Re: Some difference in story, but totally my fault.

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Posted by TomR on May 12, 2005 at 23:44:14:

In Reply to: Some difference in story, but totally my fault. posted by scubalaurel on May 12, 2005 at 20:29:17:

OK, I tried to be discrete and keep names out of this, but oh well. My intent was never to get names involved, but I needed feedback on this from divers and an anonymous post on a discussion board seemed the best way to get it without involving any identities (sigh).

Anyway, all I know is the following:

1. THIS IS THE KEY TO THE DIFFERENCE IN THE STORY: I was grabbed, my buddy was less than 12 inches from my face, and I was given the "NECK CHOP" signal. To me, that means "out of air", nothing else, not "low on air, let's head to the beach" or anything of that sort. When I see that, I go instantly to delivering help. I might have missed follow up "let's swim somewhere" signals because I was busy handing off my reg, holding my light, and locating my Air II (as I said, my buddy helped with the Air II and I am thankful for that). However, I must say, once you give the "NECK CHOP", you've basically dialed 911 to your buddy, the dive has turned to crap, and you can't expect much more than air sharing and an ascent to the surface.

2. It was high tide and I could have sworn one of my last checks said the depth was approx. 20 ft. If not, my fault. Either which way, we were out of the crevice.

3. If the plan was to share air to extend the dive, that should have been discussed well in advance. It wasn't.

If this is all just one big example of miscommunication (under and above water), then so be it and I apologize for any part I played in that miscommunication. The fact is, my perception was that the "neck chop" signaled that we had a true out of air emergency under water, at night, in bad visibility. That's a little freaky. I've learned a bunch of lessons from this episode and I thank everyone for their feedback.

Regarding buddies and choosing buddies and what not, I don't want to throw anyone under the bus here and nobody should be villanized. One of the bigger mistakes of this whole scenario was made by me equally with my buddy and that was lack of pre-dive communication. We should have set definitive, safe air reserve levels (as I mentioned in my first email). While we did review emergency procedures (here's where my octo's located, where's yours, let's look around for a minute and surface if we lose each other, etc.), we did not discuss anything but the basics. If we had done more talking beforehand, we might have discussed any "low on air" scenarios and how those might play out. We did not. That's going to be a big part of my pre-dive discussion from here on out.

Regarding unkown buddies, call me crazy, but I'll still dive with people I don't know (on easy dives). It's been a great way to meet people and make buddies. However, from here on out, I will be very careful in reviewing procedures and gaining a certain level of comfort before going into the water.

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