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The Artist formerly known as 'John Duncan'
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<font color='#F52887'>Just had the worst dive of my career as a diver when my Girlfriend had a panic attack in VERY bad viz, hyperventilated and bolted. She was OK, but it scared the shit out of me! managed to slow her down a bit and towed her back to the side of the quarry. It it bad enough when a NON related buddy does it, but when you are in love with the person in question it adds a bit to the situation. any related experience? When you balance it out, is it worth it? (in your own honest opinions)
 

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<font color='#000080'>sounds like a bad day, how is she now? and you want to watch her tomorrow because thats when it may hit her most

yes its bad for you, but to answer your question, you need to ask yourself wether your ability to help her was hindered by your emotions, if you delt with the situation to the best of your ability then you are bar far the best person to be there for her, who else can give her the emotional support you can?
 

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My main dive buddy is my wife.  A few years ago we were doing a shore dive in San Diego, she fell in the surf zone and the next thing I heard was "Tony, I'm drowning!!!!".  Of course its pretty hard to yell like that with a regulator in your mouth which means she spit it out.  I immediately yelled at her to put it back in, pushed her out of the surf zone and we stopped our diving for the day.

She is still my main dive buddy and I wouldn't have it any other way.  Now we really look at where we are going to dive, knowing a little better about her weaknesses.  There's still alot of good diving in places where she's comfortable and can handle.  For other places more challenging, both she and I know she needs to stay out and she's perfectly fine if I go with someone else.

Tony
 

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I don't agree with a couple doing anything together that can leave your children orphaned.  They can get by with one parent but losing both is not fair on them.   Eventually most couples end up having children and that's when it turns into a selfish pastime.  I think Chasey posted previously about putting yourself at risk to save your spouse but keeping a clearer head and thinking it through if it was anyone else.  I'm not saying that i won't try and help my buddy but i'm not going to tox or get so narked that i'm putting my life in danger to rescue him whereas i would with my wife, i'm with him on that one.   I won't even let my wife ride on the back of my blade because of the risks.  My wife wanted to dive up until i got bent, which put her off thankfully.  Every cloud does have a silver lining after all.
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>I dive with my wife and she makes a great buddy, we both can read each other moves and feel if something is wrong or strange before anyone else. So far -touch wood- we havn't had any frights and an experience that John Duncan got  - must have been a nightmare.
They way I see it is that diving with a loved one can be very beneficial but if something goes wrong the consequences are horrifying. I always try to dive safely independent whom I'm diving with but with my wife I'm that bit more cautious. One day when we have children we may rethink diving together, I do reckon other activities when we are together can be far more dangerous, such driving for example -at least here in Portugal.
 

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<font color='#000080'>Some good points made by Doug there; firstly about putting your whole family at risk by diving together and secondly about the selfishness of the sport.

I used to do a lot of climbing, even earned a living from it for a spell. Then a friend of ours was killed in a fall. I carried on for a while until I found out that my wife was sitting at home in a cold sweat every time I went out, expecting that I wasn't going to come home. I gave it up on the spot and have never climbed since.

Of course diving is no less dangerous, and for that matter neither is my job. A number of people are killed every year doing both. But so far, nobody close to us. So while my wife worries while I'm diving or at work and understands that there are risks, she doesn't quite percieve it as a "clear and present danger" in the same manner that she does with climbing. So for now, I'll carry on.

Of course, from within these sports I understand that the risks are present but controllable; I have never felt in any real danger either climbing or diving because I have always stayed within my limits. Because my wife has never participated she perhaps over percieves the dangers. If you are diving together, that won't be a problem.

I guess the point that Doug has raised, and the one I'm trying to stress, is this; when we go out to have our fun, how often do we think about those that we are leaving behind?
 

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Resident 'Jawling Man' and 'Graunching Specialist'
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I dive almost exclusively with my girlfriend. I agree that there is an inherent danger that one of us would put themsleves in more danger trying to rescue the other than if it were a stranger but equally we keep a closer eye on each other than normal buddies.
She is an extremely competent diver and we know each other's weaknesses and strengths and can communicate very effectively under water because we know each other really well. So overall it works very well.
We don't have kids, nor are we planning on having any in the near future but I guess that would raise some issues.
 

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Caroline & I always dive together.  We look after each other, we act as brakes on over-extending ourselves as the thought "can I do it?" is replaced by "do I want her to do it?", we communicate underwater well adn we share the plans, the trip and the enjoyment.

