Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Oregon

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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby CaptnJack » Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:11 am

Joshua Smith wrote:I have to agree with the sentiment that ditching weights at the surface isn't emphasized enough. I WAS taught to do it, but don't remember ever doing it in class, although I may have forgotten. My point is that lots of divers don't even think of doing it when they get into trouble. It should maybe be emphasized more, because it can solve a whole lot of problems a newer diver might encounter.


I'm the same way. Probably to this day even. Its just not part of my gut/intuitive reactions, on the surface or otherwise.
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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby Joshua Smith » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:57 pm

I have to agree with the sentiment that ditching weights at the surface isn't emphasized enough. I WAS taught to do it, but don't remember ever doing it in class, although I may have forgotten. My point is that lots of divers don't even think of doing it when they get into trouble. It should maybe be emphasized more, because it can solve a whole lot of problems a newer diver might encounter.
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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby Dusty2 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:34 pm

In such a situation as that my only assessment would relate to whether or not I have the resources to act with reasonable odds of a successful rescue. That is the main thing rescue class thought me. Don't drown the rescuer! :BDub:

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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby ArcticDiver » Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:40 pm

Re others not stepping in to help:

I have recently had it deeply impressed on me that most of lay training today emphasizes two points. First, call the experts. Second, don't do anything because you might, no probably will, get sued. While I think this training is deplorable and horrible and most any other negative adjective a person can imagine it is reality.

It takes a lot of concentrated training and frequent actual physical practice to offset this unfortunate mindset. In an emergency time is never on your side. By the time a person reasons it through and is able to respond contrary to societal training it is often too late.

Perhaps it is time for us to recognize we need to add an item to the pre-dive checklist; making sure that everyone realizes that in the underwater environment each of us is the Expert in Residence and failure to respond is not an option.
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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby CaptnJack » Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:41 pm

LCF wrote:It is taught in OW, and students have to demonstrate doing it in water too deep to stand. It's also taught in Rescue, where they may not have to DO it, but they can announce, "I'm dropping my weights."


Wasn't in either of mine. Although my NAUI OW was admittedly dreadful and broke just about every NAUI standard, my PADI rescue (2002?) was by a local instructor who is still actively teaching.
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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby LCF » Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:26 pm

It is taught in OW, and students have to demonstrate doing it in water too deep to stand. It's also taught in Rescue, where they may not have to DO it, but they can announce, "I'm dropping my weights."
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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby CaptnJack » Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:08 pm

I know that when my wife's neck seal parted from her drysuit (1996?) at Salt Creek she was suddenly massively negative. It was the very start of our dive and she had a full tank. At the time her woman's Mares jacket BC was inadequate to support her absent the drysuit. I think it had 22lbs of lift or something like that but she had maybe 28lbs of lead on, a full al80 tank, and almost no loft in her drysuit undergarments - since she was vertical on the surface with a 4" hole in the back of her neck so all the air left the old squishy fleece and ~47F water was pouring in.

I am not sure if I had a drysuit by then and had some clue how they worked, or if I was still in a wetsuit. We did swim up together. Then as she's struggling to keep her head above water and says "I gotta ditch my weights!!"...
I replied "why?"
I should have NEVER said that. Worst buddy advice ever. Fortunately she ditched the belt, and the whole "my head is barely above water and I'm sinking and this water is effing cold" borderline panic situation abated instantly. Not sure if anyone ever recovered that belt or not. It was pink and she still misses it.

I don't know what transpired on the surface in Newport, but even before this latest drowning I've been convinced that ditching weight on the surface is something worth reinforcing (during and after classes e.g. practice ditching in 3-4ft of water so you can pick it up and you know the weight will fall free of BCs, belts, pockets, etc). I don't know if surface weight belt removal is actually practiced in OW classes nowadays or not honestly.

I do know from personal experience that ditching weight is counter-intuitive; people don't want to, or think they don't need to until the panic cycle takes over and by then its too late for people to think.
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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby Dusty2 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:20 pm

Again a very good point. I have myself been in that situation. People are reluctant to ditch weights even though they are in a situation that merits it. It should be the first thought on their minds when they make it to the surface. More emphasis needs to be placed on this for everyone's good.

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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby Tom Nic » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:22 am

CaptnJack wrote: This year alone several people have drowned after surfacing - weight still in place. :(


I have noticed this several times as well in reading the incident reports that show up.

Good reminder...
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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby CaptnJack » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:31 am

Dusty2 wrote:
Norris wrote::goodpost:


+1

It is sad that someone lost there life to get us thinking of these things but maybe it is at least of benefit to those of us who are reading this and thinking about it.


Its seems like more and more people poo poo the ditching of weights as unimportant. Not something they want to do, or they are so skilled or properly weighted or whatever that its not necessary.

While I agree that ditching weights underwater is a good way to have a ballistic ascent, ditching weights on the surface should be a near automatic response when the poo's hit the fan. This year alone several people have drowned after surfacing - weight still in place. :(
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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby Dusty2 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:14 am

Norris wrote::goodpost:


+1

It is sad that someone lost there life to get us thinking of these things but maybe it is at least of benefit to those of us who are reading this and thinking about it.

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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby Norris » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:37 am

:goodpost:
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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby CaptnJack » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:14 am

lavachickie wrote:For those who would point immediately at possible lack of training, remember that in a stressful situation, your brain chemistry is very different than when you learned the skills in a calm, focused environment. It's a whole different world. Emergency training that isn't ever needed except in the most dangerous of situations, if there hasn't been some element of stress induced into the training regimen, isn't likely to be really hard wired in yet.


