View Full Version : One Lucky Diver - The Reunion
06-06-2004, 11:00 AM
I'm putting back the story per the request of Marti's Mom. I met with his family yesterday and things really come together when you see a family like this one! Never knew a fishing trip would land him another Brother! Welcome back my friend!
Why do we do what we do?
06-06-2004, 11:05 AM
06-06-2004, 11:08 AM
06-06-2004, 11:11 AM
For the Smiles!!!
06-06-2004, 11:36 AM
This was my post that was up. Marti is doing well and happy to be home with his Family and loved ones! The assumed conclusion was a seizure at depth. Marti experienced a seizure ten years ago when he was 18.
May 31st 2004:
This will be one of the hardest visions to kick out of my head. Iíll start out by saying that the Capt. Jim Zurbrick deserves the credit for making this out come not as tragic as itís going to read. I have the utmost respect for the U.S.C.G. & I have to pray that if Iím ever in this position that I have a group a folks around me that responded as they did on Sunday morning May 30th 10:31 am.
I had the opportunity to work the JRII with Capt. Jim this weekend to help out so D4B could do the Family Disney thing. The group consisted of Brothers Mike and Marti Machado (M & M) and their father Pedro, whoís a really great guy. Team M&M were accompanied by friends Jason and Brian and all had been on the JRII before. Jason, Marti and Mike were regular inshore, low viz divers, but hit it almost every weekend.
Saturday saw us heading out around 9:00 am to do some hook and line on the way out. We found spotty fish in 60í-70í, but had a well full of big grunts, pigfish and blue runners for our MG offerings. Our sunset was viewed from the middle grounds and we soon found out that we should have come straight here during the day.
I did make one drop on the way out on a ledge with Marti and Jason. Not much gumbo or fish was my first impression of the spot. We all hit the water together, but once I saw the guys were in, I was off to the bottom. I scouted out the area and soon figured Iíd save the air for later. As I headed to the line Marti was hitting the ledge and Jason was hovering 10í off the bottom right by the jug line. I circled back and got the OK from Jason as he was messing with some equipment. I pointed to go up to save the air, but they both continued on their dive. Marti returned with a 7 lb go and Jason came back with a grouper sighting, but that was all.
The night bite went off until 10 pm with gags galore, some really nice goes. I opted out on kingfishing due to a few sharks and I was busy unhooking fish and slinging bait around to the guest. I got a nice picture of Mike and Pedro with their gags, but Martiís came late and we never took a family shot of the three. Next time I get an idea like that, I will make it happen then and there! We wound up not taking a picture together before Martiís gag was in the box and the moment past.
I woke up with a screaming drag on the Speed Master with a nice king tugging at the other end. I have to again thank Mike for putting out the blue runner for me. Thatís my standard alarm clock in the grounds. We did the kingfish thing with one in the box (hit by a cuda), one pulled the hooks at the boat and one that took the gaff from Martiís fish slimed hands and broke off.
The fist dive of the day was Brian, Mike and I on a spot we were close to. We were greeted to 80íviz and great bottom. I got a few gos and then saw a fat Mangrove Snapper head under a rock that I had already swam over twice. I ducked down and saw a silhouette in the back that was poised at his ďbackdoorĒ for escape. I took a head shot a dropped my gun, swam over the rock and the 20# gag head was struggling to get through the door. After he was strung I played the territory thing with a 300# Jewfish after chasing him out of his hole. He stared me down and thumped at me in warning the whole time. I spotted the other divers and we all made a return trip to the boat with some happy stringers.
Next up in the water were Marti and Jason. We found a nice show in 100í and the three of us went in. Again, once the divers were in and ready to go down, I headed for the bottom. The other divers were not far behind so I took focus on a big gag and started to drop towards him when it suddenly didnít look so big. I followed him to a rock head full of Mangos when two male hogfish headed in. I stoned the first one and the second took off towards the next set of rocks. I took a couple of gos and finally the big hog came out of hiding which was his second mistake. A female capped off the hat trick and I decided that to swim back to the others near the jug.
I heard a tink in the distance and knew I was headed in the right direction. I looked up in the column and saw a bubble trail leading down to Marti who just took the shot that I heard. I saw the struggle with the fish beginning from 83fsw and about 40íaway. His gun was in floating but the shaft didnít let it float away. I almost took off for the gun to keep it from getting away from him, but it was a non-issue. I was up to 43í when something looked wrong. The bubble trail had a large gap of water between the end of the trail and the diver. The bubble trail was gone and the diver was still wrestling around on the bottom. One second past and there was not an exhale from the Diver on the bottom below.
