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Two divers die at Wazee Lake, WI

Discussion in 'Accidents & Incidents' started by DandyDon, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. Doc Harry

    Doc Harry Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Appalachia
    There isn't such a procedure. No such thing as "CPR" underwater. The likelihood of survival after cardio-pulmonary arrest at depth is close to zero. Even on dry land, with an immediate call to 911, the survival rate for cardiac arrest is less than 5%.

    If there is a deco obligation, the likelihood of survival is zero, unless the team is willing to skip deco and get the victim to the surface. Even then, the likelihood of survival increases from "zero" to "abysmal." And the team's risks of complications (such as DCI) increases from "small" to "almost certain."

    Is it worthwhile risking everyone's life to save someone who will almost certainly not survive? That's a question that each team must discuss ahead of time.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  2. WaterBender

    WaterBender Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Hoboken, NJ
    Is this a rhetorical question? How can one know for certain what is going on underwater? Your buddy is shaking, can't breath, it clearly is an emergency but is there a way to know it is a heart attack for sure? How can you possibly say "oh well dude you won't make it, we probably shouldn't risk our lives.."

    I'm also surprised to hear that there is no procedure to follow in cases like these. What would be the proper way to handle this? I hope an experienced diver will clarify what would be the best thing to do in case of such an emergency.

    Here's another link related to this accident. My condolences to friends and families of the deceased.

    Wife of scuba victim: 'They weren't going to leave their buddy' | Minnesota Public Radio NewsQ
  3. ScubaSteve

    ScubaSteve Wow.....what a DB

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Acton, Ontario

    It sounds as if you are not going to like the answer you get here based on your response to Doc Harry. IMO he is pretty much spot on. With respect to ANY rescue, the rescuer must analyze the risk that they themselves will be in and how likely they are to become a second accident because of their attempts. 1 death is better than 2. I do not believe most divers come to that decision (to turn away) lightly but sometimes the tough decision has to be made.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
    TechDeep likes this.
  4. Dragon Eye

    Dragon Eye Contributor

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Washington, DC Metro
    Sorry WaterBender- there's no underwater CPR- you can't find a pulse on a guy fully geared in a drysuit with hood and gloves. Even if you could, there's no way you could do compressions till they were out of the water.

    Best case is get them to shore/boat for emergency assistance.
  5. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    And not get hurt yourself. If someone is shaking under water (ie seizure) you get ahold of them and wait until the seizing stops. Try to hold the reg in their mouth or at least right up to it if they have spit it out. You will not get the jaws of a seizing person open. However what happens once the seizure stops is that they will take a deep breath in. If the reg is not in the mouth and you can't get it in what they will inhale is all the water their lungs will hold. Here you need to decide if on a mandatory deco dive to either let them go to the surface on their own, risk your safety blowing your stops(not my choice), or hang onto them through deco to make sure they don't drift away and get lost. Sounds like these guys took choice one.

    I doubt a heart attack victim would be seizing however. More likely a CNS hit. Either way as Harry said the outcome is pretty much a given with either.
  6. Doc Harry

    Doc Harry Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Appalachia
    No, Water Bender has some good points. Which is why, as I stated above, that every team has to discuss these emergencies and decide how they are going to be handled.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  7. LeadTurn_SD

    LeadTurn_SD Solo Diver

    Good question.

    In a recreational setting (relatively shallow, no deco obligation) you attempt to get the victim to the surface as quickly as you safely can, and attempt to render aid there. There is very little (as in nothing) you can really do for the victim underwater.

    But on a deep dive with a deco obligation? As others have already mentioned, this is something that needs to thought about, discussed, and agreed upon by the whole team. You still try to get the victim to the surface ASAP, but with a significant deco obligation and limited surface support, the whole team might end up "jumping off the cliff"... it just the sad reality of diving deep.

    If a significant health "event" occurs at depth, your buddy will not be able to do very much.

    My heart goes out to everyone involved in this incident.

    Best wishes.
  8. Thadmn

    Thadmn Contributor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Minnesota
    Even on land, the first thing the responder does is to assess the area for possible danger to one's self. If you would put yourself in dangerous situation (down power lines etc.) the best thing to do is call 911. No matter how badly you want to help someone, skipping this step can result in two people needing help instead of one. If you're going to blow off you're deco stops, it's the same thing, even though it may sound cold and heartless.
  9. razn1

    razn1 Registered

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Onalaska, WI
    So far from local news and some people who were at the lake that day, but not necesasarily involved have told me that one man did have a heart attack. They were anywhere from the 150ft -200ft range in depth. We can only make an educated guess as to what happend. Was also told they were adv. Nitrox and Deco certified, but also was told not long ago they tried a similar dive on single 80's and hit 180 and got DCS. Note this is hearsay. My guess is they went down one had a heart attack. The others didn't follow procedure, at least not the way I was taught. Granted in that situation do any of us know excactly what we would do. I like to think I would follow my training. As far as I know the procedure for this is do your best to keep his regulator in his mouth, use your air to get to your safety stops while maintaining your bouancy and his with your BC. Once your stops are over surface inflate both BC's yell for help, start mouth to mouth while getting them to shore and yelling for help. Any other way from that depth, your getting DCS and could very well die from it. Hopefully at some point the survivor will make a statement and clear this up.
  10. flots am

    flots am Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wherever you go in life, that's where you are.
    People who do deco dives know (or should know) that the cost of staying longer and deeper is that surfacing is no longer an option.

    You can train to handle all sorts of hardware failures and human failures, but part of the deal is that if you have a big deco obligation and a serious medical problem at the same time, you're pretty much screwed.

    That's why a lot of people (including me) no longer exceed the NDL and try to stay well within it.


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