I'm not seeing the emergency. Everyone had something to breathe, somehow she made it to the surface without sharing gas even.

Not sure how they define "experienced" but she:
Started the dive overweighted
Ran out of gas (not positive it was poor planning or some other unknown issue caused it)
didn't inflate her BC or accidentally deflated it
Husband didn't inflate her BC
She didn't ditch her weight and her husband didn't either.

At least 5 different problems on this dive and none of them were "emergencies" per se. If they had just managed 1 or 2 of these issues her drowning would in all likelihood been avoided.
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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby Nwbrewer » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:28 am

LCF wrote:In a stress situation, you're very likely fall back on what you habitually do . . . which is precisely why I think the idea of orally inflating on surfacing from every (or most) dives is such a good idea. Ingrain the habit, and it will come to you when you need it.

Flexible thinking and problem solving can also be trained, to a degree. But to my knowledge, other than the scenarios in Rescue, no recreational class involves putting divers into stress situations and forcing them to do creative problem-solving.


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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby LCF » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:16 am

In a stress situation, you're very likely fall back on what you habitually do . . . which is precisely why I think the idea of orally inflating on surfacing from every (or most) dives is such a good idea. Ingrain the habit, and it will come to you when you need it.

Flexible thinking and problem solving can also be trained, to a degree. But to my knowledge, other than the scenarios in Rescue, no recreational class involves putting divers into stress situations and forcing them to do creative problem-solving.
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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby lavachickie » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:08 am

spatman wrote:
Dusty2 wrote:
H20doctor wrote:What ever happened to manually inflating your BC ? Seems divers forget how to do this step..


In a panic situation when your struggling to stay above water? if you can't remember to drop your weights it's not likely you'll remember how that drill goes!


It seems that not only did she not remember to drop her weights, her husband didn't remember either. Tragic.


Best word, Spatman: tragic.

For those who would point immediately at possible lack of training, remember that in a stressful situation, your brain chemistry is very different than when you learned the skills in a calm, focused environment. It's a whole different world. Emergency training that isn't ever needed except in the most dangerous of situations, if there hasn't been some element of stress induced into the training regimen, isn't likely to be really hard wired in yet.
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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby Nwbrewer » Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:32 am

LCF wrote:One of my respected instructors orally inflates his BC on surfacing every dive, just so the idea stays fresh in his mind. I don't do this, but when I think about it, I think I probably should. Although the best strategy is not running out of gas in the first place.


You don't have to be OOA to need to orally inflate. I somehow mis-threaded the bungee at my chest d-ring around my in inflator hose. When I lifted the inflator to vent, the hose popped 1/2 way off, so that it wouldn't inflate anymore. Didn't notice until I go to the surface. No big deal, just blow it up orally and you're fine.

To my concern however I've seen several "new and improved" BC's out there that make orally inflating a bit more challenging. For example - http://www.scuba.com/shop/display.asp_id_006877 With a short piece of inflator sticking out like that, you might be able to get to it in a stressed situation, but there won't be much muscle memory there because you never even touch it unless it's an emergency. I've seen this system in the water, and personally I wouldn't want to try and pull that thing out when stressed wearing cold water gloves.
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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby H20doctor » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:42 pm

well like all scuba deaths we never know what really happens and get the whole story.. So very sad to hear the news, and very sad that someone died..
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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby LCF » Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:54 pm

One of my respected instructors orally inflates his BC on surfacing every dive, just so the idea stays fresh in his mind. I don't do this, but when I think about it, I think I probably should. Although the best strategy is not running out of gas in the first place.
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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby CaptnJack » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:07 pm

H20doctor wrote:What ever happened to manually inflating your BC ? Seems divers forget how to do this step..


who knows, panicky people do the darndest things like vent their BC when they mean to inflate.
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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby spatman » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:37 pm

Dusty2 wrote:
H20doctor wrote:What ever happened to manually inflating your BC ? Seems divers forget how to do this step..


In a panic situation when your struggling to stay above water? if you can't remember to drop your weights it's not likely you'll remember how that drill goes!


It seems that not only did she not remember to drop her weights, her husband didn't remember either. Tragic.
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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby Dusty2 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:20 pm

H20doctor wrote:What ever happened to manually inflating your BC ? Seems divers forget how to do this step..


In a panic situation when your struggling to stay above water? if you can't remember to drop your weights it's not likely you'll remember how that drill goes!

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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby H20doctor » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:59 pm

What ever happened to manually inflating your BC ? Seems divers forget how to do this step..
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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby Dusty2 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:41 pm

As in most of these events we probably never will get anything more about it. Unless someone directly involved come forward which is unlikely. The news is only news when it is sensational then it is dropped and we will hear nothing more.

My condolences to her loved ones.

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Re: Albany woman dies diving off south jetty in Newport, Ore

Postby lavachickie » Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:27 pm

All good points, and possible elements in this. Add to it fatigue (night dive after a full day of diving).

But I still hope more information comes out. For it just seems unlikely (or, impossibly sad) to me that with two "experienced" divers someone who was at one point able to surface ends up drowning. Panic certainly can do it, and maybe that's the biggest takeaway. Any diver from their armchair can see three plus ways this could have turned out differently.

I'm curious to know the full story, though.
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