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CORONER CRITICAL OF DEEP DIVES WITHOUT RECENT PRACTICE

An inquest into the death of Graham Law, the 40-year-old diver who died in August after a fast ascent from the wreck Pagenturm, has concluded that he drowned. The coroner commented that a deep, 48m dive may have been over-ambitious for a diver who had not dived for the previous 5 months.

The inquest was held at Brighton Magistrates Court. The coroner heard a first hand account from Mr Law's younger brother Richard, 37, who had accompanied him on the dive. Richard Law related how the divers had experienced difficulty with a delayed SMB on their ascent. When the SMB failed to maintain buoyancy at the surface on two occasions, both divers sank back down to the seabed, away from the wreck, in about 50m. Both now had over 20 minutes of decompression stops to complete, and Graham Law was running low on air. A third attempt to fill the SMB resulted in an entanglement, with both divers caught up and dragged rapidly to the surface.

A police officer from the Brighton Underwater Recovery Team reported that Graham Law's equipment was in working order, but the SMB reel was 'bird-nested', and his cylinder was virtually empty.

Graham Law surfaced unconscious and never recovered, despite attempts to resuscitate him. Richard Law suffered serious neurological DCI and has still only partly recovered after extensive treatment at Whipp's Cross hyperbaric chamber. 5 November 2002
 

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I just saw this over there myself.
Bad way to go. Bit silly doing a 48m dive after 5 months no diving. Then to start messing about with a dsmb at depth!
People need to start taking better care of themselves and the people they dive with before as well as during the dive.
To many incidents like this and diving will get a bad name and stricter rules. The last thing we want is any legislation coming into force like maximum depths, etc.
 

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I'm at a loss to understand it. Everyone knows the risk's involved but a few choose to flaunt the guidelines.
As for diving getting a bad name, we've only just avoided government intervention re wrecks so I think diving has a couple of PR issues already.

Legislation on dive limits? a bit too hard to enforce so I don't think there's too much worry there.
 

· A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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Trimix was not mentioned so narcosis would have been a big factor once the stress set in. staying deep to sort out an SMB is madness and somthing I am sure neither diver would have done given time and a clear head to think about it.

Unfortunatly SMB issues feature a lot in diving incidents yet its somthing very rareley taught untill into Advanced Nitrox level diving. I had the grand total of no training in sending up an SMB and one trip to the surface because of one. So self taught and lerning the hard way in my case. Not good at all. The agencies should look carefulley at this and not rely on individual instructros to sort out the problem.


ATB

Mark Chase
 

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nigelH said:
Why bump a two and a half year old story?
Start of the diving season for many, so a timely warning.
Such an important issue in many accidents.
Mark also makes a very important comment about training. I was never taught how to send up a blob but just practiced and practiced in shallow water. I agree it should be mandatory in training - at least in the UK where they are used all the time.
 

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Trimix was not mentioned so narcosis would have been a big factor once the stress set in. staying deep to sort out an SMB is madness and somthing I am sure neither diver would have done given time and a clear head to think about it.
The report says they sank back down after experiencing difficulty with a DSMB. It sounds like the DSMB was not fully inflated and buoyancy control was questionable - take a note, being negative under a DSMB is pretty dubious, despite many divers believing it is acceptable.

Now personally I can't think of a better way to induce Narcossis on myself than jumping into 30m+ of water after a 5 month break. I have to ask the question whether Trimix should be used to combat narcs when a diver is not dived up? I don't think so, it probably just means being fully aware that you are fecked.

Don't assume your skills can survive a five month lay off, that is the lesson I see here. A very apt one this time of year. I spent the Winter helping out with training in Portland harbour and the quarries but yesterdays first 'real' dive of the year was still just a bimble on the Mulburry - complete with Dolphin experience during the boat trip :)

Even at this late stage my thoughts are with the family.
 

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ChrisP said:
Start of the diving season for many, so a timely warning.
Such an important issue in many accidents.
Mark also makes a very important comment about training. I was never taught how to send up a blob but just practiced and practiced in shallow water. I agree it should be mandatory in training - at least in the UK where they are used all the time.
DSMB training is included in BSAC training. SD and DL. (Mid Water) but really it needs LOTS of practice. Especially shallow mid water deployment. We try and encourage DSMB in normal use but alot of people only carry it is backup. Which means they are rusty when they do need to use it.

But I must say that as long as you have sufficient line 60+ then deploying from 48m on a wreck is not that difficult if you anchor it etc.

Gary
 

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nigelH said:
Why bump a two and a half year old story?
Like I need a reason tp promote diver safety - the stories are not 'time restrained' and if lessons can be learnt by new divers/readers?! :rolleyes:

NigelH said:
There were better reports than this at the time.
Then don't just sit there, dig 'em out and post 'em! ;)
 

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I know it's easy to judge after an event when looking at it from the outside, however...........

1. If the equipment was not faulty, why did they sink back down? and why didn't they just look at their computers?

2. Why not do a controled mid water ascent without the DSMB after it failing twice? or at least get to less that 20m before trying it again?

But as mentioned previously, why do a dive like that after 5 months off anyway?

Some people are just an accident waiting to happen, but they know better than everyone else, so it couldn't happen to them!

James
 

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Mark Chase said:
Unfortunatly SMB issues feature a lot in diving incidents yet its somthing very rareley taught untill into Advanced Nitrox level diving. I had the grand total of no training in sending up an SMB and one trip to the surface because of one. So self taught and lerning the hard way in my case.
Excellent point, think I'll set up a poll on this
 

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over-ambitious is spot on,

48m dive is a deco dive , no plan b c or d
dsmd its a aid for the skipper on the boat not for divers to drag them selves back from the deep.

Steve G
 

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Dsmb

Mark Chase said:
Trimix was not mentioned so narcosis would have been a big factor once the stress set in. staying deep to sort out an SMB is madness and somthing I am sure neither diver would have done given time and a clear head to think about it.

Unfortunatly SMB issues feature a lot in diving incidents yet its somthing very rareley taught untill into Advanced Nitrox level diving. I had the grand total of no training in sending up an SMB and one trip to the surface because of one. So self taught and lerning the hard way in my case. Not good at all. The agencies should look carefulley at this and not rely on individual instructros to sort out the problem.


ATB

Mark Chase
Spot on Mark, why doesn't PADI provide training on this as part of, at least the AOW? big gap in thinking me thinks. :frown:
 

· Frightened of the dark!!!
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self inflating dsmb

Its always sad to read about a diving death.

One of the biggest difficulties with deploying an smb whilst under stress is inflating the bugger.

Especially if on ccr.

Our group all carry Self Inflating SMB's. Crack it and let it go. Just make sure the reel is not attatched so if it snarls you can let go.

Expensive, but a godsend in an "oh sh**t" scenario.

I would recommend it

BUT PRACTICE IN A POOL HOVERING IN MID WATER FIRST
 
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