Re: Re: Tragic Accident

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Posted by Walt on September 20, 2006 at 14:20:39:

In Reply to: Re: Tragic Accident posted by Kendall Raine on September 20, 2006 at 11:47:19:

I won't dispute the merits of buddy diving, assuming your buddy is competent and you share a 'real' dive plan (agreed beforehand and not 'unfolding' during the dive).

However, a buddy, no matter how good they are, may not be able to prevent a dive accident. They are a resource that is there to help out and they do add a margin of safety. However, if a diver panics, the buddy may not be able to do anything for that diver. Worse yet is that the buddy may feel obligated to follow the paniced diver up, thereby resulting in two potential embolizms.

BUT, I also won't dispute the safety of solo diving IF one is prepared for it. In fact, every dive should be treated like a solo dive (items 1 to 3). My personal rules for solo diving are to: 1. Double / triple check everything immediately before the dive; 2. Never panic - just deal with whatever comes up (panic can kill; most problems don't); 3. Dive what I am comfortable diving and skip dives that I don't feel that I'm up to; 4. Dive at a depth I can ascend from without embolizing in an OOA situation (generally my freediving depth); 5. Carry a pony bottle that allows a 3 to 5 minute safety stop with a normal ascent rate of 30 fswpm

A buddy may lull oneself into a false sense of safety and that can be deadlier than no buddy at all.

So, what can we learn from this tragedy? I believe that is a valid point. First, I want to know more facts... did he really embolize? did he have any other medical condition? how much training did he receive on this (and other) rebreathers? did he have a bailout / pony bottle? how many solo dives did he have? was he in good physical condition? Until these are answered, the rest is speculation.

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