Re: Buddy diving did not save this guy at Lake Tahoe!

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Posted by Ken Kurtis on August 28, 2000 at 13:10:26:

In Reply to: Buddy diving did not save this guy at Lake Tahoe! posted by ralph on August 28, 2000 at 12:11:49:

(Ralph posted) Here is an example where this guy would have died the same way if he was diving alone. Buddy diving was no help! The only thing the buddy will help with is provide the family someone to sue.


I feel you are drawing inaccurate conclusions from this (sad) story.

No one has said that diving with a buddy will definitely save your life. Sometimes, it may not matter whether you have a buddy or not - the outcome will be the same. But diving with a buddy DOES mean that there's someone nearby and (hopefully) attenbtive should something go wrong. Diving alone means there no one and you're on your own. (And if that's a risk you're willing to accept, that's your business IMHO.)

Diving with a buddy certainly didn't kill this man and may have actually given him his best shot at surviving. From the story, it was the cries of the BUDDY that alerted the bystanders. Without that happening, the victim would have stayed UW until someone realized he was missing.

It's hard to tell from the story, but it sounds like this hgappened upon entry. He fell and hit his head, went under, couldn't be found right away, but was eventually pulled from the water. It would be useful to know if the cause of death was from the blow to the head or the submersion (which was caused by the blow to the head).

More to the point, it sounds like the surf conditions may have been dangerous, or at least in excess of what these divers were prepared or qualified to handle. Underscores the importance of choosing a dive site and conditions compatible with your skill level.

As far as getting sued, that's absolute nonsense. The only ones who get sued in these cases are instructors or shops when providing instruction or supervision. (That's why we carry liability insurance.) Dive buddies don't get sued, and even if they did, are covered in many states by Good Samartitan laws. Besides, it sounds like the buddy here did everything that she reasonably could.

More interestingly, Ralph, is why you seem to feel the buddy system is such a bad thing. Care to share your thoughts? (Maybe make it a new thread so it'll be easier to follow.)

Ken Kurtis
NAUI #5936
Co-owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, Ca.

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