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Vortex Missing Diver Incident - Aug 2010

Discussion in 'Accidents and Incidents' started by wjefferis, Aug 20, 2010.

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  1. Kevin Carlisle

    Kevin Carlisle Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Wetumpka, Al
    Let the law enforcement do their investigation topside, if they conclude he is in there then its over. No more unnecessary risk.
  2. Shocky

    Shocky Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Boca Raton FL
    Amen. You guys are great. I am a recreational cave diver and that's all. I've been in one silt-out and I don't want to be in another, so I can't even imagine what it was like for all of you back in there looking. My admiration and appreciation for all of you is total.
  3. bigken462

    bigken462 Solo Diver

    Perhaps the best advice yet. But for a while, every time someone mentions a chance that maybe in the future the body will become dislodged and can be removed brings a nagging question. And I'll let this be my last post.

    I think it can't be argued that these fellas are some of the best cave divers in the region. I don't think you'll find one person to bring discredit to that. But I would like to know a cpl things. When they speak of divers location not being found, does this mean:

    1. That he is not in there - period!, that every crack, fissure or hole has been scoured over - there is physically no more cave to search, reached the end, seen the end, at the end. etc. etc.
    2. They have reached a point that they can't physically go any further, but there is still somewhat of an open space beyond where they can't physically reach, but no such possibility exist that any diver could, even in a state of sheer panic and fear find himself to go through.

    At some point in time, we simply must ask is if there anything more to be done? and if not, move on.

  4. pattidives

    pattidives Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Panama City Beach
    I've heard on the news that they are trying to find more divers to help with the efforts. Is this working with those like Edd and such? or are they finished with the efforts?
  5. Rick Murchison

    Rick Murchison Trusty Shellback Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Gulf of Mexico
    Personally I believe he's in there, down a little clay-lined slick hole, perhaps even buried in a local collapse. There was a fairly large sand and clay collapse a couple months ago, and it isn't unusual for a few small ones to follow a big one until the system settles again.
    Sure would be nice if someone could actually spot the body and remove all doubt, but it won't be me going back there, and it won't be me asking anyone else to go back there either.
  6. sabbath999

    sabbath999 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Edina, MO
  7. Cave Diver

    Cave Diver Divemaster

    Not to take anything away from any of the guys that have searched already, but from what I know of Edd, if he has gone in and been unable to locate the diver I would be very surprised if they find anyone else that is capable of doing so.

    There could be several reason why it's not found including those you mentioned. Something else that needs to be considered as that these divers are going in to an area knowing that it's going to deep, silty, narrow and nasty. They are proceeding with caution and have to plan gas reserves and deco to get themselves back out safely. They also have to take into account conditions in the cave and move accordingly. Search in these conditions requires you to be slow and methodical and every second you spend at depth increases your deco obligation and decreases your gas reserves.

    If a diver encountered a problem in such an area, lost the line, panicked, or just simply got turned around, they would not be operating under such caution. Especially without having the training and and the conditioning on how to handle it. More likely they would be going hell bent in the direction they thought the exit was in, or in whatever direction they happened to be pointing. Rational thought leaves the mind at this point. They aren't planning gas reserves, they aren't thinking about deco. They aren't concerned their actions will cause further silt outs or possible collapse of a section of cave.

    It's been documented on dives done by two fully trained cave divers that when one panics and bolts the other diver can barely keep up with them. It's been documented when fully trained cave divers become disoriented without silt to obscure things they can argue about navigational decisions and which way to go.

    And this doesn't even take into account the narcosis factor of breathing air at that depth. Throw in some CO2 from heavy exertion, shallow breathing, or panic along with the cold water (wetsuit diver remember?) and you've got a perfect recipe for a dark narc. Been there. Done that. In clear water, on the line. NOT fun!

    So yeah, it's possible he could have gotten far enough into the cave, a passage, a crevice, an alcove, or just buried in deep silt that no one ever finds the remains.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  8. cruiser

    cruiser ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dallas, Texas
    3. The expert searchers have done everything they can from a SAFETY standpoint. There may be more nooks and crannies to be searched, but it's just not worth the risk.
  9. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    As a newly minted cave diver, I would say that if there is anything I learned at this point in my training is how unworthy I am and to have the most profound respect for the people you rightly call "the best." I therefore know what this means and agree fully.

    I also think pretty much any cave diver will feel the same way--perhaps I am naive, but I can't imagine it being otherwise.

    On the other hand, non-divers and most open water divers may not understand it and may have a "what harm can another look do?" attitude. Remember that it is the lack of respect for the true danger of this operation that led to this problem in the first place.
  10. Cave Diver

    Cave Diver Divemaster

    From the news report:

    Before we start down the "asking people to risk their lives" trail, everyone needs to keep in mind that these people are not divers. They are looking for a resolution without fully understanding what they are asking. Let's not read more into this than what is being said and turn things into another emotional discussion.

    I feel pretty confident that law enforcement and Vortex management is not going to let a bunch of yahoo cowboys show up and turn this into a circus. There is enough of a spotlight on things already, they're not likely to add to that.

    So how about we move onto a different track?
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