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BBC website report - sensationalised as usual, 300m deep?

Apalling time for an incident like this - thoughts to the families.

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Diver dies at quarry lake

A man has died after a diving accident at a notorious quarry lake in north Wales.
He and another man got into difficulties whilst diving at the disused Dorothea Quarry in the Nantlle Valley in Gwynedd.

The quarry, which is up to 300m deep in places with a network of flooded tunnels and sheer drops, is a favourite training location for amateur divers from across the UK.

Its icy waters have claimed five lives in the past year and around 20 in the last 10 years. Scores more have had lucky escapes and have needed to be rescued.

Police confirmed on Friday that one man - who is thought to have suffered a heart attack - was pronounced dead at the scene.

His companion was suffering from the bends and was flown for treatment at a specialist decompression chamber on the Wirral.

It is believed both men are from Warrington, Cheshire.

Despite warnings from the quarry's owner, divers have continued to travel from hundreds of miles away to train there.

BBC Report
 

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obviously the big draw for this site is the depth but when will this site be regulated properly???.i hear reports that the owner has asked people to stay away but when i speak to people who dive it often say to me they are welcomed almost with open arms and not bothered by anyone??a site with obvious potential needs to be developed into a safe diving place or properly shut down and i know from what people say ,they would,nt want it closeing because of its obvious training potential. i would also like to add my condolances to the family of the diver and say what a great loss it always is when a diver falls the sport he or she loves
 

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Not good, but not surprising.

I know divers who are still going there for training/instructing with Trimix and Rebreathers as if the owner/lease holder had never made any comment re diving there.

Perhaps there is a relationship between the type of diver who will ignore the wishes of landowners and arrogantly believe they have the right to dive there, and the type of diver who does not fully prepare for the type of diving they are doing?

I'm all right Jack


Adrian
 

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My condolences to the family.

Regulation and proper safety measures are an important point but if it's true that the diver involved had a heart attack just how would you regulate against that?

Lets not jump on a bandwagon here.
 

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I feel sorry for any widow and/or children he leaves behind, I can't understand why people go to such a pointless place, risking, and all too frequently losing, their lives for no apparent reason.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (yipeediver @ Dec. 19 2003,17:30)]a site with obvious potential needs to be developed into a safe diving place or properly shut down
I totally disagree, just because a particular community of people, ie divers in this one case, see potential in a privately owned piece of land (or land plus water in this case) doesn't suggest to me that that the owner of said site is under any obligation to make it more appealing for them to trespass. It's like one neighbour insisting that he be allowed to garden someones elses property just because the second property is weedy and overgrown (Mark, this could be the answer to your dislike of horticulture
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Additionally, the owner  Glyn or Glenn something or other) is constantly repeating his "stay away" message and, IIRC, there was an attempt to prevent divers getting into the site by putting boulders in place on the access road.

I think Adrian has perhaps hit the nail on the head with:

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Perhaps there is a relationship between the type of diver who will ignore the wishes of landowners and arrogantly believe they have the right to dive there, and the type of diver who does not fully prepare for the type of diving they are doing?
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Steve W @ Dec. 19 2003,17:51)]I think Adrian has perhaps hit the nail on the head with:

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Perhaps there is a relationship between the type of diver who will ignore the wishes of landowners and arrogantly believe they have the right to dive there, and the type of diver who does not fully prepare for the type of diving they are doing?
Hmmmmm

I have never dived Dotty because it is a long way away and it’s a puddle but if it were closer to home I would. I don’t think I have a god given right to dive in Dotty any more than I have a god given right to dive in the sea but I do it all the time any way.

Its like war graves. How many have you illegally dived? Well let’s start with the Thisstlegorm. Its illegal to dive that but a hell of a lot of us have. It’s not illegal to dive Dotty. Trespass is just a Tort not a law.

I am full of contempt for the landowner but that’s got more to do with his business dealings and nothing to do with diving.
I am reasonably sure he couldn’t give a toss if we dive at Dotty or not but he must be SEEN to have attempted to stop people to avoid the obvious litigation risk of the site not being suitable for diving from a HSE point of view.

Dotty is a puddle filled with water just like any other. It is no more dangerous than any other inland deep water site. More people have died at Stony Cove than have died at Dotty and this is because diving is both strenuous and dangerous. People have hart attacks diving because it is strenuous and sometimes stressful lets not get all anti Dotty because of this sad incident.

Last time I checked it was argued that Dotty was between 104 and 110m deep as a result a lot of deep training is carried out there I was going to do my Trimix qualifying dives there but I asked for sea dives in stead.

