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Spin Off of the Accident & Incident Discussion - Northernone - aka Cameron Donaldson

Discussion in 'Solo Divers' started by Ana, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. Kay Dee

    Kay Dee Barracuda

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Here, there, and everywhere
    25 times? I don’t want to sound my horn here, but………………… I did hundreds of dives ‘solo’ before ever getting involved in tech diving back in 1992. Besides other chores, I was / am an underwater photographer, and much of that was spent alone / solo, intentionally or not. Since tech certified I have done well of a thousand (or two) dives solo.

    And complacent? I don't think so! Re-read Wookies post. Just like he said, any problems I might have encountered along the way that were my 'fault’ never happened twice! I never got complacent. As a matter of fact, compared to some of my solo diving friends (who are also still alive), I thought I was often too cautious. It's often not complacently that kills anyway, but overconfidence.

    Unfortunately yours is a very forlorn hope Mark. And what norms pray tell? As I asked in a post above, who teaches / advocates 'limits' in solo tech diving? If the world lived by imposed limits no exploration would ever get done.

    And my diving was mostly far from 'controlled environments'. We / I often dove in strong currents far from land in areas were there was negligible SAR assets (or chambers). I have done sub 100m dives solo, and cave dived solo. And not just once. Different strokes (no pun intended) for different blokes is all.

    You keep referring to 'standards'. Whose standards are you referring to here? And what 'deviance's'? Not any I am familiar with. All I can say is that I dived like I did for 20 years or more and am still walking and talking (as are most - though not all - people I knew that did the same). So which / whose 'standards / protocols' do you refer to?

    Well, I have been above and under it my whole life, and have had / still do have many of the benign forms of melanoma regularly 'frozen' off, or cut out of, my fair Irish heritaged now scaley skin to prove it ;-). That is I have been in or around the ocean (mostly in, much to the detriment of my schooling) since I could walk 68 years ago. And just like my diving, I surfed / windsurfed solo in many remote locations around the world. And often in biggish surf. After all, life is all about what level of risk one is willing to accept. What is considered risky to some is just another day at the office for others. Walk the path less traveled, or stand in line. Your choice.

    After all, in many professions / walks of life some people are just 'risk takers', although I personally never thought I took undue risk. What I did all seemed pretty normal to me. To paraphrase Wookie "analyse the risk, accept it (or not, and abort), and if accepted, then manage / mitigate the risk as much as possible / to the best of ones abilities". That was taught to me and has served me very well.

    As for putting your faith in buddies, my wife was almost killed by one who held the C cards asserting he was at least fairly highly tech trained, yet (he thought) he ran out of air at 40 meters, panicked, grabbed my wife's occy (2nd reg), and dragged her straight to the surface. So much for 'buddies'! (Twas lucky they / she had just arrived at depth, or the outcome could have been really bad.) Where was I you might ask? Off shooting photos, solo.

    Anyway Mark, I am not asking you to change your ways, but maybe you should at least either broaden your outlook, or simply accept that people do things differently and have different degrees of 'risk' acceptance.
  2. Dan

    Dan ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    Based on your vast experience of diving solo, sometimes in challenging conditions and what you have known / read about Cameron, what kinds of accidents / incidents would you imagine happened to him that he wouldn't be able to overcome?
  3. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives. ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
    Hi Kay Dee,

    You will not change my mind. I am sorry for your loss.

    I don't believe in rationalizing.

    You and others on this thread have changed my opinions about many of the Scubaboard members that I thought were role models for the sport of scuba diving.

    I hope my posts did not hurt you even further. That was not my intent.
    Sam Miller III and W W Meixner like this.
  4. JohnnyC

    JohnnyC PADI Pro

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: United States
    If your only takeaway is that you think you're more right than someone else, you've missed the point.

    Dive and let dive doesn't mean "let dive unless I disagree with how you dive and then I'm gonna tell you that you're wrong." @markmud you might re-read your own signature. You, by your own admission, are not qualified to determine what is rationalizing, what is deviating from normalcy, in the realm we are discussing. Your Tec40 course in no way qualifies you to make concrete statements about the way many of the posters in this thread dive, myself included.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't always agree with @Kay Dee on a number of things. But I think the declaration about your opinion of role models for the sport is off target at best, and could certainly be viewed as condescending, and quite insulting, considering your lack of relevant experience.

    Regardless, we're drifting off topic.
    eleniel, sunnyboy, shoredivr and 7 others like this.
  5. Kay Dee

    Kay Dee Barracuda

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Here, there, and everywhere
    Dan, I wouldn't even hazard a guess, as it would be simply speculation. Numerous things could have gone wrong unfortunately, as on any dive, but especially where he was diving and with the gear he was using. (And I am not implying that there was anything 'wrong' - as in bad choice - with what he was using by any means.) Unfortunately we may never know what may have gone wrong u/w that may have kept him there, or whether he did make it back to the surface.

