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Old 10-09-2018, 08:05 AM   #16
Spear One
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Re: Scuba incident/accident/Rescue via USCG Florida Middle Grounds 08/16/2018

R
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Originally Posted by grey2112 View Post
Yes, very true. Amazing how so few people really stop and think about the "What ifs" of this hobby of ours. I know my brother does now after his last shark encounter and what he thought was an equipment failure that cut off his air, causing him to shoot up fast from 70 feet. Thank God he didn't get bent, but it was sheer luck or the grace of God. Gotta stay calm underwater when bad shit happens, and hopefully have thought through these worst case scenarios and have a plan in mind. (I have a mantra I go through in my mind in many scenarios, not just underwater. It is somewhat silly and not meant to be taken literally, most of the time, but it goes like this - "Be nice, be calm, but have a plan to kill everyone in the room.")
Well said I am just guessing on this but I believe most diving related injuries/emergencies are caused by panic. Panic is often induced by a lack of proper training on how to deal with “what if” scenarios or running out of air and the resulting panic that can cause. When I got certified back in the mid 1970’s we were taught that “panic kills”. I clearly remember hearing my instructor speaking those words and it sort of “shocked” me into the reality of understanding that if I screwed up as a diver I could die.

When I do spearfishing seminars we often have new or relatively new divers attending who want to start spearfishing. I always encourage them to ask questions and many do. However, their questions are almost always spear equipment or shark related......rarely do they ask me about diving related subjects like air management and bouancy control. I try to spend a lot of time at each seminar explaining how important proper buoyancy control is in spearfishing as I think many divers lack the ability or knowledge on how to attain and maintain perfect bouancy during a spearfishing dive.

Those of us who have been spearfishing a long time know that you can’t or won’t become a safe and successful scuba spearfisherman unless you are first a skilled and comfortable diver who has the experience and training to deal with unexpected situations, equipment failures, sharks, and the discipline to never run out of air.
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Old 10-09-2018, 09:13 PM   #17
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Re: Scuba incident/accident/Rescue via USCG Florida Middle Grounds 08/16/2018

I know both the Capt. and the diver and made many dives with both of them in the Middle Grounds. Sean was lucky that the incident didn’t cause permanent damage and he is going to make a full recovery but isn’t able to dive for 6 months which is an easy price to pay in my eyes.

I spearfished for along time and have seen a lot of divers not due annual services on their equipment (not sayin Sean is one of those guys, just in general). Use his mishap as knowledge and never put off servicing and checking your gear as it could take your life at the snap of your fingers. When I was diving, we were it there every weekend weather permitting and made a lot of dives and divers need to take that into account that it is more wear on your gear. Check your gear, service it frequently (especially service if you have not used it in a while) and always be safe. I am thankful I didn’t lose a friend to this mishap and everyone remeber, diving is a very dangerous hobby in itself and then add shooting fish to the equation.
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Old 10-09-2018, 09:20 PM   #18
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Re: Scuba incident/accident/Rescue via USCG Florida Middle Grounds 08/16/2018

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Originally Posted by Spear One View Post
R

Well said I am just guessing on this but I believe most diving related injuries/emergencies are caused by panic. Panic is often induced by a lack of proper training on how to deal with “what if” scenarios or running out of air and the resulting panic that can cause. When I got certified back in the mid 1970’s we were taught that “panic kills”. I clearly remember hearing my instructor speaking those words and it sort of “shocked” me into the reality of understanding that if I screwed up as a diver I could die.

When I do spearfishing seminars we often have new or relatively new divers attending who want to start spearfishing. I always encourage them to ask questions and many do. However, their questions are almost always spear equipment or shark related......rarely do they ask me about diving related subjects like air management and bouancy control. I try to spend a lot of time at each seminar explaining how important proper buoyancy control is in spearfishing as I think many divers lack the ability or knowledge on how to attain and maintain perfect bouancy during a spearfishing dive.

Those of us who have been spearfishing a long time know that you can’t or won’t become a safe and successful scuba spearfisherman unless you are first a skilled and comfortable diver who has the experience and training to deal with unexpected situations, equipment failures, sharks, and the discipline to never run out of air.