No kids to worry about - my mum'll take the cats if we cark it!

I large amount of the enjoyment that I get from diving is sharing it with Caroline, so I wouldn't want to leave her at home.  If it all went tits up I would want to be there to help too, so I wouldn't be happy with her diving with just anyone else - it would have to be someone I trusted implicitly.

In answer to John's question, the benfits for me outweigh the negatives by many. many times.  Enjoy diving with your girlfriend!
 

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The Artist formerly known as 'John Duncan'
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<font color='#F52887'>Update on my other half. She is OK, but a bit shook up. It all got very bad viz and our buddies disapeared around us into the murk and she took a large breath but got that air starved feeling if you overwork a reg and it wont give you as much air as you want. I think a lot of people must have had that feeling. she wasnt put on O2 and we all monitored her for any sign of anything but she is fine, better to get her back in the water ASAP before she blows it all out of proportion in her mind and it becomes a problem. Dont get me wrong, if she never wants to dive again I would respect her wishes and that is the end of the matter. Thanks for the replies.
p.s. I got her into Scuba so she got me into Snowboarding, quite a good deal!
 

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<font color='#000080'>I do the vast majority of my "fun" diving with my wife and have done so from day one.  We didn't take up diving until the kids had grown up and part of the attraction was that it was something that we could both do and enjoy together.  As has already been said there are plenty of other things, that most people do more frequently, that are more dangerous and life threatening. Many of us often drive together, sometimes fly together and numerous other things that put us jointly at risk.

We too have some first hand experience of a diving incident a couple of years ago at the Farnes.  My wife experienced difficulty after what we thought to be a successful and comfortable dive on the Somali - 30m nothing overdone, normal ascent with 5m stop, generally a good profile.  We had both be diving for a good while with plenty of UK dives under our belts

On surfacing she found it very difficult to breathe, it looked very much like a panic attack and knowing her well I immediately realised that this was something serious and required immediate action.  While supporting her as best I could I looked for the nearest boat and fortunately we managed to get her on the deck very quickly.  It was obvious that this was nothing to be trifled with and we called the Coast Guard straight away.  We headed for shore and were met at the jetty by paramedics and the air ambulance arrived soon after.

After much debate she was flown off to the nearest A&E, it was decided that she did not need to go to the chamber as they were satisfied that this was not a bend.  It was later diagnosed, after many tests that it was a flash pulmonary oedema, a very rare and unlikely to be repeated condition from which she has made a full recovery and is diving quite happily again. Throughout the 10 months she was out of the water she was adamant that I continue to dive and that if she didn't get clearance I was to carry on without her.  Fortunately she was cleared and we continue to dive together regularly.

This is a very brief account of what happened and it does not really capture the actual emotion of the incident, it was extremely scary at the time for both of us.  Although I forced myself to dive the following weekend, to “get back on the horse” it took me some months before I started to get over it.  I constantly questioned my actions, whether I did the right thing, could have done more etc., apparently quite a common situation in the emergency service for which they now receive counselling.  

My initial feeling was one of relief that I had been there. My Rescue training kicked in and thankfully I did exactly the right things albeit on autopilot.  I would not have done anything differently for someone else. However, it was due to the fact that I knew her so well that I recognised the problem very early and took action immediately.  I don’t think I would have picked it up so easily in someone I was not so close to. It was the early and decisive action that really stopped this being any worse.

There is no amount of training that could ever prepare you for the real thing.  I think that this is really more about what sort of person you are.  I have always been someone that would get involved no matter where the incident, car/bike accident in the street, accident at work or diving. You just can’t say until it happens.  If you are the sort of person that will get involved you’ll probably do it regardless of who your buddy is.

There are advantages of personal knowledge, medical history normal/abnormal responses. I remember someone on the boat saying she must be bent as her nail beds and lips were blue, highly unlikely as she had put on blue nail polish the day before and her lips are always bluish - this was “normal” for her. I was also on hand to give a complete and accurate medical history to the doctors in A&E.

I have to agree with Lou, the benefits far outweigh the negatives.  All you can do in life is be aware of risks and not be reckless.
 

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Not something I know about as my SO does not dive, but I can make a few observations on couples I have dived around.

One becomes lazy or dependant on the other. This may be as much to do with their relationship as diving. I can't recall a diving couple that appear to be equals. I don't mean experience, but the way they behave. One looks to the other for planning, decisions, even to 'where did you put my (insert kit name here)'. I would not bet on both, or even one, surviving an incident to the leader.

