Re: Let's be fair

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Posted by tleemay on April 30, 2000 at 14:09:35:

In Reply to: Let's be fair posted by Jusfer on April 29, 2000 at 22:56:16:

I was not saying it was the boat's fault. I wasn't
incinuating it was any one particular boat that was
involved, hence my statement to John that the
Dream may not had been the boat. Not that it
matters at this point - we aren't talking about
a captain or crew leaving a diver on the rigs and
allowing him/her to die from exposure or drowning.

My opinion, drawn from what I know of the incident
by listening to the VHF that day and local news reports
since then, is that the distresed diver or one of his
other dive buddies didn't follow & drop his weight at the
surface after coming up. This was the first thing that
exhasberated (sp?) the situation.

The buddies compounded the problem by not staying with him until boat
supported help arrived. If at that time he spit out
his reg, his buddy could have made an un-futile attempt
of placing either his or his buddies reg back into his
mouth. At the very least they could have kept him at the surface
where he couldn't have done much more damage to

Something to keep in mind is that we don't know
at this time is how deep the trio were when the
diver started having problems. For all we know, he
could have been pushing his ppO2 exposure beyond
what his physical body and CNS could tolerate.
He also could have been working so hard to maintain
bouyancy by constantly swimming up, his co2 level
could have been skyrocket high from all the heavy
breathing. I do not think that his only 100 or so
dives were what killed him. Anyone with 100+ dives
should already know the drill for emergency procedures
(dropping weight) and having bouyancy nailed down.

Now with that being said-

Privateers and six packs do the Eureka rigs quite
regularly nowadays, especially with the media
impact on the recent SB waiting to go into
assembly. These non-commercial dive boats do
the rigs with or without permission of
the facilities plant ops manager. Everyone
wants to do them. Boats like the Dream have
stepped up scheduling these trips recognizing
the demand and full boat potential. With an
increase of scheduled visits, increased is the chance
that someone on one of these trips will be injured
or killed. I don't see the fault of the boat
operator increasing the amount of trips as I see
the lowering of the bar of diver training. Problem
is, not every off the shelf sport diver is
experienced enough to deal with a deep bottom,
especially at freaking Eureak. Diving the rigs is
like diving a deep offshore pinnacle like Farnsworth...
these are not the type of sites someone with even
an inkling of bouyancy problems should be diving.
Add to that the potential and usual heavy swell in the first
30 ft in a massive intermittent overhead enviroment
and you have a formula for someone becoming injured
or killed.

I have DM'd and/or led hundreds of divers
on Eureka, Emmy-Ellen and Edith. From professional
photogs and videographers to mom & pop wanting to
see metridiums - and EVRYONE in between. One of the
first clues I get when watching divers gearing up
for the dives is when one of them asks me or a member
of the crew how much weight do they need -or- in
dive planning discussions with their buddies they
say they will go to the 90' plate and check their
bouyancy there since there's less swell and the
vis is better deeper. These people are the one's who
get watched the closest - above and under water.

Sadly, I have noticed that divers lately that have such goof-ball
attitudes in their dive planning are recent
"grads" from two particular dive shops. And one of these
two tries to regularly schedule trips like the Rigs...
4 divers with 22 dives between themselves under
their belts shouldn't be anywhere near a site
like the Rigs. It should be the charter that governs
good qualified and expeirenced divers only do trips
like these. The dive boat is just the taxi service,
restaurant, hotel and operations support for the
trip, the charter is the entity that decides
who goes and who doesn't.

Perhaps it should be the charter orgs that
place a minimum diver quality rating on charters
they take to sites like Farnsworth or the Rigs? Sell the
trips as advanced trips to diver's with X logged dives
or on an invitational basis pooled from divers whom are
known experienced diving in such enviroments? This
works in Florida on the more advanced deep wrecks &
reefs, why not out here?

What do you think?

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