Kevin’s seminars are great and a good place for new Spearfisherman to gain knowledge. I would encourage new and even seasoned Spearos to attend!
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Old 10-09-2018, 10:36 PM   #19
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Re: Scuba incident/accident/Rescue via USCG Florida Middle Grounds 08/16/2018

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I know both the Capt. and the diver and made many dives with both of them in the Middle Grounds. Sean was lucky that the incident didn’t cause permanent damage and he is going to make a full recovery but isn’t able to dive for 6 months which is an easy price to pay in my eyes.

I spearfished for along time and have seen a lot of divers not due annual services on their equipment (not sayin Sean is one of those guys, just in general). Use his mishap as knowledge and never put off servicing and checking your gear as it could take your life at the snap of your fingers. When I was diving, we were it there every weekend weather permitting and made a lot of dives and divers need to take that into account that it is more wear on your gear. Check your gear, service it frequently (especially service if you have not used it in a while) and always be safe. I am thankful I didn’t lose a friend to this mishap and everyone remeber, diving is a very dangerous hobby in itself and then add shooting fish to the equation.
Glad to hear your friend will make a full recovery.
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Old 10-11-2018, 01:32 AM   #20
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Re: Scuba incident/accident/Rescue via USCG Florida Middle Grounds 08/16/2018

Eibwen... im the Captain and owner of the boat.. Just to clear things up cause you have a great point.. about the boat not moving.. I was in full contact with the helicopter pilot at all times during the rescue of Sean...I did not question him but the deal was to keep the boat moving on a steady pace and a steady heading of 110 degrees.. that was my job as captain.. I guess that was the boat would not be spinning around when that rotor wash hit the boat... when that chopper came overhead it was unreal how much air they put out.. the pilot said we would have over 100 mph winds in the boat.. I think he lied.. IT WAS AT LEAST 150 MPH... at least felt like it.. my entire boat was soaked with salt spray.. it was unreal.. and the way he kept that chopper sideways and drifting to match my boats speed was breath taking.. what a job he did.. a fantastic pilot and rescue for sure..the lowered the rescue guy into my boat pinpoint accuracy.. what a job.. Sure am glad Sean is Ok.. He has been diving in my boat since the 80's and is a fantastic diver and spearfishing diver..things could have been different in the outcome for sure.. They said if they were 1/2 hour later getting to us he would have not made it... Never say anything bad about the coast guard..THESE GUYS ARE THE BEST IN WHAT THEY DO... make no mistake about it...
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Old 10-11-2018, 05:23 AM   #21
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Re: Scuba incident/accident/Rescue via USCG Florida Middle Grounds 08/16/2018

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Eibwen... im the Captain and owner of the boat.. Just to clear things up cause you have a great point.. about the boat not moving.. I was in full contact with the helicopter pilot at all times during the rescue of Sean...I did not question him but the deal was to keep the boat moving on a steady pace and a steady heading of 110 degrees.. that was my job as captain.. I guess that was the boat would not be spinning around when that rotor wash hit the boat... when that chopper came overhead it was unreal how much air they put out.. the pilot said we would have over 100 mph winds in the boat.. I think he lied.. IT WAS AT LEAST 150 MPH... at least felt like it.. my entire boat was soaked with salt spray.. it was unreal.. and the way he kept that chopper sideways and drifting to match my boats speed was breath taking.. what a job he did.. a fantastic pilot and rescue for sure..the lowered the rescue guy into my boat pinpoint accuracy.. what a job.. Sure am glad Sean is Ok.. He has been diving in my boat since the 80's and is a fantastic diver and spearfishing diver..things could have been different in the outcome for sure.. They said if they were 1/2 hour later getting to us he would have not made it... Never say anything bad about the coast guard..THESE GUYS ARE THE BEST IN WHAT THEY DO... make no mistake about it...
The Coast Guard, IMHO, is the most underpaid, over-worked, most elite overall branch of the military we have. If I could hit the REWIND button on my life I would have joined them out of high school. Used to live next to an ex-CG chopper pilot who used to work in WA state and AK - damn some of the conditions he had to fly and rescue people in were amazing. He and my dad (a USMC chopper pilot with 3 combat tours in Vietnam) used to swap stories that were hair raising.

