latest accident brings up a good point


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Posted by Ross-O on April 05, 2005 at 13:29:38:

Given the terribly sketchy details so far, there was an OOA situation and the OOA diver got on his buddy's octo. If this is true, it should have been "problem solved" as the now tethered pair made their way to the surface.

I wonder how many of us would do OK getting air to the OOA diver, be it from an octo or long hose or whatever, only to have it fall apart before getting everyone to the surface.

My dive buddies and I practice OOA drills (S drills) from time to time, but I've only taken the person to the surface a time or two. Usually it's less than a 1 minute exercise on the bottom and then we go about our dive.

The only major concern I would have with any of my similarly configured and trained buddies is that the OOA diver would possibly be panicked or in duress from inhaling some water. This may cause them to make some really bad decisions. Dealing with someone in that state could be nearly impossible.

[side note]
Some BBS participants claim total control over fear while underwater. While it would fun to make such a claim, personal experience has shown me otherwise. I was with Max Bottomtime one day at Buchannon Reef when the purge valve on the exhale hole of my second stage folded under and I inhaled a bunch of water. The second breath delivered even more water. Even though the octo was bungeed under my chin, I had a hard time finding it because it had moved over to the side a bit and I was mentally fried from the 2 tablespoons of water that just went in my lungs. It was sort of like choking, having to cough, and needing to breathe all at the same time. Max was 10 feet away looking away from me (he was setting the anchor) and the surface was 50 feet away. Both of these options seemed impossibly far away at the moment. Thankfully I got the octo in my mouth and after a couple of deep breaths and some coughing I was good to go. The entire event probably lasted 20 seconds but was by far the scariest thing that has happened in my 280 or so hours underwater. If my octo had been flopping around somewhere behind me or tangled up in some doodad I would have been in bad shape. I don't know how I would have behaved given another 20 seconds of no air, but I know enough to assume that I wouldn't have gotten more rational.
[/side note]

With a DIR configuration, getting the OOA diver air seems pretty straight forward (that is unless you're unlucky like my buddy Debbie and have some OOA yahoo sneak up behind you and grab the octo on the short hose around your neck!). This is not the case with the typical mainstream rec rig where there's really no telling where the air will come from (dangling octo, hidden octo, no octo!!!, you get short hose attached to reg in their mouth while they go to that thing on their bc inflator hose, etc)

On our next beach dive or shallow dive, I wonder if we should all do an OOA drill and carry it out all the way to the surface? I bet that if you didn't discuss the plan with your buddy before hand, and you haven't trained together, this would get interesting.

Just some random thoughts,
Ross-O





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