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Notice my avatar. I am hard astern.
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I post this subject by popular demand. It is an honest report of something that happened and in no way do I advocate that anyone does the same. Please bear in mind that I am a diving god and the normal rules do not apply. However even I make the ocasional mistake.

I was diving with my wife in the Caribbean, on a wreck at around 45m deep. We were equipped with two tanks each, one of air and one of Nitrox32. I took plenty of time making photographs and as a consequence we needed around 25 minutes of total ascent time on Nitrox32.

I put up a buoy at while at 25m because there was a strong current running and I knew we would travel a long way before surfacing. I have done this quite a few times before.

To my horror, the reel jammed and I was at the surface within around 20 seconds still struggling to unjam it. I know that I should have let it go and used my redundant buoy and reel (but guess what? I didn't have one). I decided to hold on and unjam the reel because I was aware that the current was strong in one direction and the wind was going in the other. Anyway, it was an instant decision and probaly the wrong one. Even diving gods make mistakes once in a while!

So I hit the surface, inverted buoy and headed back down my wife's bubble stream and was back with her within 2 minutes. I then switched to a deco for air while breathing Nitrox32. It was an uncomfortable 40 minutes waiting for the onset of symptoms. When we finally surfaced I breathed pure oxygen for an hour awaiting the onset of possible symptoms. None were apparent.

I waited 48 hours before diving again. My computers (2 Suunto, 1 Uwatec) had recorded the incident but apart from that warning triangle that I get on every dive with the Suuntos, none went into any SOS or serious error mode.

Hyperbaric treatment would have involved a flight to Trinidad. I continued to dive without ill-effect and had my HSE medical examination as soon as I got back to the UK. I have had trips to dive in the Bahamas and the Maldives since.

When I mentioned this "fright" that I'd had to a UK diver, he immediatelty told me I should have got out of the water when I made my unsheduled visit to the surface and I was wrong to have done in-water recompression.

What do you think?

(The reel-jam was a mystery and I have not been able to recreate it since.)
 

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Thanks for posting this BJ.

I know three DIR folks who have had rapid ascents from 45m and have subsequently carried out in water deco, they had buddies with them when doing it.

Did your wife gently stroke her forearm when you came back down to her?
 

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I think I would have done the same as you.

I once had a student do 26m to the surface in around 30 seconds. We went back down, ascended very slowly, and I improvised a deco schedule, based upon WAG (Wild Arsed Guess). his computer was fine, not indicating deco, but I made us do some just in case.
 

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Riddle me this...
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I'd have done what you did and then called "International Rescue" if I had symptoms after the dive.

If I was in the UK, i'd have called Prince Williams Taxi Surface...(edit: meaning I would have got out of the water and called the chamber)
 

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Under the water i`m home
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Thanks for posting this BJ,

Just shows that we can all have a brain fart and screw up, but pleased to hear that you were unaffected by what happened, however a little suprised that your Suunto did not take exception to your rapid ascent and start sulking !
 

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i seem to remember watching a documentary on commercial diving once and one of the divers had a suspected bend, and the dive officer sent him back in the water to a shallow depth for a bit while they prepped the chamber and then he went in the pot. If in water recompression is good for them it must be good for us.

Ash
 

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aka Chimp 1 or Mavis...
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Depends!

How much deco did you have? You are experienced, knew what you were doing, and probably knew how much to extend times.

Would I recommend it to a beginner, or someone who didn't know what they were doing? No. Would I do it if placed in a similar situation, maybe, depends on how much deco and how much gas I had and weighed up what the alternatives were.

Regards
 

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Pleased you made it back OK.

FWIW I think you did the right thing, and didn't let a drama become a crisis. If you'd been injured, had an unfixable kit problem or something, then the 'stay on the surface and deal with it' idea is reasonable, but in your shoes I think I'd have done the same.