I took off like a bullet and as I approached I saw Marti on the bottom next to his shaft with a mangrove snapper on it. Marti was on his side and his regulator was out of his mouth. He was convulsing and blue. I dropped my gun and lifted him up trying to get his regulator in his mouth while purging it. I was trying to swim up at the same time and get this reg in his mouth and he stopped jerking. I had to inflate his bc to get us off the bottom. I tried to control the assent holding on, but at about 25-20fsw I had to let go for my own sake, he was so buoyant at that point. I looked up and he was head down with a ring murky dark water forming around him. I hit the surface, flipped him over and nailed the dive alert. Total time on my computer shows I went from 43' to 94' and back to the surface within two minutes. At minute four I was back down at 20fsw after handing him up to the boat.
Capt. Jim was already headed towards us as we were right near the jug. Marti brother was on the bow as they approached. Everyone new this was not a drill. I held on to Marti and the boat came in for us. It happened very fast and I helped get the tank off of the non-responsive Marti so they could get him on deck. I had to go back down to try to avoid a DSC hit. I hit 20íat minute 25 and remained there for seven minutes. I didnít want to go up at that point knowing what was happening on the deck. Jason swam up at that point and I motioned for him to surface. He knew something was wrong because Martiís stringer was taken off and fish were floating away and sinking in the column.
Marti was revived on deck after expelling about 5 gallons of water. He had a pulse when he hit the deck, but he was very blue at this point. They got him to choke up the water and to breath on his own. When I hit the surface I saw that he was on his side and on O2. The Coast Guard was called and they were there to take Mike and Marti to Gainesville within 2 hours. Heís recovering now and Iím so thankful that I was able to help him make it. I did a recovery dive three hours later for his gun and mine with success, but I also noticed that I was in one of the most beautiful places in the world. I would never want to leave that behind. I didnít soak in up for too long, but I did a few long stops at 50í, 30í, 20í and 10í. I used my 30 cubic foot pony with 40% on the boat and sat upright until it was gone. I wish Iíd brought my 80% scrub bottle with me! Iíve not had any symptoms in this 24 hr period.
He had over 600psi in his tank at the bottom of his aluminum 80. His tank was marked with 33.5% nitrox, which I asked him about his mix before he suited up. There were two stickers marked with the same percentage on the tank. When we returned from the trip the tank was analyzed at the dock by Jim and John Reddick with a dive rite analyzer and it read 34.0%. The tank number was 2004-8 and is still on the boat with about 450-500 psi in it.
It turned out to be a long ride home with Pedro, Jason & Brian. I spent a lot of time talking with Pedro and learning about his lifeís journey from Cuba to the US in 1962 to some great gardening tips. In my mind, I have created a connection with Marti hard to be match by anyone. You never expect something like this to happen to you, but everyone would have done the same thing if called upon. Iím blessed that I was there at the right time for Marti.
There will be more to be discovered from all of this, but this is all that I can recount from my end. I know that heís in ICU at Shandís in Gainesville breathing on his own and conscious. He was in the chamber until about 1:30 am today.
May 31, 2004 11:50 am
06-07-2004, 06:48 AM
Touching story with a very happy ending. Way to go, Dan and Jim.
06-07-2004, 06:53 AM
Certainly glad to have a happy ending.
06-07-2004, 08:24 AM
Great Dan...thanks for the follow up! The pictures speak volumes.
06-07-2004, 01:28 PM
Dan, are you rescue certified or just extremely intuitive? Man, your actions were pretty much textbook. Great rescue skills.
06-07-2004, 06:04 PM
Amazing Dan! Great job!
Way to go man, you did a very selfless act, I hope I will act as calmly and focused as you if presented with such a drastic situation.
06-09-2004, 01:05 PM
I met Marti once at my house as I was contracting him and his brothers tree business to do some work. Nice guy, talked about fishing and diving and boats, you know the kinda guy that you like because he enjoys the same thing as you. The rest of our conversations were by phone with him and his brother. Yesterday I got Mike back out to the house for some more work (just as nice as his brother) and I asked about Marti and he told me about the accident and I was shocked. What a small world is what I thought and how quick it can all be taken away from you. Evidently this incident will have a major impact on those that were there and I hope all deal with it in the best way possible. Marti, glad your still with us and I hope you get well soon.
06-11-2004, 11:26 AM
As we start to get ourselves back into gear, just think about everyone you're with when we're out on our adventures. Our actions or accidents touch so many people that it's easy to overlook that sometimes.
M&M is the tattoo on Marti's arm and I didn't quite understand the meaning of that when we first met. It's clear to me that the meaning goes far beyond their name or business ties, these guys are true BROTHERS!
You folks give them a call if you need some work done!
M & M
Tree Service - Mike Machado 813-885-5103
Sod Service - Marti Machado 813-818-0002
06-11-2004, 10:08 PM
Wow Dan...here I set, covered in goosebumps...
Very, VERY nice job of keeping your wits and doing a great rescue. Your friends are quite fortunate to have had you in the right place at the right time!!!
Please convey the best wishes and hopes for a full and speedy recovery from all the folks at Zeagle Systems!
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