divers would make.

    The people that argue that you need to escort a diver who has not indicated an issue, who is certified, all the way to the shore...how far does that argument go? Do we follow our dive buddies home when they get in their car alone post dive to make sure they arrive? Then how do you get home?

     
  2. victorzamora

    victorzamora Solo Diver

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    A ScubaBoard Staff Message...

    This thread began in the Accidents and Incidents forum. As the thread continued, some content emerged that is contrary to the special rules for that forum. As some of that discussion may be of interest to the cave diving community, moderators decided to move the entire thread to a forum where the special rules do not apply rather than delete those posts and disrupt the continuity of the discussion. Marg, SB Senior Moderator


    A non-diving, but obviously certified, "Escort and Tucking-In Specialist." Maybe it has to be a roommate or live-in SO?

    Or you could set up chains. Person A drops B off with C in the car. They pick up D and drop off A. D drops off C after picking up E, who drops off D.....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2015
  3. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Same here ... small wonder so few people want to get involved with board positions. Seems like a classic example of "no good deed goes unpunished" to me ...

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
    volauvent, delta-v, danvolker and 2 others like this.
  4. ams511

    ams511 Solo Diver

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    If Jim's primary duty is to his student (which I totally agree it is) then why accept a tag along? Especially being someone was willing to dive with her. The student is focused on performing their skills, the instructor is focused on evaluating the student. So neither is a real buddy for the "tag along". Either you believe in the buddy system or you don't, referring to someone as a "tag along" is complete nonsense. Also is it within standards to teach a student it is ok to wave off a buddy?
     
    TONY CHANEY and dumpsterDiver like this.
  5. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

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    I already mentioned that it's great experience for the tag along... but you only quoted (read) what you wanted to. Whether you like it or not, it's still a commonly accepted practice in cave country. The standards say "out of the cave" and that's what happened here. Again, as has been pointed out, where do you draw the line? Do we need hold hands all the way to the parking lot while singing Kumbayah or is meeting the standard of "out of the cave" enough? I've had a buddy ready to wave me off in the Olson Sink, wanting to take the wrong way back. It was a class that I was a tag-a-long in and he left the line with no jump spool. He wanted to take the wrong way home, and since I saw him make the mistake, I told him he could go that way, but it was going to be without me. The instructor laughed at the predicament, mentioned that a jump spool might have been best and told the guy he would be following me back out. He led out, took the jump spool from Olson to Peanut jump without me getting on the other side and still passed the class. There's a time for a wave off. I'm not going to jeopardize my life inorder to avoid one.
     
    Omisson likes this.
  6. cerich

    cerich ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I wont teach a cave class to a single person. I will often prefer to have a tag along certified cave diver to be part of the students team. I have them sign a waiver. A tag along not part of the team? Not anymore.
     
  7. ams511

    ams511 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
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    I have read your entire posts and most of this thread. What I see is you and others rationalizing and justifying the wave off because it is a cave country norm. So is overfilling tanks, which is not condoned by certifying agencies either and is technically illegal. Presumably once you exit the cave environment, normal open water rules apply. Your an open-water instructor, tell me where are tag-alongs, wave-offs, and leaving your buddy covered?

    It is not what I like or what you like but what is. The fact is juries do not like it when people die in avoidable accidents. They especially hate when healthy young adults with promise die. You could try arguing the Scubaboard Kumbayah defense and cave country norms but I am sure you will lose. What the focus would be that if Jim and the student stayed with her for the few minutes until she completed the safety stop, she would be alive today. The fact that the insurance company settled is evidence that they knew they were handed a losing case.

    Your personal "tag-along" anecdotes are irrelevant.

    ---------- Post added April 10th, 2015 at 08:15 PM ----------

    Your personal preferences are your own, not part of standards. Evidently Jim was comfortable diving with only the student.
     
  8. bamafan

    bamafan Manta Ray

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    If you think the only reason an insurance company settles a case before the trial begins is because they believe they are going to lose is a very nieve statement. Insurance companies make business decisions and if they can pay an amount of money to make a potential liability go away when they would have had to pay about the same to a lawyer to defend them then why not do it. I think this is one of the biggest problems with our tort system. I personally believe that if you lose a lawsuit as a plaintiff then you should have to pay damages to the defendant.
     
  9. Capt Jim Wyatt

    Capt Jim Wyatt Hanging at the 10 Foot Stop Staff Member

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    This thought is what I live with everyday.

    As I said, at the time I thought the decision was prudent to let her surface alone from 15-20 feet after she signaled she was OK and waved us off. And as I also have said I don't do this anymore - I watch them exit the water to dry land.
     
  10. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
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    As a diver, I have no control of my buddies should they decide to leave the group. Whether they wave me off or simply act as an SOB (same ocean buddy) and leaves, once that happens, I am no longer their buddy. Once they become my student, that dynamic changes drastically.

    Which is the very definition of 'common practice'. Wave offs are 'what is'.

    We'll never know in this case, will we? This is nothing but your conjecture based on nothing, nada and squat. In the end, Jim was not held responsible for her death and neither should he have been.

    Yet, it was obvious that we had anything but a HEALTHY young adult here. It is obvious to most, but maybe not to you, that she should not have been in the water. There's very little anyone can do to rescue another person from an underwater medical emergency. With or without a buddy, your chances of survival in such an event is pretty near zero.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
    delta-v, Dhboner and cerich like this.

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