Posted by Ken Kurtis on September 01, 2000 at 00:54:21:
In Reply to: Re: My turn posted by tleemay on August 31, 2000 at 14:01:47:
(tleemay stated) My point is only that a diver has a much greater chance of survival with a buddy along... regardless of what the problem was.
I think this may simplify it a bit too much. Case in point:
A month or two ago, there was a diver returning from a dive on the surface (one of the Korean dive groups on the Encore I believe, but I'm not 100% certain). As he came down the side of the boat (bow to stern) and passed the gate, the DM leaned over and asked if he was okay. He replied he was.
Less than 10 seconds later, just as he rounded the back corner of the boat, he had a heart attack. He was surrounded by plenty of "buddies" and support people. He got excellent emergency care. The helicopter arrived relatively quickly. He still died.
While I don't think any rational person can argue that solo diving doesn't add an additional element of risk, mainly when something goes wrong, let's not go the other way and imply that diving with a buddy makes you bullet-proof ". . . regardless of what the problem was."
The DAN fatality stats for 1999 (1997 data) indicate 82 deaths of which 10 (12.2%) were solo diving. However, 23 (28.0%) were diving with a buddy. Another 16 (19.5%) were diving in a 3- or 4-person buddy team.
The problem with hanging your hat too much on these numbers is that we don't know how they correlate to the total number of people who solo dive vs. buddy dive.
But the point is that people die solo and people die with buddies. The real underlying question to me, seems to be whether solo diving casues accidents to happen that would not have occured had the diver been diving with a partner.
NAUI Instr. #5936
Co-owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, Ca.
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