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Sotis vs. IANTD

Discussion in 'Scuba Related Court Cases' started by Wookie, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. Wookie

    Wookie Secret Field Agent ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    In a different lawsuit, the captain indicated that Stewart gave an OK, and then did not respond when told to grab the trail line less than 5 feet away. He remained unresponsive when told a second time. After that, the captain removed his eyes from Stewart to maneuver the vessel, and when he made a big loop with the boat, Stewart was no longer in sight.
     
    Miyaru likes this.
  2. Wookie

    Wookie Secret Field Agent ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

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    Page 102 of Exhibit B of Motion 84 of Stewart V Horizon, Video Deposition of Jeffery Knapp:
    10 Q. Did you ever talk to David Wilkerson about
    11 what happened when the divers surfaced?
    12 A. When we surfaced at the end of the dive?
    13 Q. When Robert Stewart and Peter Sotis
    14 surfaced.
    15 A. Yes.
    16 Q. What was the substance of your
    17 conversation with David Wilkerson about that?
    18 A. That Rob surfaced with Peter, signaled
    19 that they were okay. Peter got on the boat. He had
    20 issues. Bobby went to help him, and he collapsed.
    21 And that Rob was on the surface while they were
    22 attending to Peter. Dave asked Rob to grab the
    23 line, and he didn't. That's when he turned the boat
    24 around, and Rob went missing.

    Atttached is a copy of Wilkerson's statement to the sheriff's office. Wilkerson is the captain.
     

    Attached Files:

    Miyaru and rjack321 like this.
  3. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

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    I believe this scenario is why rEvo requires the use of their "gag strap" in training. A loss of consciousness could result in a loss of loop out the mouth with subsequent flooding of the unit, loss of buoyancy and drowning. I also believe that this is a standard within IANTD and one of the major violations that led to Sotis' expulsion.

    For instructors, this is a reminder that no matter how much you might disagree with them, you have to meet or exceed the standards of your training agencies. If you decide not to, then you open yourself to legal exposure and possible expulsion, especially if an accident should occur.
     
    Hoyden likes this.
  4. tbone1004

    tbone1004 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    may be thinking of Steve Berman who died in a cave almost 2 decades ago.
    http://www.mejeme.com/dive/articles/steveberman.htm
     
  5. Capt Jim Wyatt

    Capt Jim Wyatt Hanging at the 10 Foot Stop Staff Member

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    shoredivr likes this.
  6. tbone1004

    tbone1004 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I knew it wasn't his wife, but he was the only other "Berman" that I could think of and that may have been the name association
     
  7. rjack321

    rjack321 Captain

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    The recovery video posted (somewhere here) showed the loop still in Stewart's mouth. Are you sure Sortis was having students or that Stewart in particular had removed his gag strap? I didn't see the gag strap mentioned in any of the depositions at all.

    I actually have one, it won't preclude flooding of the unit if you lose consciousness and then descend with your ADV off. Water will be forced around your lips anyway and the loop will still flood. They will keep the loop from falling out of your mouth and maintain a basically open airway during a seizure - which is their intended application.
     
  8. Kay Dee

    Kay Dee Barracuda

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    First, thank you RainPilot and Wookie for clarification re the 'final surface moments' part of the accident (and Wookie for also posting the Captains statement verifying such).

    Re the last sentence above (now underlined), although it is my understanding that Mr Sotis did not advocate the use of gag straps, nor require his students to use one, it is not mentioned as one of the Violations of Standards in Exhibit C (Sotis vs IANTD) for his / his facility disqualification. They (the violations) all seem to revolve around the non-completion - dives and paperwork - of the (hypoxic) trimix CCR course (which, upon rereading Exhibit C, answers my own question of several posts ago) and Mr Sotis acting as a safety diver - during the filming - for divers he knew to be 'unqualified (i.e. uncertified) for said dives.
     
    rjack321 likes this.
  9. Kay Dee

    Kay Dee Barracuda

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    And one quick question to save me searching through several threads and dozens of posts; is the above a fact, that is the mouthpiece was still in the mouth when the body was found?
     
  10. rjack321

    rjack321 Captain

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    Alas I couldn't find it either, hopefully someone more versed in all of these threads will repost the video link for you. The loop mouthpiece being basically in place does not mean the loop didn't flood however (as I tried to explain above)
     
    kelemvor likes this.

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