    Anyway, here's still hoping he is miraculously found alive!!!
  6. johndiver999

    johndiver999 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Gainesville FL
    The discussion seems to be centered on the philosophy of solo diving and a very subjective discussion of risk – both avoidance and acceptance of it. However, so far we haven’t had one person, run the numbers on the dive. It seems we have a reasonably detailed idea of the dive profile, depths and time and the gear selected, but nobody has gone to the trouble to demonstrate that this is a run of the mill solo technical dive with adequate gas supply or otherwise.

    As indicated yesterday, I did an extremely crude estimate on the back of the envelope and my conclusion was that it was “tight”, however any estimate is based on an ASSUMED RMV unless someone has more specific information.

    Can any of the qualified tech divers show a profile that they themselves could safely run with twin 80’s of air to 150 ft accruing 30 plus minutes of deco? Perhaps using their own RMV’s for the working part of the dive and maybe a reduced one for the deco? This might add some objectivity to the discussion of risk etc.

    I think discussing the factors that we do know should be looked at before we diverge into opinions about a hundred potential scenarios or situations for which there is little or no actual information.

    Scooter failures, medical issues, scuba unit failures, BC failures, extremely unusual down currents, potential diver errors, the potential of an aggressive shark, failure to locate the diver on the surface, decompression sickness - and who knows what else are all possible scenarios, and none of them are mutually exclusive. The potential scenarios that can reasonably be developed without the benefit of more information is almost unlimited.
    John C. Ratliff, Jay and Terapin like this.
  7. Pedro Burrito

    Pedro Burrito Moderator Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Boussens, Canton de Vaud, Suisse
  8. John C. Ratliff

    John C. Ratliff Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Beaverton, Oregon
    Dr. Stanley Miles in Underwater Medicine wrote the following accident equation in the 1960s, before there was such a thing as "Technical Diving."

    A = C x E x ( PRF / TMS )
    A = accident potential
    C = Chance
    E = Environment
    P = Accident Proneness
    R = Risk Acceptance
    F = Physical Factors
    T = Training
    M = Maturity
    S = Safety Measures

    If you look at this, "Chance" and "Environment" by themselves can overwhelm the rest of the equation. There are times to "call" a dive or not even enter the water.

    The numerator are those factors which can increase the likeliness of an accident. The denominator are those factors which can decrease the likelihood of an accident. But you can also have all the training, maturity and safety measures available, and still accept a potentially fatal risk. Or, there may be physical factors which enter into the equation which are unexpected.

    SMSgt. Jerome Gorney once gave me some wonderful advice for our Pararescue operations. He said, "Attention to detail is the key to any successful operation. Get the details right, and the operation will go well. But miss even one detail, and things can go to hell in a handbaskit...". This is where the "Accident Proneness" factors into Dr. Miles equation.

    There is no doubt that solo technical diving involves more risk acceptance than buddy diving, especially if in dangerous missions (such as ice diving in the Antarctic Ocean) there are standby divers available (additional safety measures). When on rescue missions into North Vietnam, we almost always had a "high bird" (standby helicopter) and a "low bird" (the rescue helicopter assigned to make the pickup of the downed pilot). For technical diving, where extreme danger exists and the dive needs to be made, standby divers are helpful (though not always successful--witness the Keller diver to 1000 feet in the pioneering days of deep diving).

    This equation, presented by Dr. Miles to divers over a lifetime ago, merits contemplation even today.

    happy-diver and Sam Miller III like this.
  9. Johnoly

    Johnoly ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    The equation does not have a separate numerical value for "time". We all know that every diving accident is a chain of events over a length of time. And if you break just one link in the chain of events, the accident would never have happened. Everyone wants to put their finger on one single item because it's simple minded to do and say that "Caused" the accident (ie ran out of air). But in reality, so many chain of events over time led up to the accident. The formula above is a starting point for analysis, but it is incomplete.
    John C. Ratliff likes this.
  10. John C. Ratliff

    John C. Ratliff Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Beaverton, Oregon
    Now, you're thinking, and that was my intent--to get people thinking. Dr. Stanley Miles put this formula together to have a conceptual model he could use for accident prevention. There are many models out there, and in my professional safety career I have used several. But this is the only one to my knowledge which was written by someone who was both a diver and a medical doctor.

    I would challenge you on one aspect of your comment, and that is the notion of a linear chain of events. Sometimes it is, but an accident can also happen when multiple causes occur simultaneously.

    Johnoly likes this.

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