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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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Please carry on you have my full attention and gratitude for taking the time out to do this for us.

ATB

Mark Chase
 

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Hi Mark !

Will tell a short version as I have a flight to Cape Town in an hour...will be doing a talk on this there on monday night.

Dave went down with Don short while later, when Don got to 50m he realised Dave was not coming back, no accent bubbles. He went to 226m (depth on his VR 3) and his hammerhead controller imploded (thats another story). He bailed on to OC and started coming up. He did see dave's light below but it was still. Mark and Dusan went to 150m and waited for 6 min, the plan was 4 mins. I met them at 90m, they wrote "one light below, Don Or Dave??"

I went to 124m where I met Don. He was on the RB again and was ok. He wrote "Dave is not coming back" I went up and met steve at +- 80m, showed him the slate and he carried on down. Then Lo came past and went down.

Steve got to Don and Don was fine, Lo met Don at around 90m and he was fine, he stopped Lo from going deeper (Lo was supposed to meet Dave at depth to check on him) we all got pretty stuck around the 15 m mark as space is very limited and all deco stops "came together"

Steve was the first guy to get a message to the surface that Dave is gone. We had a weighted line at 12 m to attache slates to. I did not pass my slate up until later.

Gerhard met Don at around 60m, he was fine, next safety diver, Truwin went in and did not come out, gerhard went in again and relieved Truwin at Don's side. Truwin then came back with the news that Don has a serious problem.

The two 150m divers rested 4 hrs at the bottom and then went home. The rest of us stayed and supported Don for the next 8 or so hours, Gerhard Truwin, Steven and Lo did multiple dives to have someone with Don continoiusly, I went in once more for 30 min. I was also mixing gasses that Jack needed for the chamber (50/50) "air breaks" between dives.

It was decided to pull Don out from 3m stop as he has now been on oc for a long (cold) time and he had a slight pain in his leg. still vomiting. 3m stop would have no more value, chamber better.

I was at the top, the guys got him out of the water, paramedic stabalized and got a drip in, he was on the stretcher, hoisted to the top of the cliff and in the chamber in 22 minutes (practise run was arround 35) 8 hr treatment, came out a 3am, went in again early next morning and had a treatment a day till he left for the UK around the middle Jan. (will check exact dates later if it becomes an issue)

I stayed behind to get gear out the water, we had tanks at 150, 100, 80, 60, 40, 20metres.

On Sunday, no diving, press conference. Truwin went to 60m and got some out and brought the rest up to 30m. Monday, Myself, Steven cleared all shallow tanks and I tied a line to the two shotlines with the intention of cutting them at the roof and then pulling them out from the surface (full story later...must go !)

On Wednesday Petrus (who drove 300 km to come help) and myself went to 100m, got tanks, put 2 smb's on and inflated, pulled the line up about 55m. The police now pulled from the surface to "straighten" this loop in the water. We got the tanks at 80m and the 150m came up as the guys pulled.

The bodies was dislodged by all this and floated right past us to the roof (did not see this) the 2 police guys at 20m saw the bodies and tried to get my attention but I was too deep still on deco. Came out, got told by them, went in 2 hrs later and got them out.

Must really go now, back on Wed morning and promised to try and answer any questions...
cya!
 

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Tek & RB Instructor: fluent in 'Franglaise'
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Thankyou for your explanation BigB.

Dave
 

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BigB said:
This is getting a bit long...will stop here and carry on if there is interest, don't want to clogg your forum. I will accept private mail or skype chat but prefer to do this openly so everyone gets the true facts...1 thing I think we owe Dave.
tanks...
Hey B,

Got your Skype mate, enjoy Cape Town, speak when we get back.

Don't apologise mate, and it's not too long!! I think the board benefits from a full and honest exchange/update on events surrounding the dive and the loss of Dave from someone 'on scene' - it also helps to dispell some of the media-laid-myths which have built up around this case .

Submit as much as you want mate, it won't be 'clogging' the boards, I asure you!!
 

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Resident 'Jawling Man' and 'Graunching Specialist'
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Small addition

The boffin Frans Cronje is Dr Frans Cronje and amongst other things he is head of Divers Alert Network (DAN) South Africa.

