|150 ft. on the first dive after certification|
Posted by on October 05, 2008 at 15:42:23:|
In Reply to: Diver dies at La Jolla. posted by Mike on October 05, 2008 at 14:29:02:
SAN DIEGO – The body of a missing diver was found late Saturday afternoon following an all-day search off La Jolla Shores.
The man, who was in his 40s, and his 19-year-old son were diving for the first time after receiving their certification at a depth of about 150 feet at 9 a.m. when the father ran out of air, San Diego lifeguard Lt. John Greenhalgh said.
Search teams from the U.S. Coast Guard and lifeguard agencies around the county scoured the sea for eight hours before finding the man using a remote-controlled underwater vehicle around 4:45 p.m.
Authorities have not released the names of either the father or son.
When the father ran out of air, the two began “buddy breathing,” sharing the air supply from the son's tank as they tried to ascend to the surface, but they became separated. The son told authorities that he continued to ascend, but ran out of air himself about 40 feet below the surface, Greenhalgh said.
When he surfaced in front of the La Jolla Shores lifeguard station, about a quarter of a mile out to sea, he began waving his arms in distress and caught the attention of a lifeguard.
The teen was taken to UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest as a precautionary measure because of his rapid ascent. He was listed in “stable but guarded condition” Saturday afternoon, a nursing supervisor said. It was unclear if he was suffering from decompression sickness, which is when gas bubbles form in the bloodstream.
Rescuers launched an immediate search with dive teams, a helicopter and boats, but by 10 a.m., the mission had been reclassified as a recovery effort, Greenhalgh said.
Divers from the Coast Guard and other agencies later responded to aid in the search.
Dive instructor Todd Young, with Aqua Tech Dive Center, said his group of student divers had just completed their first dive when lifeguards ordered all divers in the area out of the water.
Young said novice recreational divers are taught not to exceed a depth of 60 feet unless they have more advanced training. Divers who breathe high-pressure gas at extreme depths can begin to feel as though they are drunk and can seriously impair judgment.
“We preach that you should always be watching your gauges and compass,” Young said.
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