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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. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    I would like to shift the topic a little. Before I start, I want to emphasize that I am speaking generically and not necessarily about this specific incident or the young man involved, whom I of course did not know.

    I was a public school teacher for many years, and in that role I was frequently called upon to help deliver "public service" messages to students. We were continually required to participate in programs to prevent smoking, prevent drug use, prevent sexual activity, etc. Most of us were really upset about our participation, not because we did not want to prevent those activities, but because we felt that the way we were required to do it was not only ineffective, it was often counterproductive.

    The methods usually focused on warning teens of the dangers of the activities. For most teenagers, that is exactly the wrong path to take. I am old enough to remember being in college when the surgeon general issued the first study linking smoking to lung cancer. I asked a friend how he could continue to smoke after that report was issued, and he said, "It takes a man to fight lung cancer." That is the attitude I saw all the time in that age group--they are lured to warnings of danger, not repelled by them.

    As we grow older, most of us change, but some of us do not. Some people will always find the thrill of being on the edge of great danger a real attraction. Adrenaline junkies thrive on this sort of activity, and the more foolhardy the activity seems to the general public, the more they enjoy it.

    I think of that when I see the grim reaper signs in caves. I think they provide a strong warning and a powerful deterrent to most people, but I think there are some untrained divers for whom such a sign is a powerful temptation instead.
  2. packman

    packman Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: southeast of disorder
    I just watched the Vortex videos Cave Diver posted and the cavalier attitude shown in each one of them really bothers me. Every one of the divers I saw in those videos looks like a OW diver swimming past the grim reaper sign and into the cave. It appears...much like the Ballroom at Ginnie...that as long as they don't go past the gate everything is fine.

    This is the absolute wrong attitude and I can see how it would lead some to try to push just a little bit further...maybe not at Vortex but someone could be at, say, Orange Grove and think a peek into the cave would be ok. What good does the warning sign do if people routinely swim past it in Vortex?
  3. Johnnycat

    Johnnycat Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Mississippi
    Earlier posts hinted at evidence that "B" was still in the cave - any more info on this? Are we talking about more than deco bottles - like mask, claw marks, broken line, etc?
  4. DocYates

    DocYates Guest

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Alabama
    EArly in this thread it was mentioned that the body was a identified,but was not retreiveable, evidently it was too far back or thru an area that was not accessable. Was that information wrong? If not, I find it hard to believe that there is still an effort to search for this poor guy. If in fact the divers documented that there was a body present, the case should be closed. I sympathize with the family, how horrible this must be for them, but the people who dive this cave regularly are saying it is impossible to retrieve at this time.
    What a horrible tragedy this is. My son and I dove there many years ago.
  5. Cleavitt

    Cleavitt Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Central Florida
    To my knowledge, the victim has not been located. That is based on comments made by some of the recovery divers. That is why the investigation is still ongoing. They have seen what they believe to be signs of the lost diver, but they can't safely get far enough into that part of the cave to confirm.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  6. ScubaNurse758

    ScubaNurse758 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Villa Rica, Georgia
    As I understand it, the body has not been visualized, but due to certain findings in the cave the team is lead to believe they know the vicinity where the body is. Again, this is just what I have gathered from keeping up with things on here.
  7. livingintn

    livingintn Guest

    FBI is NOT involved in this case!!!!
  8. Jax

    Jax Deplorable American ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: AZ TX
    Hi, LivingInTN. :)

    You sound quite adamant. May I ask how you know?
  9. divinsiren

    divinsiren Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: pensacola, fl
  10. mike_s

    mike_s Solo Diver

    News update.

    Not sure why other experienced divers are being called in if the "local expert divers" like Edd can't find him. I doubt someone else from a nationwide search would know the caves better than the folks they had in there now. (unless they get someone extremely small who's willing to go into very risky spots).

    from Search for Missing Cave Diver Put on Hold
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