Glad your buddy is doing OK and thanks for allowing us all to discuss this and learn some things.
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Old 10-11-2018, 02:30 PM   #22
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Re: Scuba incident/accident/Rescue via USCG Florida Middle Grounds 08/16/2018

I'm wondering here why no dump valves were mentioned. I have about 4 on my BC so in event the servo valve fails, why cant you use dump vales to release the air?

Glad youre ok and on the mend Sean, and thanks for this useful info. Soaking our BC's now.
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Old 10-11-2018, 03:02 PM   #23
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Re: Scuba incident/accident/Rescue via USCG Florida Middle Grounds 08/16/2018

So I guess instructors no longer teach dealing with this problem by disconnecting the inflator hose from the inflator? Is this problem even still discussed about in an OW course?
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Old 10-11-2018, 05:00 PM   #24
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Re: Scuba incident/accident/Rescue via USCG Florida Middle Grounds 08/16/2018

Not saying this is the case with this incident as the report seems to indicate a veteran diver. But the problem as I see it with scuba training agencies today is the tiered approach, in other words “ we’ll teach you a little more in the next class”. It feels to me that most agencies now, teaching open water is no more than a resort class. My daughter got certified by the same agency I did 24 years ago, but today’s course seemed much less intensive than my own. I remember my gear, all of it, including my mask being tossed to the bottom of a pool and being required to retrieve and don my rig and then repeat. I also remember being spun around turned upside down and having regulator pulled from my mouth with expectation to find it. I feel this training was the basis for my own calm during moments that could have turned to panic if I had not been subjected to them during the relative safety of training in a 16ft deep diving pool.
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:17 PM   #25
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Re: Scuba incident/accident/Rescue via USCG Florida Middle Grounds 08/16/2018

Disconnecting your inflator is still a basic open water skill taught today. I agree about today's training. It's my understanding the original basic recreational sport diving course, which may have taken weeks to complete has been broke down into four short, go through the paces, courses. Basic Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Rescue, and Deep Diver. In other words, you're certified to dive on your own after basic, but you don't know what you don't know.

I think it's great you guys involved came out and responded to this thread. I agree 100% with jfjf about the AIR2. Nice big high quality quick disconnect that is much easier to manipulate than the tiny standard inflator QC.

One thing I will add about a runaway inflator for us spearfishermen, there's a higher risk of a mistake due to task loading. I don't know the details of exactly what happened, but I can imagine he was carrying a gun and a stringer, maybe full of fish. He just encountered a shark and bam! the incident occurs and now he's possibly juggling too much. I wouldn't be surprised if many guys wouldn't drop their gun and stringer and try to manage the whole works rather than just ditch it all and solve the most immediate problem. Again, I have no clue what happened here. I'm just saying there's nothing worth dying for down there. I'd hate to lose my gun, but I can always buy another.

Last edited by CuzzA; 10-12-2018 at 08:40 AM. Reason: Grammar
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Old 10-12-2018, 08:25 AM   #26
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Re: Scuba incident/accident/Rescue via USCG Florida Middle Grounds 08/16/2018

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Disconnecting your inflator is still a basic open water skill taught today. I agree about today's training. It's my understanding the original basic recreational sport diving course, which may have taken weeks to complete has been broke down into four short, go through the paces, courses. Basic Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Rescue, and Deep Diver. In other words, you're certified to dive on your own after basic, but you don't know what you don't know.

I think it's great you guys involved came out and responded to this thread. I agree 100% with jfjf about the AIR2. Nice big high quality quick disconnect that is much easier to manipulate than the tiny standard inflator QC.

One thing I will add about a runaway inflator for us spearfishermen, there's a higher risk of a mistake due to task loading. I don't know the details of exactly what happened, but I can imagine he was carrying a gun and a stringer, maybe full of fish. He just encountered a shark and bam! the incident occurs and now he's possibly juggling too much. I wouldn't be surprised if many guys wouldn't drop their gun and stringer and try to manage the whole works rather than just ditch it all and solve the most immediate problem. Again, I have no clue what happened here. I'm just saying there's nothing worth dying for down their. I'd hate to lose my gun, but I can always buy another.
Very good points, my friend.