100's of local divers dive Dotty each week and they are doing sod all harm to any one. The farmer who owns the land doesn’t appear to mind and the owner is notable by his absence.

You don’t really believe that the owner and the local constabulary couldn’t put a stop to things if the will power was there do you?

It isn’t and they don’t.

From what I have herd Dotty is a great dive site with loads of interesting stuff to dive. If under prepared divers who are inadequately trained wish to explore the depths then that’s their look out. I would much rather they killed themselves in Dotty than on a boat. At least you’re guaranteed to find the body in Dotty.  

So lets all climb off our high horses and may the first person that refused to dive the Thisstlegorm or the countless military or merchant navy wrecks in the UK cast the first stone.

Mark Chase
 

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I thought tresspass had been changed from a civil to a criminal offence?

Poor guy.  It sucks.  It's very harsh reading a fellow diver has died.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Mdemon @ Dec. 19 2003,20:23)]Poor guy.  It sucks.  It's very harsh reading a fellow diver has died.
Well said.

Also spare a thought as well for those also present at Dotty when this happened. It does have a lasting impact on them as well.

Simon
 

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<font color='#000F22'>I've mailed News Online and told them to check their story.

Some off the earlier comments I read as rather cruel, considering the circumstances - remember this is a diver who is DEAD. Where he died is secondary.

My thoughts are with his family.

RIP.

BTW: A small addendum - one of these days - thanks to the growing nature of YD - there is chance that a report similar to what we are talking about could happen to one of "us"

Let's hope that we'd treat "real" people with more respect.
 

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<font color='#000F22'>my condolances to his family it is very sad to hear of a death
but lets take all things into perspective. we all know the risks involved when we take up diving. does it stop you ? no it doesn't.and as for shutting this site down properly,why ?. because a few people have died there ? well you'd better get onto the government and get them to close 99% of british roads too because a quite a few people have died on them .
there's enough bl**dy rules and regulations already
 

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I have to take the stance that a life has been lost (and another guy visits the Wirral pot) - and that will always, in my book, take primacy in all considerations of the infernal 'Diving Dotty Debate'.

That said, I have to say that both Gav and Chasey offer us sage comments here: if the owners and local authority (regardless of whether thay have a responsibility to or not) genuinely wanted to close this site and prevent divers using it, they could - and make it damned-near impenetrable for anyone wanting to access it (unless tabbing across miles of fields and copses to get there dressed in full dry-bag, carrying fins, torches and diving sundries, and with full twins-n-wing, stages etc. is your bag - therefore having a heart attack before you entered the water). They don't and consequently appear happy to resit the various and avoidable diver-autopsies and HSE/Police/Local Authority public enquiries, which result after the 'regular' deaths which occur as a lamentable by-product of the current situation.

And Gav's comment is logic incarnate: the more YD grows (although no blame can EVER be attributed to YD as it has no official or unofficial stance on diving Dotty - only rather one of common sence where it comes to divers making decisions where and with whom they dive), the more the likelihood grows of one of our membership potentially being the name on the label on the toe of the resident on the mortuary slab - alas, post a visit to (although not restricted to) Dotty.

And another wife, family and friends have their collective Christmas ruined. There, but for the grace of God, go I/us??

Dive safe all - always.
 

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very well said Bren
 

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As usual Bren's eloquence casts a harsh light on my Neanderthal ramblings. I had hoped to write a piece that supported the divers choice of venue and his right to dive full stop. Unfortunately, as said above, not knowing the diver personally and being detached from the enormity of the loss, my personal thoughts on the Dotti issue got in the way.

My apologies to any one that knew him, I am truly sorry for your loss.

Mark Chase
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Mark Chase @ Dec. 19 2003,19:48)]
[b said:
Quote[/b] (Steve W @ Dec. 19 2003,17:51)]I think Adrian has perhaps hit the nail on the head with:

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Perhaps there is a relationship between the type of diver who will ignore the wishes of landowners and arrogantly believe they have the right to dive there, and the type of diver who does not fully prepare for the type of diving they are doing?
Hmmmmm

I have never dived Dotty because it is a long way away and it’s a puddle but if it were closer to home I would. I don’t think I have a god given right to dive in Dotty any more than I have a god given right to dive in the sea but I do it all the time any way.

Its like war graves. How many have you illegally dived? Well let’s start with the Thisstlegorm. Its illegal to dive that but a hell of a lot of us have. It’s not illegal to dive Dotty. Trespass is just a Tort not a law.

