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Thankfully, all four divers came back out of the hole ...

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by highdesert, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. String

    String Master Instructor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Grand Cayman
    Never put yourself in a situation where you'll have to blindly rely on a 3rd party to get you out of.

    If you have to blindly rely on a buddy then id suggest you take a look at your own equipment, configuration and so on.
  2. String

    String Master Instructor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Grand Cayman
    and where are the incident reports to back up the claim its guides that get people killed?
  3. diver 85

    diver 85 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: SW Louisiana
    Thought you had one(lite)..moral to the story, carry one on every dive......You did the right thing for you but the others were OK in my book, again it's happens all the time..Now I guess your wife knows what to do the next time a hole appears.....
  4. highdesert

    highdesert ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: SW USA
    Yeah, I usually have one, but since I had already lost a light on this trip, I was going lightless on day dives. And even if I had one, all I would have seen had I pointed it into the opening was silt.
  5. scubafool

    scubafool Solo Diver

    Opposing statements, no?
  6. Tassie_Rohan

    Tassie_Rohan Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Hobart
    Poking around silt-free and well lit holes that go back a few meters into the reef is common with just about every operation I've dived with in the asia-pacific region.

    If its outside your comfort zone then do what you and many divers do: wait outside. You're buddy should have stayed with you, but that's another issue.

    I'm curious - just what extra training and gear do some of the people here feel is required for such forays (doubles, 6 ft hoses, cave lines, redundant air and light sources, etc), or should such forays be banned for divers who are not cave/cavern certified?

    Its typically left up to the DM to decide if the divers are up to it. From what I've seen the DM won't take someone who has serious buoyancy or trim issues into such places. I'd venture that, given the numbers of dives done in the region, 100's if not 1000's of dives just like this are performed every day in SE asia/Pacific/Australia. I am having trouble thinking of a single fatality in the last few years where a diver got caught in such a space.

    Agreed 100 %.
  7. MauiScubaSteve

    MauiScubaSteve Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Olowalu, Maui
    Starting with the disclaimer that I guide "purely recreational divers" into overheads (caverns and lava tubes) for a living, I will agree with others that not mentioning the overhead in the briefing was a mistake on the dive guide/operators part.

    A few Q's; how many dives had you done with this dive guide prior to this dive, how many dives had you done with your wife prior to this dive, how many dives have you and your wife made??? Seeing that you joined SB in '03 I'm assuming you are not inexperienced divers.

    Now that I think about it, there are more Q's, like; how did you spend 12 days of diving on the same dive boat with just 2 dive guides and their dive certification levels never came up in dive conversation, did the dive guides know your certification level and dive history, are you and your wife using your own well maintained reg's and finally for anyone following this thread, when was the last known reg failure on a dive of a similar profile???

    I am only familiar with PADI and IANDT recreational diving literature, so I can only state that while those agencies have wording similar to "NEVER, EVER enter an unfamiliar overhead environment like that without training and equipment" It seems to me that your paraphrased statement does not exactly convey the same meaning as the actual printed word of any recreational training agency, which might be part of the reason for the silence following it.

    Did the guide know what your tank pressure was? When talking with the other group about this "cave", was this other exit near the surface how they ended the dive? I will reiterate that the briefing seems to have been too brief, but this sounds like it could have been the ascent.

    Finally, have you ever followed any of the guided cenotes threads? This recent thread concerning inexperienced divers in a guided overhead situation has a very worthy first reply.


    I too find myself in the rare position of nearly complete agreement with String :wink:

    diver with less than 10 dives
    55' deep off Lanai, Hawaii
    (holding on to the lava rock is part of the briefing)​
  8. Tassie_Rohan

    Tassie_Rohan Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Hobart
    The main issue raised by this thread is poor communication in a buddy pair.

    Before entering a confined space you should compare air pressures with your buddy. If you’re not interested in going in then communicate this. You may then suggest your buddy pairs up with someone going in while you wait outside, or that they stick with you, depending on circumstances.

    If I was getting low on air (800 psi/55 bar) and still at 50-60 ft/15-18 m I would have waved off the invite to go in and communicated with the DM that my buddy and I were getting low and are heading up.

    The DM’s job is to show you the sites. As you already know you are responsible for your own safety.

    How was the diving by the way? Raja is still on my list of places to get to.

  9. Michael Schlink

    Michael Schlink Instructor, Scuba

    If you don't have any training in OH's and you don't have the gear you shouldn't go into OH's, period but as has been said a diver can do what they want. I learned a long time ago that I don't have much to do with dive guides. I'll stay close to the group, in sight of, but I don't consider a dive guide there for my safety either. Drive the boat, drop me off, pick me up, if you want make a dive and point stuff out to the group have at it, but I don't want or need someone swimming around pointing at critters and leading me around a reef.
    You should be responsible for all and every aspect of your dive at all times. What depth, for how long and how to get back to the boat or shore, you should be rsponsible for your dive NOT a dive guide. Never follow them when they do something stupid, like going into a OH or somewhere that wasn't part of the plan. Stay out of OH's or get some training and go into OH's but never let someone lead you around and control your dive. jmo
  10. Coldwater_Canuck

    Coldwater_Canuck Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Seattle or Ontario
    Here's the issue though: if you don't have any training in overhead environments you've probably never heard about procedures before entering a confined space. Some may seem like common sense, but I don't think divers should be left guessing at the entrance what the proper techniques are if they've never been taught. This is probably the reason I know PADI gives a very stern warning that basically says "if you enter an overhead environment without training you will die" - that's not exactly what it says of course, but that's kind of the message I got from it.

    Why was this never mentioned in the brief though? Something that the majority divers shouldn't be doing according to their certification agency should at least be mentioned ahead of time, no?

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