I think what a LOT of people simply don't think about these days with this sport is that it is ESSENTIAL to simply follow my 12th Commandment - "Calm Thy Shit" - take an extra 10 minutes when you get to the dive spot and slow the "F" down, double check all your gear, think through your infil and exfil plan, remind yourself again what to do during the most common problems and emergencies, and "Calm Thy Shit". I've taken a LOT of newbie divers out over the years, as well as some experienced ones. Have had people in both groups act like the boat is on fire once we throw the buoy. And it has in some cases brought them close to having major incidents.
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:14 AM   #27
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Re: Scuba incident/accident/Rescue via USCG Florida Middle Grounds 08/16/2018

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Very good points, my friend.

I think what a LOT of people simply don't think about these days with this sport is that it is ESSENTIAL to simply follow my 12th Commandment - "Calm Thy Shit" - take an extra 10 minutes when you get to the dive spot and slow the "F" down, double check all your gear, think through your infil and exfil plan, remind yourself again what to do during the most common problems and emergencies, and "Calm Thy Shit". I've taken a LOT of newbie divers out over the years, as well as some experienced ones. Have had people in both groups act like the boat is on fire once we throw the buoy. And it has in some cases brought them close to having major incidents.
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:06 AM   #28
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Re: Scuba incident/accident/Rescue via USCG Florida Middle Grounds 08/16/2018

I think it's interesting that throughout the above discussions, no one has mentioned having oxygen on the boat. Does anyone carry oxygen for diving emergencies? We've been carrying 2 jumbo bottles with assorted masks in a kit in our boat since we launched it in '98. Fortunately, we've never had to use them, but way back when we started diving in the '90's, the first step for treatment for a rapid ascent, or if DCS, embolism, heart attack was suspected, or almost any other medical trauma was to administer oxygen, then contact DAN, Coast Guard, etc.
Maybe an EMT or other medical personnel out there could offer an opinion on the merits (or not) of having oxygen on board.
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:22 AM   #29
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Re: Scuba incident/accident/Rescue via USCG Florida Middle Grounds 08/16/2018

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I think it's interesting that throughout the above discussions, no one has mentioned having oxygen on the boat. Does anyone carry oxygen for diving emergencies? We've been carrying 2 jumbo bottles with assorted masks in a kit in our boat since we launched it in '98. Fortunately, we've never had to use them, but way back when we started diving in the '90's, the first step for treatment for a rapid ascent, or if DCS, embolism, heart attack was suspected, or almost any other medical trauma was to administer oxygen, then contact DAN, Coast Guard, etc.
Maybe an EMT or other medical personnel out there could offer an opinion on the merits (or not) of having oxygen on board.
I've had it on my boat from the start, but I'm also a medical professional and try to prepare for worse-case scenarios. I dive with a lot of doctors, nurses, EMTs, ex-military, etc. and we generally all have the same attitude about things like this. Two is one and one is none, as we used to say. Always be prepared, especially when you are offshore away from civilization.

If you have it, know how to use it, then I think it should be essential kit, as well as having an EPIRB on board.

As I get older, and as my passengers get older, I've seriously considered having an AED on board as well.
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:44 AM   #30
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Re: Scuba incident/accident/Rescue via USCG Florida Middle Grounds 08/16/2018

Yeah, always smart to have oxygen on board when diving. People can still get bent in shallower water although I would guess it is far less common in the gulf than on the East coast where the water gets deep very quick. The only time I think oxygen might not be warranted is if the person is experiencing oxygen toxicity although (going from recollection) I don't believe there is a consensus on administering O2 and of course chances are you wouldn't know if it is DCS or CNS O2 toxicity.

An AED is a good idea too. If you fish someone out of the water I suspect you'd be limited to CPR in any case (b/c they're soaking wet) but people can go down anytime.
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