I am full of contempt for the landowner but that’s got more to do with his business dealings and nothing to do with diving.
I am reasonably sure he couldn’t give a toss if we dive at Dotty or not but he must be SEEN to have attempted to stop people to avoid the obvious litigation risk of the site not being suitable for diving from a HSE point of view.

Dotty is a puddle filled with water just like any other. It is no more dangerous than any other inland deep water site. More people have died at Stony Cove than have died at Dotty and this is because diving is both strenuous and dangerous. People have hart attacks diving because it is strenuous and sometimes stressful lets not get all anti Dotty because of this sad incident.

Last time I checked it was argued that Dotty was between 104 and 110m deep as a result a lot of deep training is carried out there I was going to do my Trimix qualifying dives there but I asked for sea dives in stead.

100's of local divers dive Dotty each week and they are doing sod all harm to any one. The farmer who owns the land doesn’t appear to mind and the owner is notable by his absence.

You don’t really believe that the owner and the local constabulary couldn’t put a stop to things if the will power was there do you?

It isn’t and they don’t.

From what I have herd Dotty is a great dive site with loads of interesting stuff to dive. If under prepared divers who are inadequately trained wish to explore the depths then that’s their look out. I would much rather they killed themselves in Dotty than on a boat. At least you’re guaranteed to find the body in Dotty.  

So lets all climb off our high horses and may the first person that refused to dive the Thisstlegorm or the countless military or merchant navy wrecks in the UK cast the first stone.

Mark Chase
PROTECTION OF MILITARY REMAINS ACT 1986

The Protection of Military Remains Act deals with military remains of both aircraft and ships. All military aircraft are automatically designated under this legislation.

Vessels may be designated under this Act either as a Protected Place or as a Controlled Site. Divers may visit a Protected Place on a "look but don't touch" basis. Divers are prohibited from visiting Controlled Sites.

Is the Thitlegorm a Protected Place or Controlled Site?

I do agree with most of your points Mark. The leaseholder could have done well with this site - IF he wanted to. I don't understand why he holds the lease if he has no intention to do anything - except to put price up perhaps? I wonder how long the lease has to go?

However if he says NO to access, thats should be it as far as we are concerned. If you say no to someone who wants to walk across your garden, you want them to honour that request. Don't you?

The tresspass thing does not really come into play, divers could be sued for an access charge, unlikely though. The criminal offence of Aggravated Trespass is trespass to interfere with a legal occurence.

I don't have a high horse re this. However it is quite easy for the general public to misunderstand the risks of diving and the issues of tresspass at Dotty, and tar us all with an 'irresponsible' brush. This can harm us all. Yes the diver could have died of a heart attack driving to dive at Stoney. He didn't though. He died in the water at Dotty. Sad, but true.

In my diving life I have been to the funeral/wakes of two divers. I do know what it is like to go through, so I do not mean to appear heartless. Just a thought, could diving at a proscribed site enable an insurance company to get out of paying any life insurance? Thus leaving his family with an even worse future.

Adrian
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>Well said Mark Chase.

Dotty is a great site, and I will continue to train there.
The arguments about its saftey etc are rubbish - what facilities are available 10miles off shore in a RIB?

My thoughts go out to the family of the divers concerned but we knew there were risks involved when we started diving, right?

Stu.
 

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Designated war graves came in a couple of years ago. Prior to that the diving community was slagged for diving ALL war graves and in some circles we still are.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Is the Thitlegorm a Protected Place or Controlled Site?
Yes

That’s why there are no permanent moorings around the Thistlegorm. It is illegal under Egyptian law to dive the site.



[b said:
Quote[/b] ]I do agree with most of your points Mark. The leaseholder could have done well with this site - IF he wanted to. I don't understand why he holds the lease if he has no intention to do anything - except to put price up perhaps? I wonder how long the lease has to go?
He doesn’t want to develop the site as a dive site he wants to make it into a land fill site. His applications have been reputedly turned down.



[b said:
Quote[/b] ]However if he says NO to access, thats should be it as far as we are concerned. If you say no to someone who wants to walk across your garden, you want them to honour that request. Don't you?
There’s No and there’s No. It is generally accepted that he doesn’t really care but is saying no to avoid the responsibility of being the owner of the potentially dangerous site.

Under the Occupiers Liability act of 1984 the Occupier of a property who has given express or implied permission to a person be on a property has a 'common duty of care' to that person.

