Re: Buddy Diving - Is three a crowd ? (long)

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Posted by MHK on July 07, 2000 at 14:44:38:

In Reply to: Re: Buddy Diving - Is three a crowd ? (long) posted by Steve Taylor on July 07, 2000 at 13:11:46:


I really don't want to get to much into this thread because it seems to me to be deteriorating. Moreoever, I would prefer not to speak ill of the dead, but I do think it's important that we analyze the mistakes and hopefully learn from them. Thta being said, I have one brief comment about a local tradegy that you refer to..

Posted by Steve Taylor on July 07, 2000 at 13:11:46:

Would DIR gear and theories have kept Darren Douglass from jumping back in the water when his son failed to surface.

I understand you were on the Westerly that day, so perhaps you can shed some light on the difference between panic over a missing son and Doing it Right.

A couple of minor points and then my comments. The accident happened on the Atlantis, not the Westerly. And John was not in the boat...

That aside, and I'm trying to be deferential to a father and son that lost there lives. But the fact of the matter is that DIR philosophies would have prevented this accident. Furthermore, Darren didn't jump back in the water after his son. He was still in the water when he saw Jeff ascending without he son so he descended.

Moreover, there are several DIR concepts that would have prevented these people from being in the situation in the first place. DIR isn't about knowing how to survive a tough situation, it's also about knowing how not to get yourself in the situation in the first place..

A 14 yeard old shouldn't have been 140' on air, helping to free an anchor. There was little team coordination, and it APPEARS ( and I want to emphasis I can't state for certain ) but it appears that Darren ( who was diving deep on air ) looked back and saw two diver's following him to the anchor and believed it to be Jerimiah and Jeff. ( as it turns out it was not, it was another team ) Was he narc'd??? Who knows. But DIR would have meant diving a hyperoxic trimix to keep your END at no deeper than 100'.

DIR would not have us ascending until we confirmed with our whole team that we were going up, we would have confirmed with each other our deco gas switches. Under DIR principles there would have been no way that I would be at 20' ( dangerously low on air), having already switched to my deco gas, and not have looked at my buddy atleast 3 or 4 times. We would have built in a deep stop, we would have confirmed our gas supply, we would have given the thumbs up upon calling the dive and confirmed we were all going..

I could go on, but as I said, I don't want to speak ill, but to suggest that DIR principles would not have helped in this situation I felt the need to speak out.

Furthermore, you should be aware that I have spoken to Jeff Highley ( the survivor ) about this incident, I have spoken to Bob Titus and Dr. Debbie Hill, who were the diver's that retrived Jeff and preformed the CPR, I have spoken to the chamber technician on duty that day, and I have also spoken to one of the crew members aboard the Atlantis ( not the Westerly ).

You have a fair amount of inaccurate facts so I would be careful about continuing down this road until you get them straightened out..

This tradegy was a painful event in SoCal diving and unless you think something good can come out of reopening the wounds I suggest that we end it here.


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