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your worst dive experience ever?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Scuba-Jay, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace

    I've written about this before, but my worst dive to date was a training dive that, in retrospect, I had no business doing. I was anxious about the people I was diving with (because they were way more experienced than I was, and I was afraid they'd be impatient with me, and as it turned out, they were), worried about being in the dark (the dive was not originally supposed to have been a night dive), and worried about the skills. It began badly, with multiply mucked up S-drills and corking, and went on to some narcosis, midwater disorientation, getting off the line on ascent and losing ALL sense of where I was in the water, discovering I couldn't read my depth gauge at night (bifocals in the mask followed shortly), needing to be escorted to the surface by the instructor, where my weight belt promptly fell off.

    I sat on the seawall after with tears in my eyes and wondered if I had any business diving.

    Luckily, the instructor and my buddy were both very kind. Nonetheless, I have avoided that buddy assiduously ever since.

    Lessons learned: 1) If you have significant concerns about your fitness to do a given dive, you probably shouldn't. 2) If you have signficant concerns about your ability to carry out any of the proposed parts of a dive, your team deserves to know about them BEFORE you get in the water. 3) You learn by stretching yourself, but going too far can result in big setbacks, even if nobody gets hurt.
  2. Jim Ernst

    Jim Ernst Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Sacramento CA
    Andy, how did you get out ???

    Did help arrive??

    I had to ask, as your story would be my worst nightmare and scare me more then any other possibility!!
  3. ShoalDiverSA

    ShoalDiverSA Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
    I posted a long story about my worst dive here.

    The executive summary is that I managed to get myself wedged in a swim-through, without my buddy anywhere near me. Fortunately, a friend of mine followed me out of curiosity and extracted me.

    I had very similar thoughts to h2andy while it was going down.

    Pretty terrifying. Took a good couple of days to sleep soundly again.


  4. MarkUK

    MarkUK Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives:
    Location: England
    I was in the Red Sea testing some bits and bobs of equipment and was just floating next to a pinnacle at about 35m and comparing the readouts on two different brands of dive computer. Next thing, a diver comes hurtling around the edge of the coral, eyes filling his mask and his arms flailing about in something like an 'out-of-air' signal. I freed my octo and had it ready for him as he got to me. I wedged the octo into his mouth, got a good grip on his BCD and then started trying to calm him down, as he was hyperventilating, on the edge of full-blown panic and wanting to bolt. Okay, **** happens, I hear you say, but why is this 'the worst dive experience ever'.

    Well next thing, around the edge of the coral comes another dive, and I get a strange feeling of deja vu. Same wide-eyed look, same arm flailing. I thought, you have got to be kidding me. Luckily, for once in my life, I'd taken my pony reg and had borrowed a 3-litre pony, so I put my pony reg in my mouth and handed off my primary to the second diver.

    Great, so now there I was, a panicking diver in each hand, with both of them breathing off my main cylinder, and both being on the edge of going for the surface. You try calming down two panicked divers when you don't have any free hands! Man, I need to be an octopus that day!

    Basically, it was all about to go extremely pear-shaped, when my buddy, who was photographing a giant moray about 10m or so below me, looked up, saw what was happening and came up to manhandle one of the divers over on to his rig. Once we had one each, it was fairly straightforward to bring them to the surface.

    On hitting the surface, we found out the divers were Italian and were buddies! They were using single 12-litre aluminium cylinders, and their dive comps read 88m and 91m respectively!!! They both missed a load of deco, but the crew put them on oxygen and they were checked out by the chamber on our return to shore. They got away with it, but man, I do not want to be in that position again!

  5. MikeFerrara

    MikeFerrara Instructor, Scuba


    I don't know if I have anything as exciting as the rest of you.

    Once I was on a wreck dive in the Great Lakes. The oporator dumped two boat loads of divers on the same wreck. I was trying to help get some people going near the line when a bunch of divers fell on me smashing me into the wreck where the zebra muscles cut me to pieces.

    My second worst would have been when I was a DM in training. I went for a dive with a girl who had just been certified earlier that day, a DM and an instructor. The dive plan was for a max depth of 50 ft. The DM was way ahead of ut, the instructor was above with ear trouble and I tried to stay with the girl. She was way over weighted and was getting close to our max depth so I signaled for her to watch her depth. She then started looking for her depth guage which was floating over her head because the instructor had tied her buoyant camera to it. When she stopped kicking to look for the consol she sunk like a rock. By the time I caught her she was in all out panic. I brought her to the surface from about 65 ft with her using my head for a punching bag.

    I guess I have lots of little stories like these but now days I stay away from those kinds of dive charters and that kind of training so things have been quiet for a long time.
  6. dumpsterDiver

    dumpsterDiver Banned

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Its hard to say which was the worst, but it has to be one of the 3 seperate diving accidents which I witnessed (or was involved in) that resuled in the death of a total of 4 people. I can't decide if recovering my buddy's body after his skull had been opened up by a boat prop or trying unsucessfully to do mouth-to-mouth on a teenage boy while literally 100's of people (including his hysterical sister) watched as white foam was vomited repeatedly into my mouth and pooled up into the dying boy's open eyes.

    Maybe it was the double downing which occured one fine day when two expereinced (non-cave) divers (instructor and female, dive master) entered a cave, silted it out and died. This was occuring unseen by me as I hung out, alone, blowing off the last 1000 lbs in the lighted cavern zone literally only 70 feet from them. Another diver found their bodies, refused to recover them while the the diver's young wife (and 4-yr old) stood at the edge of the water crying pitifully, begging the diver to try to recover their bodies and try resusitating them (they had entered the spring/cave only 30 minutes earlier with half filled tanks, about 30 seconds before I did). I couldn't bear to hang out and watch the police divers recover their bodies.

    No wonder I'm not involved in dive training anymore.
  7. ShoalDiverSA

    ShoalDiverSA Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
    Sheesh, dumpsterDiver! With those experiences, I'm surprised you're still involved in diving at all!


  8. Guba

    Guba Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: North Central Texas
    Worst dive?
    Yes, the loss of a dive buddy. Like some of the previous posters have made crystal clear, it stays with you.
    The full story is at the site below, so I won't bore anyone with it here.
  9. Carribeandiver

    Carribeandiver Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: New Orleans
    WOW, I am impressed that a 15 year old had enough sense to call off a dive. You did the right thing, which in retrospect seems very easy to see.
  10. stepup

    stepup Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Ellijay, Ga
    Luckily I don't have any to share. (knock on wood) But from the sounds of all of this all of you have kept your head far better than I owuld have.

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