Missing Diver in Tacoma (Nov 2006)

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diverdowntoday
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Bounce dives?

Post by diverdowntoday »

I think that I know what bounce dives are, but just to clarify, could someone explain it to me? My understanding of it, is that it is where the divers shot for a specific depth, go right down, and then start to head back up to the surface. Is this correct? If this is what a bounce dive is, why was John, Chad's dive buddy, down for 21 minutes? This seems like a long time for a bounce dive.
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BASSMAN
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Post by BASSMAN »

Diverdowntoday,
=D>
Thank you for posting here on our little club, I hope something said here on this board has helped you through this tough time.

As it has been said many times, My condolences go out to you and Chads family. Chad's accident has shed a bright light on the dive community here to become safer divers. I also agree getting recertified and staying active in diving is a great attitude / perspective of this whole thing.

I find it comendible that you are interested in using this experience to help other divers be safer and more respectful of our waters in the Puget Sound and wherever else we choose to dive.

A device such as a transmitter / locater / transponder would be a valuable thing if it was marketed in the propper way and could be percieved as a valuable dive equiptment. No one knows more than you and Chad's Family how important that would have been, to help rescue or or recover
Chad.

I wish I had more answers for you, I think you should run with this idea.

You are always welcome to come dive with me and my buddy when ever I post a dive on the dive plans section.

Hope to meet and dive with you someday.

Keith (BASSMAN) :smt035
diverdowntoday
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First dive

Post by diverdowntoday »

On Sunday, I went diving with John and Brandon. We decided to go to Edmonds, the dry dock. This was Chad's favorite spot to dive, and I wanted it to be a dive that ment something to me and to Chad. I did alright, but by the end of the 49 min. we were down, I started to get so cold, it was so dark, and all I could think about was Chad still caught somewhere underneath the water, as part of the ocean now. I don't know if I will ever dive in the NW again. Maybe in Chads honor, I will only dive in warm water! Somewhere where vis. is a little more than 20ft.
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BASSMAN
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Post by BASSMAN »

I actually nver herd of the term"Bounce Dive" before this thread was posted. At least now I know what not to do if it ever comes up as part of a Dive Plan discussion.

You know the actual term "Bounce Dive" may have not been brought up in the discussion before the dive. Kind of like people who drive drunk do not call it that, but they do it anyway.
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Sounder
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Post by Sounder »

DDT - I'm glad you asked and I'm sure by the end of today, folks like Grateful Diver, John Rawlings, BDub, (or several others) et al will help you understand the term "bounce dive." It might be something to discuss during your OW class which I would recommend doing with someone like BDub (north end) or Grateful Diver (south end).

My recommendation would be to stick to shallow, well lit/daytime dives for a while with very experienced people. My advice is to get comfortable again, do your OW soon, and hang out here where you're among friends.
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BDub
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Post by BDub »

Hi DDT-

I'm so sorry for your loss. You have my condolences and my utmost admiration for sharing your experiences.

To answer your question, yes a bounce dive is exactly what you described. It's a dive, usually to a very deep depth, where the diver spends an extremely short period of time at that depth, before ascending to the surface. Without arguing the merits of whether it should or should not be done, in an ideal world, everything goes as planned and all ends well.

Unfortunately, as we all know (to quote Joe Talavera, an instructor I have enormous respect for) "No plan survives contact with the water." Every dive is dynamic, and while a dive plan is essential, having the training, and proper equipment (this includes breathing gas) to perform adjustments (or making the decision to thumb the dive!) is critical. Throw a dive to 200fsw on air into the equation and the margin for error is razor thin. You have narcosis, increased air consumption, and any number of other factors working against you, as was the case on Chad's dive.

I would like to extend an offer to you... I am doing a Gas Management presentation tomorrow evening. The only reason I have not announced this was simply due to it basically filling up before I could announce it. Many of the people attending are people who were no able to attend the last presentation I had. I also have several students that are attending. While the presentation is full, I will make room for you to attend, DDT. The presentation is free of charge. If you're not able to attend this one, I hope to have another sometime in January or February, and I will hold the first spot for you.

Now, to all the other NWDC members, I may have 2 cancellations, which I should have definite answers from later this afternoon. If any of you have not been to mine or Bob's presentations, and would like to attend, please email me at brian@frogkickdiving.com. I will fill any cancellations on a first come, first served basis. DDT, you have a spot regardless.

Brian
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Re: Bounce dives?

Post by peo »

diverdowntoday wrote:I think that I know what bounce dives are, but just to clarify, could someone explain it to me? My understanding of it, is that it is where the divers shot for a specific depth, go right down, and then start to head back up to the surface. Is this correct? If this is what a bounce dive is, why was John, Chad's dive buddy, down for 21 minutes? This seems like a long time for a bounce dive.

Yes, a bounce is a dive with basically no bottom time, just a descent followed by an immediate ascent.
A bounce dive can be deep or shallow, and they can be dangerous in many different ways.

