Hello dive fellows,
I saw a recent article on the BBC website regarding a dive then went terribly wrong and left some of the divers with life changing injuries.
The article can be found and read here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/disability-44568215
I’ve never blogged in my life but after reading this article I felt compelled to hear the thoughts of others in the dive community…namely YOU!!!
Lets set one thing straight, and that is I’m taking nothing away from the fact that this poor chap has been left in a wheel cheer for the rest of his life, I would not wish that upon anyone. I’m more interested in the chain reaction of events that lead to this catastrophe. Given the guy was a “Dive Instructor” I’m sitting here thinking at so many points alarms bells would of been ringing in my head…but again that is only my opinion, the more advanced divers among you might have a differing view?
If you have not read the article the summary of the incident is this, a group of 4 divers (one of which is an instructor) dive to 40m in search of Nudibranchs. At some point at 40m two of the group signal that they have run out of air, assuming they are now buddy breathing they proceed to ascend. At 30m the two remaining divers with air run out of air too, they are then forced into making an emergency rapid accent as quickly but as safely as possible from 30m. One of the unfortunate divers, the subject of the article gets a severe case of the bends upon reaching the surface that eventually leaves him paralysed from the waist down. Interestingly two of the divers had no lasting injuries and another diver got the bends in his arm.
So here are my thoughts:
Firstly why are they going to bust a 40m dive in search for Nudibranchs??? My first genuine thought! Sure they look cute but I’m not going to 40m unless there is a hunk of metel down there or may be the possibility of seeing a big fin!
Next, there is the dive plan…you plan the dive and dive the plan. I’m wondering if they did do this would they have covered the length of planned bottom time while down there?
Deco time – so it does not detail what size tank they went down with or air amount but when ever I’ve been to 40m there are always three things on my mind: Air, Remaining Deco time and where my buddy is at. If they’ve run out of air at 40m surely they have not been watching their air or deco time (assuming they had a dive computer)?
Was age and experience a factor? Again I’m not sure how many dives this young chap may have done be he started diving at 14, and was an instructor by 18. I’ve been diving for 5 years now and I’ve just got over 100 dives under my belt and I still consider myself to be a novice in terms of diving experience, plus I’m a bit older so may be a bit more safety aware than a 18 year but I can’t help but wonder if this was also a factor.
Either way you look at it, it was a terrible dive accident that I’m sure we can all learn from to prevent yourself ever being in a similar situation!