As an example if the postman visiting your house and rightfully entering on your land, trips over and breaks his arm on a loose paving slab on your path. You as the occupier of the property would be liable for damages.

Your only defence would be to prove that you had refused permission to enter the land (in this case, for safety reasons) and the postman was in fact trespassing.

This pretty much covers the situation at Dotti. No one to my knowledge has been prosecuted for trespassing at Dotti and the Police are powerless to act, as it is a civil offence. It would be very simple for the owner to turn up on a busy Sunday and have 100 divers arrested and charged with trespasses. That would really put people off. This hasn’t happened ever.

If I was in the owners place, I would do the same thing to avoid potentially crippling damages claims. It also has the advantage of enhancing his quest for the site to be filled up with rubbish an act that would make him a LOT of money as apposed to a poorly located and treacherous dive centre that would be a labour of love at best.

Any one who has attempted to get to Dotti will understand what I mean. It’s in the arse end of beyond on small B roads and access to the dive site is rubbish. Which is a shame because prior to the opening of the NDC with its 70m section for mix training I thought it would be a good investment.

Mark Chase
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Mark Chase @ Dec. 20 2003,15:01)]
[b said:
Quote[/b] (Adrian Kelland @ Dec. 20 2003,11:55)]
Designated war graves came in a couple of years ago. Prior to that the diving community was slagged for diving ALL war graves and in some circles we still are.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Is the Thitlegorm a Protected Place or Controlled Site?
Yes

That’s why there are no permanent moorings around the Thistlegorm. It is illegal under Egyptian law to dive the site.
I have read various bits and peices of what is supposed to be illegal in Egypt, diving past 30m for instance. No one has provided a primary source similar to your references below. If it is illegal, why do the authorities give daily permission to dive there when each boat's itineary is signed off? Financial is the easy answer I suppose.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]
[b said:
Quote[/b] ]I do agree with most of your points Mark. The leaseholder could have done well with this site - IF he wanted to. I don't understand why he holds the lease if he has no intention to do anything - except to put price up perhaps? I wonder how long the lease has to go?
He doesn’t want to develop the site as a dive site he wants to make it into a land fill site. His applications have been reputedly turned down.
I'm not surprised. I expect that there is a huge risk of polluting local aquifers. The pit filled after pumping was stopped, so there must be a fair supply somewhere.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]
[b said:
Quote[/b] ]However if he says NO to access, thats should be it as far as we are concerned. If you say no to someone who wants to walk across your garden, you want them to honour that request. Don't you?
There’s No and there’s No. It is generally accepted that he doesn’t really care but is saying no to avoid the responsibility of being the owner of the potentially dangerous site.

Under the Occupiers Liability act of 1984 the Occupier of a property who has given express or implied permission to a person be on a property has a 'common duty of care' to that person.

As an example if the postman visiting your house and rightfully entering on your land, trips over and breaks his arm on a loose paving slab on your path. You as the occupier of the property would be liable for damages.

Your only defence would be to prove that you had refused permission to enter the land (in this case, for safety reasons) and the postman was in fact trespassing.

This pretty much covers the situation at Dotti. No one to my knowledge has been prosecuted for trespassing at Dotti and the Police are powerless to act, as it is a civil offence. It would be very simple for the owner to turn up on a busy Sunday and have 100 divers arrested and charged with trespasses. That would really put people off. This hasn’t happened ever.
My understanding of the Welsh Asembly meeting of 1st Feb 2002, was that diving should only take place with the expressed written permission of Glyn Small. I don't see how this can be interpreted as an implied permssion. This seems like a pretty good 'NO' to me.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]If I was in the owners place, I would do the same thing to avoid potentially crippling damages claims. It also has the advantage of enhancing his quest for the site to be filled up with rubbish an act that would make him a LOT of money as apposed to a poorly located and treacherous dive centre that would be a labour of love at best.

Any one who has attempted to get to Dotti will understand what I mean. It’s in the arse end of beyond on small B roads and access to the dive site is rubbish. Which is a shame because prior to the opening of the NDC with its 70m section for mix training I thought it would be a good investment.
Yet there are tight fisted divers who will happily drive on past Chepstow on their way to Dorothea. I can understand this if they want those particular depths, but not for initial Trimix training. Nowt so strange as folk.

It is a shame that Glyn Small is behaving like he is. But that is his choice. Divers may dive there, their choice, but they should not be too suprised when brickbats are thrown at us every time someone dies there.

Perhaps we should discuss with the Ramblers Assoc, re developing a 'right to dive' along with the 'right to roam' legislation.

Adrian
 
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