Thanks for the info BigB.
 

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And said:
CCR's don't have a co2 sensor (sorry, yet :) )
There are considerable scientific and technological problems with CO2 sensing which makes the production of a reliable sensing unit for RBs extremely unlikely with current technologies
 

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Hi guys,
back from CT where I had a presentation on the events a Boesmans, Verna and myself will go down there ( boesmans) this weekend with reporter from outside magazine ??( yank?) Will also remove the last line that is still stuck at 60 m.
We had about 120 people at the talk and had lots of very possitive feedback.
Don Shirley is fine ( spoke this morn...he's mixing my gas !! damn well hope he's fine !) any questions I'm happy to talk about it !
cya!
 

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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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Just to make things clear I don’t know jack about recovery or working at depth apart from the fact it’s to be avoided especially on CCR, so this is a question not a criticism.

When I read the plan to recover the body, I was amazed to see the amount of work Dave was going to have to do. Cutting the harness, and wrapping the body in a bag seemed a massive amount to achieve in 6mins at 270m.

With the body at such depth (Very cold little / no 02) and in an environment (I assume) clear of carrion fish, I was also surprised to read that they felt the body would be a skeleton.

What was the thinking on this and how was the body bag to be lifted?

ATB

Mark Chase
 

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Hi Mark,
when Dave got to the body in Oct 2004 the head and hands were skeletonised, he spoke to a lot of medical people and was assured that the body was skeleton and would weigh nothing ( be negatively bouyant- or at least lie still..)
The bag was specifically for that, so that bits would not fall off or out of tyhe wetsuit. As it was the skull and hands did not come up but on ther video it can be seen that those fell of while Dave was working on the body.
Dave did Practise with a real diver ( Don) at 20 m and managed to put him in the bag in under 2 min.
The bag was specifically made for this, made of silk with drawstrings arround the ankles, middle and top. The plan was to put the feet in, pull the drawstring and then work the bag up till the waist, then cut the BC webbing of ( asuming the tanks were stuck in the mud as he originally found) and slip it the rest of the way, the bag was then to be passed up to Don ( 220) and from Don to me (84)
 

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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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15,343 Posts
BigB said:
Hi Mark,
when Dave got to the body in Oct 2004 the head and hands were skeletonised, he spoke to a lot of medical people and was assured that the body was skeleton and would weigh nothing ( be negatively bouyant- or at least lie still..)
The bag was specifically for that, so that bits would not fall off or out of the wetsuit. As it was the skull and hands did not come up but on ther video it can be seen that those fell of while Dave was working on the body.
Dave did Practise with a real diver ( Don) at 20 m and managed to put him in the bag in under 2 min.
The bag was specifically made for this, made of silk with drawstrings arround the ankles, middle and top. The plan was to put the feet in, pull the drawstring and then work the bag up till the waist, then cut the BC webbing of ( asuming the tanks were stuck in the mud as he originally found) and slip it the rest of the way, the bag was then to be passed up to Don ( 220) and from Don to me (84)

Sorry I got it wrong, I was sure I had read the body was mummified, which made sense given the conditions. If it was skeletal than it’s a different set of concerns.

Thanks for clearing that up


ATB

Mark Chase
 

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Mark,

You had it right!! The body was mummified !!! Dave thought it wasn´t as he only saw the head and hands in October 2004.

The mummified body was neutral and floating all over the show ( also Alli tanks )

There are little shrimp like things at that depth and you could see them on the video that would have eaten the hands I suppose, the rest coverred by the suit was mummified ( like soap almost ).

Dave could have actually just picked the body up and gone for the surface ( hindsight..) I think he became totally focused with the depth and increased Narcotic effect brought on by CO2 build up and just did not think..
 

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A short fat well off crap cave diver. Likes wrecks
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Yes Hindsight is a wonderful thing; If you could bottle it any idiot could appear clever. It’s so frustrating to sit here and think why didn’t he do this? Why didn’t he do that? But of course its very easy saying that sitting at my desk.

I am amazed that the shrimps exist down there that must be a meagre existence. We/I haven’t seen much of the video over here just a few heavily edited clips from a news broad cast.

