New faces, Same old Story

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Posted by Tribes on June 17, 2002 at 09:09:30:

New faces, same old story. I had a diver come in the other day,( being back a rental) she related a story about a beach dive, that she felt that her husband and her almost didnít survive . The couple had not been diving for about two years, and had went down to a cove in Laguna Beach (one that they had dove before). They had made it through the surf line and swim out (surf was breaking 3-5 out of the south, no life guards). As they swim to the first set of rocks, they looked down and saw almost no vis. They decided to swim out to the end of the reef area (looking for better vis) . They finned out and were on the outside of the reef when a big set came in and washed them over the reef. The husband was stranded on his back on top of the reef being washed back and forth. My story teller (lets call her Jane) was washed across the top of the reef and then into the canyon that transects the reef. The canyon is about 15 ft. deep at this point and is a huge washing machine, with this type of surf coming in. Jane by this time had lost her mask and snorkel and had no airway in place. She was drowning, her husband had his own problems, he had lost a fin and could not reach her. There were no life guards (city didnít have enough money this year to have them). So if Jane was going to live she had to save herself. She grabbed her reg. and dropped her weight belt. And swim out of the canyon, hooked up with her husband (who had been wash off the top of the reef by now) and help him swim in. They made it back out of the surf line (only eating a little sand). Jane had survived, because she didnít panic and she let some of her basic training kicked in.
Janeís story has a familiar ring to it.
I have heard lots of stories like this one in last 27 plus years I have been teaching Scuba. I have also seen lots of near misses and have pulled some dead divers out of the water. Almost all the accidents I have seen or heard of should not of happened. Most did happen because the divers were not ready. They didnít have the training, the equipment, experience, or the judgment skills to make the dive. Divers just didn't use common sense, some let there ego's get in the way.
Sometimes I wonder if the only way divers learn anything, is for them to have a life threatening experience!
I guess what made me post this, is that when I helped Jane with her rental tanks, in the back seat of her car were two baby boys strapped into two car seats(these two baby boys could be without a mother today, because she didnít do a good site survey).
Jane felt that she was lucky to be alive. Maybe next time you go diving, you should give some more thought to the dive you are about to make, and some thought to the ones you may leave behind.


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