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Solo Diving in almost 0vis water

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by Frank Dieber, Jun 21, 2019.

  1. Frank Dieber

    Frank Dieber Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Greenwood Lake N.Y.
    33
    22
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    Hello all , just to give you bit about my self before I get to the questions. My profile says 25 to 49 dives but it’s actually more around the 200/300 mark. My father was a DM. and taught me how to dive when I was around 12 I’m 37 now, I dove with him for fun and also for work. We owned a marina on a small lake in down state N.Y. and we were one of the only ones that did Salvage dives for the hole lake. So when a boat sank we were the ones that dove, located and raised it. Since he passed over 5 years ago I took over Without hesitation and now not only do large recovery boats, dock anchor mains, etc. I’ve gotten really good at finding small objects keys, phones, wallets,etc in our near 0Viz water. (Usually around .5 to 1.00foot of visibility) The reason for the 25 to 49 dives is I actually only got certified last year and those are my Legitimate logged dives and I wanted to be honest on my profile.
    Since I learned how to dive these no visibility waters in the beginning my father pretty much had a leash on me until he was confident that I wouldn’t kill my self( key note this is where I learned to dive, not some clear water great place, and he stayed with me for a few years Until we actually worked together rather than me hovering watching then him letting me work and him hovering watching).
    So the question is since iv been Legitimately trained in diving and every video you watch on the internet it is pounded in your head that you must have a buddy diver no matter what. But when your in water that you can Barely see your gauges in wether your working or not what good does a buddy do you ? Wouldn’t someone else in the water add to nothing but worry for your self and the other diver? Unless they are there to Perform a task. And at that point if two divers go in ,it is Essentially a solo dive for both divers is it not ? would you be better off planing your own dive Executing that dive and not have to worry about someone else? I dive this lake just for fun to keep my skills in check for when I get a call to find something and if someone from my dive shop wants to come along they are always welcome but I always tell them when your diving in this mess it’s Essentially a solo dive you have no one to Rely on but your self. And when I do work dives I never let anyone to come I feel that I’d be more worried about them than Performing the task at hand. If the dive Requires two people I just plan the dive longer so it takes one person. Am I misguided in this thinking ?
     
  2. Akimbo

    Akimbo Lift to Freedom Volunteer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    8,872
    7,167
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    Have you read through the Solo Divers forum? It might be worth investigating solo courses.
     
    Frank Dieber and Barnaby'sDad like this.
  3. Frank Dieber

    Frank Dieber Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Greenwood Lake N.Y.
    33
    22
    8
    No I did not I looked through the Threads to post this and must have over looked it. Since I have got my cert. I have continued my education in diving and have stayed in dive school since last year. My next class is actually solo then search and rescue then I am going to work my way to DM. Then I’d like to get to instructor in time
     
    Akimbo likes this.
  4. 2airishuman

    2airishuman Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Greater Minnesota
    2,381
    1,579
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    When the viz is below about 5' I find that buddy dives aren't practical, even with a really good buddy who is good at following. In the lakes and rivers viz is 10' on a good day and you can barely see your elbow on a bad day.

    No.
     
  5. Storker

    Storker Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: close to a Hell which occasionally freezes over
    12,484
    8,864
    113
    Back in the days, before I got certified, buddy lines was a thing around here. A buddy line is a line about 3m long, with a small float on the middle to keep it from tangling, and a ring of some kind - often a large rubber O-ring - at each end which you slipped over your wrist.

    They're almost never used these days, but my club has a couple of those and I've used one of them on a dive where the vis was close to zero in the top layer. Makes it nearly impossible to lose your buddy even if you literally can't see your hand in front of your face.
     
  6. Searcaigh

    Searcaigh Chromodoris gordonii Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Dubai, UAE
    5,532
    4,137
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    I had a nice long dive with my buddy this morning in 1-2m vis.

    Her strobes firing helped locate her when she was out of sight.

    Buddy lines are useful.

    A working dive though is frequently solo, but there should be surface support in that case, preferably with another diver.
     
  7. Barnaby'sDad

    Barnaby'sDad ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Virginia
    612
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    That is one plus of solo diving and it’s a reason why some people get into it (not specifically low vis diving, but diving in general).

    You don’t have to worry about someone else’s competence (or lack thereof), you can dive on your own schedule, etc.

    As @Akimbo said...check into a solo diving course. I intend to take one whenever I hit the required line 100 dive mark.
     