Deep bounce dives, such as the one conducted here, can be extremely dangerous if enough gas reserves aren't maintained -- there is no wiggle room for emergencies. There are other reasons why this is a kind of dive to be, but I'll leave those out of the discussion at this point.

If you look at one of my earlier posts, I described how critical the speed at which a dive like this is performed in order for it to not end up a fatalitly. If you spend even a few minutes extra, you won't have enough gas to complete the dive on a single AL80.

But the fact is also that both the descent and ascent takes a long while. If you descend and ascend at "normal" rates, just those phases of the dive may take 13 minutes or more. 200 feet is a relatively long distance to descend and ascend. If you then add a few decompression stops or safety stops on the way up, 21 minutes doesn't sound EXTREMELY long - perhaps a few minutes over time, if you run a traditional dive computer-generated profile. This surely also shows how sketchy this really is on a single tank.
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Post by diverdowntoday »

Okay, so I have another question... Why would Chad go back down to get the destressed diver? How would he know that Steve was down at 200 plus ft., when I hear from everyone that the visibility was less than 6ft? Would he have seen Steve's light? Another question, how come Chads body has not been found? I would think that the gases in his body would have made his body come back to the surface. I am almost positive that Chad was diving with his normal 35 pounds. But I am getting a different story from the dive master. First, he told me he was diving with just his weight belt, and then he told me that he clipped two weights to his BC. Would those two weights be a determining factor in whether Chad came back up to the surface?
Thanks to everyone for the wonderful thoughts and words that I have recieved. This is still very difficult to deal with, especially not having the body. Thanks again for all the insight!
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Post by Joshua Smith »

DDT, those are good questions. I have been wondering the same thing. Unfortunately, the nature of diving deaths is that they leave us with more questions than answers, as often as not. Sorry to say, you may never have answers. I hope you can find a way to be OK with that.
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Post by Rob Holman »

One could only speculate on the answers.

Many years back I did the Lobstershop with a buddy of mine. We dove very differently back then and this is NOT a dive plan I would endorse, but is shows how screwy things can get at depth.

He wanted to beat a personal depth record, I was not interested in going deeper than 120 feet. The “dive plan” if you can call it that, was that we would both goto 120ish, and then he would leave me on the wall while he went to whatever depth he wanted to hit (cannot recall now, 150? 170? who knows) and then he would meet up with me again on the wall.

We drop down and he goes trucking off into the deep, while I poke around a 5 foot section of the wall waiting for him to come back. After 3-5 min, I see a light. Pretty soon here he comes swimming back up the slope to the surface. I watch him swim by me not more than 5 or 10 feet away. The viz is good enough that I can see the outline of his mask. He just calmly swims right by me!

I ascended a few feet and poked around for a few minutes and then start my ascent. On the surface I ask him why he swam by me and did not stop. He said he never even saw me. He was so narc'd out that he did not even notice me, with a UK D8 pointing at him 10 feet away! We had a good laugh about that and went to grab lunch… I look back those days now and I wonder how any of us survived.

So this is all speculation as I do not have much of any idea what the dive plan was, but, assuming they all hit the 200 foot mark together, it could have gone something like this.

The slope going to the wall (starts around 90 feet) is gradual, the wall itself is a sheer drop to 140/150, then a steep drop beyond that with possibly a few more mini walls on the way to 200 ( I have not been deeper than 170 on the wall so I don’t know what it is like below that). A group of divers on a bounce dive would not be sight seeing. They are on a mission to get deep fast, then come back nearly as fast. The quickest way of course is directly down the slope. As such, they would be following a direct path down the slope, not angling left or right. It would be well within reason that they would end up coming back up the exact same path- no more that a couple feet one side or the other. It is safe to say that they were narc’d out of their mind at depth. It is very possible that the diver who had trouble was not noticed as missing (much like my buddy swam right by me and did not even see me) until they got to a shallower depth. As you ascend, the effects of Narcosis wear off and if they then did a head count, Chad might have realized they were one short. If he were to have done a U turn, he would most likely have run right into the missing diver assuming the missing diver stayed +/- 6 to 10 feet off the path they went down.

As for why they have not found the body? Well, many reasons I suppose. Slow currents over an hour or two could have moved it deeper. At this point it could be anywhere in the south sound. Deeper water will compress gasses in the body and in the BCD. Could he have become entangled? Not much to entangle on down there, but you never know. I don’t think they found the body from a few years back either. It is possible that something about that site pulls objects down and does not allow them back up. Given the heavy silt and poor viz (even on a good day I have not had better than 10-15 feet there), you would need to be right on top of what you are looking for to find it.

