Re: Beware of the hypocrites about "Solo" diving?

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Posted by tleemay on September 06, 2000 at 11:44:54:

In Reply to: Beware of the hypocrites about "Solo" diving? posted by Mike Meagher on September 05, 2000 at 21:44:54:

Mike wrote;

You're also the same ones that used to talk down
about twin tanks and deep diving. But now, its OK
cause now its "tech". Its just a fad to wear lots
of fancy gear, and breath man altered gasses.
(meaning anything other than air). Whatever
happened to diving with good ol air? You hear all
the stories of the "tech divers" dying left
and right. You experts are the very same ones that
sold them that gear, and all that training, but
never minded to teach them basic diving skills.
Basic waterman ship skills. Today's divers rely
too much on equipment.


First of all Mike, don't lump all techdivers and
tech instructors into the same heap - just as in
sport diving, there are good and even better
training agencies and instructors. In tech diving
the agencies are in a turmoil right now in an
attempt to separate the dangerous agencies and
instructors from the more progressive and
unarguably safer ones.

I agree, for the most part there is too much
equipment hanging on the typical sport and tech
diver. As many know, when MHK, JW, or myself
do any tech diving, there is not much added to
our configurations other than additional gas
for the depth/deco, an extra light and a printed
set of tables - things that are required for the
dive. As far as the basic sport configuration sans
tanks and extra light, I take the same on a 50'
air dive. No funky retractors, no velcro'd or
plastic clipped doo-dads hanging from the rig.
I have less hanging on me than most any sport
diver doing a dive to any depth.

I'm a firm believer that all the gadgets that
the typical dive store places at the register is
nothing more than gear-candy for the sport diver
- they think it makes them look cool. A tech
diver doesn't care how he/she looks to others
as long as they have with them what's required
for the dive in a non-convoluded package.

In tech diving, there is a movement on right now
promoting minimalization, streamlining, and
efficiency in the activity. One org that promotes
this phylosophy and configuration practice has
even vocally challenged the other tech agencies
into discussing their differences point by point
in public - for over a year now. No other agency
has yet to step up to the plate.

Deep air is discouraged since breathing the
correct gas with the appropriate pp02 and END
will make the dive experience safer and enable
you to think much clearly at depth. What good is
it to dive a wreck like the Moody and only being
able to recall about 1/2 of what you experienced.
Should there be a problem at depth that required
the team to blow off the dive, you are even more
clear headed to take care of what problem there
is. Yes, there's an additional cost, but that's
something we accepted when we got into it. Any
extra $ spent on the correct gas is going to make
the experience safer and more memorable.

An analogy made many times before; You don't want
to drive drunk with clouded thinking and slow
reaction times, why would you allow yourself to
dive in nearly the same capacity in a situation
where one inhalation of water turns the lights

Most all tech deaths to date have been atttributed
to either deep air usage, the buddy leaving or solo
diving, or a convoluded gear setup. John Walker
I believe has the most current "Permanently Retired
Divers" list that's been circulating among the
tech divers lists for the last couple years. There
are some very prominent names on that list that
did some very stupid things - things the tech
diving community has learned from.

Locally, as a "for instance" in one particular
event, the buddy team of three saw one of their
members signal and abort the dive due to some
trouble at depth. While he was on his way up, the
other two decided to continue the dive. The
aborting diver got to the surface a short distance
from the boat, gave a distress waive, and then
slipped back underwater - hasn't been seen since.
In this case, a buddy with the aborting diver
would have at the very least, afford the additional
chance that the diver would have had his weight
dropped once it was detected he was distress or
going to drop down. A buddy with him would have
ensured his bouyancy to stay on the surface while
the DM's reached him and dragged him back to the
boat. What we do know is that he was alive and
breathing on the surface. Without keeping him
there, it's anyone's guess as to what his true
life and death distress was.

If someone is going to solo dive, they must accept
the risks involved. To promote solo diving to the
unknowing and un-experienced is dangerous, right
up there with saying an EAN40 with a 1.92 pp02 in
a pony bottle is the proper gas for diving a wreck.

I agree that most tech training agencies are
passing sport divers into the tech world way too
easily, this can be attributed to the almighty
dollar. In most of the more progressive tech
agencies, you must prove you abilities in the
water before you are even considered to be a
participant in the training - regardless how big
your bank account is. This is addition to the
medical releases and items of contradiction of
the sport come into play (PFO tests, smoker,
heavy drinker, etc).

Most basic training agencies (one particularly) is
flushing divers through their program without the
knowlege of working up their profiles off a
physical table - so long as they buy and use a
computer for the class anyway.

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