Diver Injured at Casino Point

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Posted by Rob1 on September 10, 2000 at 17:44:29:

On Saturday (9/9/00), I had the unfortunate experience to arrive at Casino Point (Avalon) to do some day diving with my girlfriend. As we arrived (slightly after 10:00 a.m.), we observed several LA County Sheriff vehicles, Paramedic unit and Harbor Patrol Vehicles in the parking lot right next to the dive area. We observed a young (teen or twenty's) lady being taken away, on a gurney, in the paramedic unit. She was on oxygen and appeared to be (semi) conscious as she was being put in the unit. I just observed her being taken away as we arrived.

Please note, I did not see what happened and relate what I was told by several people who did observe (or stated that they did) the sitation. If any members of the diving group who were in the water at the time have further comments, I would yeild to their account. This report is provided to relate what I did learn before the rumor mill gets into full gear. I do not know what happened underwater (other than what I was told) and draw no conclusions here other than the rescue efforts appear to have drawn considerable resources.

Based on dicussions and questions asked of other divers, it appears that she was with a group of 2-4 (or maybe two buddy groups). It was related to me that they were at a depth of over 60 feet. It seems that she was suffering from mask flooding at some point. Divers there indicated that she appears to have ascended too rapidly (maybe panic?) and ascended away from her buddy, who talked to the authorities. She was observed to be unconscious at the surface (face down according to some observers). Her dive buddy/team was assisted by the many other divers in the area in getting her to the shore (steps). Calls were made to the rescue (911) units before she was even out of the water. Those who were there believed (or heard) that she had an embolism on the ascent.

I heard that she was taken to the HyperB. Chamber in Avalon for treatment. I do not know if DCS was observed, but the Chamber seems to be the medical treatment center for divers suffering that type of injury in or near Avalon.

Conditions at Casion Point on Saturday were very good. Only light swells (mostly boat wakes). Clear skies (scattered clouds early) and only light wind. Visibility ranged (at 10:30 a.m.) from 20 feet near the stairs to 40 feet and better further out in the park. Current was very mild (NW to SE), and almost nonexistant most of the day.

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