    Frank Dieber likes this.
  8. Frank Dieber

    Frank Dieber Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Greenwood Lake N.Y.
    33
    22
    8
    A few years ago I had a salvage dive for a 28ft cabin cruiser in about 25 feet of water. It was the first year my father wasn’t there to dive with me so my uncle insisted that he dove with me to keep everything safe. He is in his early 50’s and has owned a restaurant and marina on the north end of the lake for over 30 years and that’s the area this boat sunk so he has probably dove this area for his own reasons over 1000 times, he also is a traveling diver so he is a very experienced and safe diver I trust him with my life and likewise for his life in my hands. We both had all gear and tools needed and a we had two dive torches a 300lm and a500lm (I don’t remember who had with torch).
    The plan was to drop together then separate and do a zig zag search pattern till we located the vessel. Once one of us located it we would set off a dsmb. tide off to the vessel surface meet up then start the raise. Wether we found the vessel or not we would pop up every ten minutes to see if the dsmb was fired or if we needed to move our search. I located it surfaced he did shortly after for his ten min check in we went over our plan of attack got our cables off of the tending boat his job was hooking to the bow and mine was to hook to the stern. Visibility on this dive was less than 0.5inches. On this dive we both Encountered issues there were long dock lines tied off to every dock Cleat on this vessel. When I came up to the stern of the boat I seen the lines tided off to the stern cleats so before I started my rigging i cut theM and stowed them so I wouldn’t get tangled up in them I didn’t notice the lines mid ship as I was rigging my cables to the stern the mid ship lines floated my way and tangled around my tank and first stage then also tangled around some other part of the stern of the vessel so I was Essentially stuck to the back of the boat. At first I tried Singling to my uncle that was working the bow of the boat with my light Hoping that he would see it flashing at him and he’d swim over and cut me loose. He never came I kept my self calm pulled out my Knife and started cutting my self free, once I was free I finished doing my rigging and ascended. Once I surfaced he was already there and his face was white as a ghost. I asked if he was ok and what happened he also got entangled and had a hard time freeing him self. The difference was he Panicked and sucked almost all his air down. We both descended with al. 80’s at Roughly 3,300psi we located the vessel in about 15 min so we still had almost full tanks when we went to work I surfaced after rigging in about 30minuets with around 1800psi and he had about 100psi. We both tried Singling each other with our lights and neither of us seen the others light. If he needed another 5 minutes to free him self he wouldn’t have had the gas to make it out alive.
    I learned several good things from this disaster of a dive ,one lights do you no good down there to try to get someone’s attention, 2 before you start to work make sure nothing can entangle you everything is trying to kill you down there. The ropes that got me were hooked to a cleat in front of the helm. I never would have thought they would have floated up then start to sink back down like a U shape wrap around something at the stern and then to me or more likely wrap around me then when I was swimming about they snagged to something on the stern. 3 I’m much better off alone neither of us could help the other.
    All in all we raised the boat got paid and learned some valuable lessons. But things could have gotten a lot worse in just an extra minute or two.
    Iv thought about static lines for when I take new ppl to my lake. But decided against it ,theirs so many things at the bottom like tree stumps logs cars unsalvaged boats pretty much if you can think it up it’s down there. I think it would just be a snag hazard. Theirs just one guy I take with me that is a newer diver he’s a good friend of mine he has the right Mentality (not easily panicked) and even though he is a newer diver his skills are on point and I stick to side like glue. If I was to take anyone else with me Iv met them at the dive shop I get a good background of them I ask the dive shop people about them and I dive with them first somewhere else then if they ask to go for a dive around here I bring them but like I said in my original post. Explain to them it’s a solo dive there is no one to help you.
     
    chillyinCanada and RayfromTX like this.
  9. Frank Dieber

    Frank Dieber Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Greenwood Lake N.Y.
    33
    22
    8
    Once I got my cert. last year I stayed in dive school the solo dive course is the next one I plan to take then rescue and I’m planning to keep going all the way. I love it the people I meet are awesome it’s become one of my favorite things to do.
     
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  10. caruso

    caruso Banned

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Long Island, NY
    1,662
    1,189
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    Why not change it to more accurately reflect your diving experience?

    Not every one. Buddy diving is impractical in many scenarios, only one of which is very low visibility. Another is that an unknown instabuddy can be more of a liability than an asset if their skills are poor. [/QUOTE]
     
    Frank Dieber likes this.

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