YD Scuba Diving Forums banner
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

1,099 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Imported post

Came on across this on one of the other diving web sites:

Cork City Coroner, Dr Myra Cullinane, last week recorded an open verdict at the conclusion of the inquest into the death of Nic Gotto, Union Hall, County Cork, who died in July 1998 whilst using the Buddy Inspiration Rebreather. The coroners court heard that Nic and some friends were due to dive to the Kowloon Bridge wreck, just a few miles south of Glandore harbour in County Cork, when the tradgy happened. Nic and his buddy entered the water as normal and proceeded to the bow of the wreck at 9m. All was well at thisstage, Nic was seen to have looked at his handsets and then signalled Ok to his buddy. He indicated a direction for the dive to continue and lead the way with his buddy following behind. The visibility was very poor that day and Nic's buddy lost sight of him for a few minutes only able to follow by using Nic's torch beam for direction. Within a few minutes the buddy came upon Nic lying on his back with his mouthpiece out and having what appeared to be a convulsion. His buddy immediately realised that Nic was in trouble and attempt to rescue him. In the rescue attempt Nic's buddy lost his own mouthpiece and weight belt and started to ascend. He made it to the 9m mark and managed to alert another pair of divers that Nic was in trouble. One of the other divers quickly found Nic and assisted him to the surface where he was taken onboard the boat and CPR was administered for 45 minutes after which time the Air Sea Rescue helicopter winched him on board and flew him to hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The court heard that Nic's rebreather was dropped during his rescue and was not recovered for some days. On inspection the Buddy Inspiration Rebreather was found to be in good working order and no alterations had been made to the kit. There was a reading on both guages. Both handsets, when opened, were found to be cracked and full of seawater. Nic had been seen to be having difficulties calibrating his equipment prior to getting on the boat. On the boat prior to the dive, Nic dismantled and cleaned and re assembled his equipment, breathed from the unit and prepared to enter the water. It was noted that no alarm was heard at anytime before, during and after Nic was brought to the surface. Mr Hogan, the pathologist at Cork University Hospital, said that Nic had suffered drowning after a metabolic event had occurred leading to him losing consciousness, he said that it might have Hyperoxia or Hycapnia. It was recorded that Nic had completed approx. 10 dives on the equipment. As no one had witnessed Nic changing the scrubber canister the manufactures, AP Valves, did make a submission that it might have been Hypercapnia that lead to Nic's demise. Nic's widow Rachel was able to tell the court that of two 20kg drums of sofnalime at her house over half of one is gone. The coroner seemed satisfied that this suggested that Nic had replaced the scruba contents. At the end of three days the Jury were directed to return one of three possible verdicts, accidental death, death by misadventure and open verdict. They returned the latter.
During questioning, a witness who initially reported that Nic told her the scrubber could last 10 hours, confirmed this 10 hours could well have related to the O2 cylinder duration and not the scrubber.

My condolencies to Rachel, Nic's wife, and his three daughters, two who are teenagers and one little girl who has never seen her father.
1 - 1 of 1 Posts