I once bobed up from 6m to the surface and back down again http://www.yorkshire-divers.com/forums/i-learned-about-diving/133524-little-pop-up-while-deco.html Seemed a better option than getting out and on the boat and waiting for the pain to arrive:)
 

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What do you think?
I think that you have proved once again that British divers who dive in Britain are the best in the world, and we know how to deal with any situation, especially if it involves life-or-death. Or spidge. Or scallies/lobbies.

I do think however that if you were diving as a 'team' this might not have happened. I know some people who you might like to talk to about 'team' diving. A good 'team' would not have allowed this to happen.
Also, your reel jam was probably caused by 'ego inflation'. This makes your head swell, and other nearby objects such as 'cave string' can be affected.

As for your choice of gas, it's a good job you had air, a the narcosis probably dulled your reactions enough that you had time to think through what you would do. If you were on three-mix then your amazingly alert senses might have overloaded your aging brain with information. This is worse than 'ego inflation', as it can actually cause a 'head explosion'. That or you might have done something sensible like cry for help, leaving your buddy down there to fend for themselves.
Haing a 'team' however would have left your buddy with another diver, so your natural instinct to go back down proves you really are a 'team player'.

Right, that's IWR covered, what's the next 'mission':)
 

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What could possibly go wrong?
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I admit that I would have done the same as you.

If I understand it correctly:

1. Help was quite a while away
2. The 'excursion' to the surface was short
3. Risk of hypothermia was probably low, given the water temperature
4. CNS clock not much of an issue, given the mixes
5. Sufficient gas was available to extend the stops that you'd missed
6. Oxygen was accepted when available at surface
7. You monitored for DCI
(8. Computers didn't lock you out)

I would suggest that the situation in the UK is a bit different, especially with respect to the water temperature and hypothermia risk. Also, if richer mixes are being used, these may increase the risk of an O2 hit. When help is generally a lot closer, then these can tip the balance in favour of getting out of the water.
 

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On a serious note, for those that want to read about IWR there is plenty of stuff around. I recall Richard Bull (I think it was him) did an article in one of the rags about IWR. They were planning on a trip tot he Solomons where there was no real option other than an Evac to Australia.

The USN have some material on it as well, including what to do if you miss a stop. I seem to recall that you go back down, then do 1.5 tims the deco.

ATEOTD the outcome might have been different, even for the same diver. Deco - it's all a theory:)

Glad you are OK Bantin, I'd miss you - even if your wife wouldn't;)
 

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Given that I had plenty of gas and was so far from a chamber, I would have done what you did. It used to be common practice on the North Sea rigs (according to a former Dive Supervisor friend of mine) for them to bring a diver requiring a significant amount of deco straight to the surface, de-kit them and put them in a chamber on the rig. This was felt to be safer than in-water deco.
 

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Silent Knight
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Didn't the Mrs have a blob and reel ?

If this happened to Nic and me I would just give myslef the '[email protected]' sign, she'd point at me and return the handsign and then send her blob up - then rip the piss out of me for the entire ascent !

As to in water reco-deco I wouldn't have any problems doing what you did and certainly would prefer that to sitting on the boat...etc... reckon I would have been back in the water sooner too *shrug* !

G
 
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aka Chimp 1 or Mavis...
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I'd have probably done the same as you, although I'd hav probably drained the 32% dry before gtting onto the boat and 100%
 

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Proud to be "small minded" in the face of credulit
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When we finally surfaced I breathed pure oxygen for an hour...
I think an air break at 30 minutes would have been prudent but, as has been pointed out, you're alive and unbent.
 

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The King Of The Divan
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I would have made the same decision as you.

Not because of the deco stuff - but because my first thought would have been about rejoining my wife as soon as I could as I wouldnt want her drifting off.

Is it the logical call - probably not; but I would want to be with her.

Not sure I would have done the same, with most of the other people I dive with :)

Snash
 

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Given that scenario, and that you made an instant decision, I'd say no problem. There would have been a problem, though, if you had become symptomatic on the ascent and deco.

What have you learned?

- carry a spare DSMB
- make sure your buddy has a DSMB
- get rid of the reel and use a spool, that won't jam ;)

:)
 
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