Re: Defining Buddy/Solo

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Posted by MHK on September 22, 2000 at 09:37:11:

In Reply to: Re: Defining Buddy/Solo posted by kelphead on September 21, 2000 at 18:35:40:

Posted by kelphead on September 21, 2000 at 18:35:40:

i don't intend to speak ill of the dead, but
one does have to wonder why this particular diver
did not take a buddy along under such new and
extremely different circumstances than he was used

I can sum it up for you in one word:


Which speaks to my point. ALL of the VERY experienced solo diver's that have recently died didn't think it could happen to them, right up until the second it happened to them...

I spoke to Ron Fuller 2 weeks before he died. In fact he was showing off his home made rebreather to me and asked me what I thought about it. and this was just after Tony Maffatone died on the USS San Diego diving a home made rebrether.

I won't repeat here what I said to Ron, but the sum total was that I thought he was nuts!!!! 2 weeks later he was dead, in what to me seems like a very preventable death.. If you read his wife's post you can clearly see her pain, and that of her children's. Of course the usual crowd made the same noise about Ron being experienced and knowing the risks, but complaceny kills....

Posted by kelphead on September 21, 2000 at 18:35:40:

but i certainly
would never disqualify one's decades-long experience
just b/c that experience did not utilize a technique
that a minority of relatively young divers has
more recently designed for specific types of diving.

I don't discount anyone experience, but what has been troubling to me is that some experienced diver's get on here and post that just because they solo means means that they take the blanket viewpoint that solo is ok, some have even been arguing that a buddy is a more dangerous effort than solo. I feel that other's of experience need to vett properly these notions because we have a lot of new diver's on this group and if they read so and so, who has 1000+ dives says this or that is ok, then it must be...

I don't plan to sit by idley. For example, Frank Farmer has been vocal in his support for solo diving. He made no mention of specific limits and just went on record as saying solo is ok. Then when I recanted a story about the Andrea Doria, he changed his tune and said you should dive deep solo.. I asked him which is it, solo or not, if so when and how deep.. Of course, I got no reply. So I'm suspect at this point of blanket statemenst such as solo is ok..

I am now having a big discussion with a long time diver from our area, he has been diving for approx. 30 years and in the last 6 months decided to get certified in trimix. With less than 6 months technical experience he is now very upset at the fact that I won't let him dive solo to 300' on trips that I act as technical supervisor.

So where does the solo debate end??? How deep is deep enough?? Where do you draw the line?? And if you say OK to so and so, how do you tell the other guy, NO...

I spend a fair amount of time discussing diving fatalities and one pattern I have seen when we discuss a solo death, is that the proponents always look at the solo death, find something that they do differently and then say, well it couldn't have happened to me because I don't do this or that. ( and Ron's rebreather is the perfect example ) It's called denial...

When I asked Ron directly about Tony Maffatone's death he said to me that his homemade rebreather was different that Tony's homemade rebreather and he would be ok... Well, 2 weeks later he was dead..

Complacency kills....


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