Scuba Diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by Ken Kurtis on April 29, 2004 at 16:11:15:

In Reply to: Re: Lost Diver-on one of your local boats posted by Tribes on April 29, 2004 at 09:49:50:

Tribes wrote: "Same thing almost happened last week end (and this is not the first time)."

That's a bit of a stretch Jim. Yes, the guy COULD have died, but he didn't. "Almost" is the word I object to. Rather sensationalizes an already sensational event.

Now don't get me wrong - this is absolutely unacceptable. In my opinion, the DM screwed up BIG time. There's no question the diver should have been determined as missing at the roll call on the rigs.

However . . . One fact that gets lost in all of this is that the DM screw-up didn't cause the diver to be lost.

The diver has stated that he went in, was underweighted, lost his buddy, and then lost visual contact with the rig. From the AP article, " . . . Carlock had problems equalizing the pressure in his ears and he fell behind. He tried following his partners' bubbles, but he lost them. He decided to end the dive after 15 minutes, but he was 400 feet down current from an oil platform where the boat was anchored."

For the record, one of the directions we give our divers on rig trips is to ascend along the leg of the rig, NEVER to lose sight of the rig and - if you do - to immiedately abort the dive and surface.

So even before the botched roll-call, he was way down-current of the boat and has told others that he quickly lost sight of the boat in the fog.

So even if they had done a perfect roll call, he still would have been missing at that point. What WOULD have changed is that the search would have started earlier (and in the right area) and - presumably - he would have been found more quickly.

But to make it sound like the DM caused the problem is, I think, wrong. The DM's action certainly made a bad situation worse. But there are really TWO problems areas here, one obviously with the DM and the second with the diver who should have surfaced near the rigs instead of so far downcurrent.

Ken Kurtis
NAUI Instr. #5936
Co-owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, CA

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