This is all just armchair quarterbacking from me. The only witness would be the surviving diver he assisted. He would be the only one who could shed light on the dive plan and what went wrong, how they found each other, etc. If he even remembers…
diverdowntoday
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Post by diverdowntoday »

Who was the person that passed away? Was that the person that passed away last year? Was Dave at the scence at that dive? Thanks for the info
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Post by Rob Holman »

I think you will find the answers to your questions in the previous pages to this post.
diverdowntoday
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Post by diverdowntoday »

I have to say that I am preatty disappointed in the fact that NAUI had not done anything sooner to stop this dive master from continueing to "educate" students. I think that we need to take a closer look at these organizations, and maybe review the options of when someone can no longer teach others. And, I don't believe that this is just a NAUI thing. I have had first hand situations that have happened to me on a dive that I did in Aruba, where I was assualted, and the man was eventually arrested. The dive organization that he was through was PADI. Since diving is such a difficult and serious sport, the organizations need to take a closer look at some of their procedures. I hope that I am not alone in this thinking.
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Post by Grateful Diver »

diverdowntoday wrote:I have to say that I am preatty disappointed in the fact that NAUI had not done anything sooner to stop this dive master from continueing to "educate" students. I think that we need to take a closer look at these organizations, and maybe review the options of when someone can no longer teach others. And, I don't believe that this is just a NAUI thing. I have had first hand situations that have happened to me on a dive that I did in Aruba, where I was assualted, and the man was eventually arrested. The dive organization that he was through was PADI. Since diving is such a difficult and serious sport, the organizations need to take a closer look at some of their procedures. I hope that I am not alone in this thinking.
This wasn't an organization problem. The instructor had already been suspended from teaching before this accident occurred, due to the fact that he had no insurance. He did not tell his students that, and sold himself as an active instructor anyway ... the organization cannot be held responsible for an act of fraud.

Once NAUI became aware of the circumstances of the accident, they permanently revoked his instructor certification.

There is nothing else that the organization can do ... they acted promptly and responsibly.

If you have some constructive suggestions for how the scuba training agencies can anticipate situations like this one, and weed out instructors before they perpetrate something like this, I'm sure that any of them would be happy to hear about it. As a NAUI instructor, I certainly would.

... Bob (Grateful Diver)
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Post by diverdowntoday »

I am sorry that I said that about the organizations, and I did not relize that they had suspended him! This makes it that much harder for me to deal with because this dive master was not only a friend, but the guy dated my sister. I thought that I knew him, and I thought that he was still being able to teach. When was this dive masters suspended? I don't know what we can do except to keep vigilant, keep the employees updated on who can teach, and to not let them teach in dive shops when they shouldn't be. I didn't mean to critize NAUI, or any of the other organizations, it is just frustrating when you don't know all of the facts. I am just trying to put this whole thing together, and I hope that everyone can understand that. Thanks again
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Post by Grateful Diver »

diverdowntoday wrote:I am sorry that I said that about the organizations, and I did not relize that they had suspended him! This makes it that much harder for me to deal with because this dive master was not only a friend, but the guy dated my sister. I thought that I knew him, and I thought that he was still being able to teach. When was this dive masters suspended? I don't know what we can do except to keep vigilant, keep the employees updated on who can teach, and to not let them teach in dive shops when they shouldn't be. I didn't mean to critize NAUI, or any of the other organizations, it is just frustrating when you don't know all of the facts. I am just trying to put this whole thing together, and I hope that everyone can understand that. Thanks again
It's OK ... I understand that you're trying to come to grips with your grief ... and I also knew that Dave had some personal connections with the other people involved. I am trying to help you understand how the system works.

I don't doubt that Dave is wrestling with some difficult issues as well right now. I honestly don't think it occurred to him how quickly this little misadventure could turn to tragedy. It's a horrible way to learn. He should have known better, but we're all human and make mistakes. In this case, I don't think he did anything maliciously ... but because of the level of trust that divers put in those who they learn from, dive instructors cannot ever be allowed to show such poor judgment.

... Bob (Grateful Diver)
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Post by Sounder »

DDT - I'm glad you're comfortable asking questions in our forum. This is a safe place for you where you'll get straight answers. We're all glad you're here and encourage you to continue asking any and all questions you have or come up with... you've got many people here who will be an invaluable resource.
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Re:

Post by dhendo105 »

Grateful Diver wrote: Wed Nov 29, 2006 1:07 pm Actually ... myself and a couple of other NAUI instructors contacted NAUI as soon as we learned the details of this accident. Dave's instructor certification was permanently revoked a few days later ... after an investigation by the NAUI Board of Directors.

And yes, all NAUI instructors are taught (and possess updated copies of) NAUI Standards and Procedures ... and this dive involved multiple violations.

... Bob (Grateful Diver)
NAUI reinstated Dave last year. He was briefly working in my shop but I let him go last week for other reasons. Wasn't really tracking this incident but I'm glad that I found it.
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Re: Missing Diver in Tacoma

Post by Gdog »

Wow. Unbelievable. I had just moved to north to Olympia when this happened, and it rocked me even though I didn't know anyone up here. I just re-read the entire thread. This should be required reading for all divers of all skill levels.
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Re: Missing Diver in Tacoma

Post by orcasc205 »

I read the entire thread and the level of disregard for safety and duty of care exhibited by that instructor is shocking. While the deceased should never have been there in the first place, it sounds like he, as a DM trainee, showed more heroism and professionalism than the instructor. I'm frankly disappointed that NAUI would ever reinstate the instructor.
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