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Wesley Skiles' widow suing over rebreather

Discussion in 'Scuba Related Court Cases' started by DandyDon, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. wedivebc

    wedivebc CCR Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Actually a malfunctioning solenoid would be nothing but a minor inconvenience to an experienced rebreather diver. I have done entire dives without the use of the solenoid, for various reasons.
     
    Doppler likes this.
  2. Thalassamania

    Thalassamania Diving Polymath ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: On a large pile of smokin' A'a, the most isolated
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    There may be more, but only four possibilities jump out for me and three of those are of lower possibility.

    Low possibility:
    Classic beginner problem like a flooded mask with a resultant claw for the surface and AGE.
    Medical issue that resulted in sudden unconsciousness.
    Sudden high fO2 that resulted in a very short time, during an ascent, when ppO2 is dropping, in convulsions.

    More likely:
    Failure of hardware and/or software that resulted in hypoxia.

    Anyone have a more likely explanation? If not, the next question is what sort of failure of hardware and/or software could result in hypoxia, maintaining that it simply could not happen is not rational. Sure, it's all speculation, but waiting for a definitive result from the M.E. is, let me assure you, a fool's errand. Apply Occum's Razor and run with it.
     
  3. padiscubapro

    padiscubapro Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: New York
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    Under normal operation and failures its very difficult to get a hypoxic loop.. You really have to make alot of mistakes and ignore alot of warnings, hyperoxia is a much easier occurrence..


    first most divers with rigs that have ADVs installed are taught to disable the ADV on systems that this can be done after you reach your target depth.

    ok.. first if you are at a constant depth and started with ANY reasonable po2 the loop volume would become inadequate well before the loop is hypoxic. This tells the diver something is wrong and o2 needs to be added.. if you are ascending you are supposed to be constantly monitoring your po2 over all other concerns.

    ** exception and danger **
    Some divers like using a very hypoxic diluent - 10/50 because its an easy gas to mix but is one of the most dangerous gases to use.. if you don't disable the adv, and the loop volume drops you will drop the po2 as the loop volume drops... this is still ok as long as you are deeper than 6m/20 fsw

    I lost a friend a few years back because he took a while off from diving, and then used 10/50 on his first dive back (and only had hypoxic bailout) that didn't need it.. He jumped in with his o2 off and went hypoxic near the surface..

    if your using air as a diluent, the po2 will drop and approach air, it shoud drop slow enough for the diver to have more than enough time to correct things.. if they run manual SCR (or open loop) at this point there is no issue at all..

    CCR divers are taught that ascents and decents need close attention.. The diver should be watching their handsets and be aware of the po2 at all times.. no situation should ocur that the diver is not aware of.. Also as others have pointed out a stuck or non functioning solenoid is no big deal for those properly trainined and experienced.
    if a diver can't run the rig 100% manual and blind they have no business using a rebreather..
     
  4. padiscubapro

    padiscubapro Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: New York
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    there is a mode that the sensors themselves read high right before dying.. this isn't very common and the sensor typically dies VERY quickly AND at this point and the readings are usually off the scale, so the first thing a diver is supposed to do is a dil flush..... The odds of 2 sensors doing this at the same time I couldn't even fathom to guess.. but again.. you see 2 sensors agreeing one is not, the diver is supposed to validate which sensors are behaving correctly...

    I have seen one brand of electronics give a high reading when salt water intruded into the wiring/connectors.. this is opposite the behavior of the HH, when there is a short or partial short the electronics read low..
     
  5. kwinter

    kwinter Rebreather Pilot

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: South Jersey
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    Doesn't matter if there was one bad cell or 2, reading high or low. The procedure is well covered during training. Do a complete flush with a known, breathable gas at that depth and compare the 3 cell readings to what it should be. The Hammerhead electronics even do the calculation for you. Its one of the options in the menu. If the one being voted out is actually the correct reading, you bail out and end the dive.

    2 problems: Wes wasn't trained and Wes didn't have bailout gas (although he should have been able to use his onboard gas from such a shallow depth).

    The suit is really not specific to Dive Rite and the Optima, other than the irrelevant spring issue. It is a condemnation of rebreather technology. It just happened to occur on an Optima.

    And Micropore is not the only party omitted from the suit (as someone posted earlier in the thread). What about the guy who loaned his Optima to Wes? If I borrowed a plane from a friend and crashed because I wasn't trained to fly, I would certainly expect my wife to include the so-called friend in the suit.

    It will be years before anything comes of this suit, but the entire rebreather community has a vested interest. Dive Rite just ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time, but the other companies should band together to fight the arrogance of a grieving widow looking for retribution from her husband's own stupidity.
     
  6. 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.
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    Why wouldn't this be the default, automatic behavior?

    flots.
     
  7. kwinter

    kwinter Rebreather Pilot

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: South Jersey
    1,563
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    Only for someone who was trained.
     
  8. Redshift

    Redshift DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Finland
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    ...and that was paying attention to the readings.
     
  9. Scott L

    Scott L Solo Diver

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    On a side note, why was he borrowing a RB?
     
  10. Thalassamania

    Thalassamania Diving Polymath ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: On a large pile of smokin' A'a, the most isolated
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    Wes was a Pro. Wes also made a mistake. The question on the table is his mistake that of a rube who did not know what he was doing and that would not have occurred had if Wes had the proper card in his wallet, or was is mistake that of a Pro who put too much trust in how things were supposed to work?

    Now I don't know what units Wes was "trained" on, or not "trained" on, so I can only extend from my own experiences and assume that Wes' were similar. My training on three oxygen rebreathers (Pirelli, LARS and Cobra) focused on readying it to dive and staying above a defined depth, my training on the Electrolung and later on the MK-15 and 15.5 was not a whole lot more, though, due to the complexity it took a lot more time. In all cases I learned through mentoring by highly experienced uses who were actual Pros (e.g., divers routinely used the rig to do a job other than teaching).

    What I am reading between the lines are veiled (and some not so veiled) criticisms of Wes that strike me as half braggadocio and half prayer during which the Greek chorus chants, "... it was operator error and that won't happen to me, he didn't have a card; it was operator error and that won't happen to me, he didn't have a card; it was operator error and that won't happen to me! ... 'cause I'VE GOT A CARD!"

    What a load of crap, knowledge and skills transfer, especially when you're dealing with the highly skilled.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
    caseybird and DiveGusto like this.

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