Re: Good news for a change re: gillnet

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Posted by Ross-O on December 31, 2007 at 11:14:30:

In Reply to: Good news for a change re: gillnet posted by Max Bottomtime on December 31, 2007 at 10:28:07:

I vowed to never post on this bbs again because of frequent attacks by anonymous a-holes and very loose moderation, but I can't live with myself without saying something here because I'm the one who opened this can of worms by finding the net in the first place and taking others out there to try to fix it. Here's my response to Kurt.

Rec divers - stay away from the net or be ready to die.

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The net is far too large for us to swim it, but based on our SONAR work we believe that it runs from the rock pile to a black flag 1/4 mile away. This is a REALLY BIG net, and while I'm no expert on large commercial fishing gear, I don't think anyone can work with this thing unless they have a large commercial fishing boat with the big spool on the back.

This thing is really dangerous and I'm worried that it's going to kill someone. I've dove it 3 times now and was feeling pretty cocky about my underwater skills until I found myself solo and tangled it in at the end of a dive watching my deco obligation go up and air rapidly go down. It got all around my tank valve & first stange. Through several minutes of hacking away at it and swimming like hell, I managed to cut myself free, but just barely. By the time I got free I had built a significant deco obligation and had lost my camera (Phil later recovered my cam). There were times where I really felt like I wasn't going to make it. I haven't been talking about this on the web for the obvious reasons, but I'm still shaking from yesterday and I'm terrified that someone else will find themselves in the same situation. I've decided to post this on diver.net and the other places that Phil has been discussing the net in hopes that no one else gets in trouble. F*ck it, people can flame me all they want, at least they’ll be comfortably behind their computer and not sitting in a net at 95fsw.

Solo divers on open circuit, as I almost demonstrated, can easily wind up like the sea lions. It's a long shot, but even a good buddy team could possibly get stuck at the same time. To do it right, that net should be worked on by commercial guys on surface supplied air with communication systems, or with some other such commercial diving approach that I don't even know about. I’m the first to admit that I know about as much about brain surgery as I do about the best way to safely accomplish this task.

I am not a safety nazi. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I more risk tolerant than most. I got a new respect for these nets yesterday. If you work on this thing, please don't take rec divers with you and please do it in a way where everyone comes back. In a way it's good for people to see the photos so they have an idea about what these nets do, but I'm already feeling bad about taking others out there and putting these pics on the web. (I thought it was just a small section of net or I would have never gone yesterday. The first time I dove it the vis was really bad and I turned around as soon as I got my anchor out of it.)

There have been far too many offers from rec divers to help clean it up. This isn't the place for rec divers any more than fitting pipes on an offshore oil rig in 300fsw would be for rec divers.

If this were a little 20' x 50' section of net, I would be all for grass roots action to clean it up but this is not the case.

Feel free to call me if you want to discuss.

Ross Oxxxxxxxxxxx
310-xxx-xxxx (cell)

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