I was amazed that Dons Hammer head unit imploded despite being for the most part oil filled and yet the VR3's worked. Were there any mods to the VR3s?


ATB

Mark Chase
 

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VR 3 ...1 got wet, other 1 fine, Dave's were both fine.
Hammerhead controller imploded because we drained the oil to fix a wiring problem...refilled it with same oil but there was a small airbubble when we were finished....hindsight...did not have enough oil to fill completely but thought it was enough..
no mods at all on VR 3, fixed hammerhead with tin foil !!!!
cya!
 

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http://www.sundaytimes.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,7034,15289847%5E1702,00.html

Video reveals diver's final moments

14may05

AMONG the dive gear, gas tanks, computers and lights that expert cave diver Dave Shaw carried during his final, fatal, descent, a tiny helmet-mounted camera proved to be the most valuable piece of equipment.

The video camera, contained in a custom-made aluminium housing designed to withstand incredible water pressure, provided investigators with vital clues as to why Mr Shaw perished at the bottom of Bushman's Cave in Northern Cape, South Africa, on January 8.

The remarkable pictures, to be screened for the first time on ABC TV's Australian Story this Monday, show Mr Shaw becoming entangled in a line guiding him to the cave bottom, and fumbling to release himself as the timeframe for his safe return to the surface expired.

An airline pilot by profession, 50-year-old Mr Shaw - who was originally from Perth but had been based in Hong Kong since 1989 - took up scuba diving just seven years ago.

However, with his irrepressible urge to "push the boundaries", he became a world champion in the extreme sport of technical diving, in which divers use rebreathers to recirculate exhaled air at great depths.

While completing a world record 270 metre decent at Bushman's Cave last October, Mr Shaw discovered the remains of a 20-year-old diver, Deon Dreyer, who had drowned there in 1994.

Mr Shaw decided to retrieve the body and return it to Mr Dreyer's parents, requiring a dangerous and complicated mission allowing only five minutes at the bottom of the pitch-black cave and more than 12 hours of decompression before resurfacing.

Accompanied by an expert diving support team including dive partner Don Shirley and underwater cameraman Derek Hughes, an eight-man police dive squad, mine rescue personnel, medical and hyperbaric chamber personnel and film crew, the dive was a massive operation.

Documentary maker Gordon Hiles, whose footage will also be screened on Monday night, arranged for Mr Shaw to record his dive with the helmet camera.

"The plan was about an hour 20, an hour 30 minutes after the start of Dave's dive that Deon's body should be coming to the surface," Mr Hiles told Australian Story.

"Eventually a slate came up from the divers at 150 metes and that stated 'No Don or Dave, only one light below'. So that was the first warning that ... something had gone off plan."

As Mr Shaw's helmet camera later revealed, the father-of-two blacked out and died from carbon dioxide poisoning as he tried to untangle himself from a line attached to Mr Dreyer's body that had unexpectedly gone slack.

Days later, the bodies of both men floated to the surface of Bushman's Cave together.

"In the strangest way Dave actually fulfilled his task of bringing Deon's body to the surface," Mr Hiles said.

The camera attached to Mr Shaw's helmet had survived more than 100 hours underwater at up to 29 atmospheres of pressure and brought to his grieving family and friends the images of his final moments of life.

Wife Ann Shaw told the program she married her teen sweetheart knowing there was a risk "something unexpected might happen and he might not come home".

"Some people would think that what David was doing was dangerous, but I feel that if there weren't people like David then we'd still be driving around in horse and carts," Mrs Shaw said.

"We wouldn't have gone to the moon, we wouldn't have climbed Mt Everest, we wouldn't have had planes to fly if there hadn't been people willing to go beyond the boundaries of human achievement.

"I wouldn't have changed David for anything."
 

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I should bloody well hope not. Its not some snuff video FFS.
There is nothing graphic whatsoever about it plus he’s not being mirdered so It doesn’t qualify as a “snuff” film I actually think they should post the whole thing although tragic it is I great educational tool to not make the same mistakes as he did I’m sure Dave would agree. Although I can understand why he’d want to go back down and on the other hand I don’t at all. I will say he is a man of his word and he kept his promise to those grieving parents who I’m sure are devastated about what transpired as well
 
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