Training. If one is training the other, I have noticed that it goes one of two ways. Either the trainer is too soft on the traininee regarding skills, or more likely, too harsh on them. I have seen issues between couples that would not have happened between other intructor/trainers. If I was a DO/TO I would not easily sanction such a training relationship bias, especially when other trainees will be affected.

I realise this may seem harsh to some, but it is based on what I have observed. And as I said, may be as much to do with their relationship as diving.

Adrian
 

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<font color='#000080'>
[b said:
Quote[/b] (Adrian Kelland @ Aug. 26 2003,15:12)]One becomes lazy or dependant on the other. This may be as much to do with their relationship as diving. I can't recall a diving couple that appear to be equals. I don't mean experience, but the way they behave. One looks to the other for planning, decisions, even to 'where did you put my (insert kit name here)'. I would not bet on both, or even one, surviving an incident to the leader.
An interesting observation - clearly a generalisation, and I'm sure some of the diving couples here may disagree. However, I must agree that it is exactly typical of the one or two diving couples that I know.

Having said that, it is surely more a symptom of their relationship in general than their diving in particular, and is equally applicable to other regular diving pairs who are not social items. It is perfectly natural for one member of any pair to be dominant, even if only marginally.

I'd say that it is more a sign of discrepancy in experience, ability and confidence. Your observations about safety apply equally to a pair consisting of instructor and trainee. I think the association of this phenomena with diving couples arises because it is far more likely that they will have a discrepancy in ability in that scenario. Non-couples are more likely to seek buddies with matching skills and ability.

Therefore, I don't think that there is a direct link between your observations of behaviour and the fact that there is an intimate relationship.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Mark Davies @ Aug. 26 2003,16:23)]
[b said:
Quote[/b] (Adrian Kelland @ Aug. 26 2003,15:12)]One becomes lazy or dependant on the other. This may be as much to do with their relationship as diving. I can't recall a diving couple that appear to be equals. I don't mean experience, but the way they behave. One looks to the other for planning, decisions, even to 'where did you put my (insert kit name here)'. I would not bet on both, or even one, surviving an incident to the leader.
An interesting observation - clearly a generalisation, and I'm sure some of the diving couples here may disagree. However, I must agree that it is exactly typical of the one or two diving couples that I know.

Having said that, it is surely more a symptom of their relationship in general than their diving in particular, and is equally applicable to other regular diving pairs who are not social items. It is perfectly natural for one member of any pair to be dominant, even if only marginally.
Oh yes, definitely a generalisation, but on those I have seen and known them to be couples. I do think it possible for a couple's relationship to interfere with safe diving. But, yes, this can go for any buddy pair, but generally
most buddy pairs don't share the same bed, domestic rows, etc. I daresay you have seen domestics interfere with, and cause events that you would never want to see carried over into diving.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]I'd say that it is more a sign of discrepancy in experience, ability and confidence. Your observations about safety apply equally to a pair consisting of instructor and trainee. I think the association of this phenomena with diving couples arises because it is far more likely that they will have a discrepancy in ability in that scenario. Non-couples are more likely to seek buddies with matching skills and ability.
Good point re experience discrepancy, and I agree, but I have seen this in couples nominally of the same grade. Of course, grade does not mean experience. Allowing such a couple to dive together for sometime may also reinforce such discrepancies, even if further training continues. I would try to draw out the 'subs' dominant role by buddying them with a less experienced diver. With appropriate training & supervision of course.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Therefore, I don't think that there is a direct link between your observations of behaviour and the fact that there is an intimate relationship.
I think there will be different behaviour in the water, precisely because there is a different relationship between the pair. Others in this thread have expressed a difference to how they might approach a rescue situation. Would you want to dive with someone, who normally diving with a SO, might be less inclined to rescue you, although they may go that bit further to rescue their SO. BTW, I have heard from firemen that they would go into a situation where family was involved, that they would not normally approach. Training goes out the window when it comes to family. In our lark this could lead to 2 dead parents, rather than 1.

I have no doubt that there are plenty of couples who make good buddy pairs. I also know that there are also couples that I don't think should dive together.

Adrian

Phew, I think that all came out right  
 

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<font color='#000080'>Well, yes. I suppose we should narrow matters down to the essence of John's original question - Does being in love with your dive buddy have a positive/negative effect on your diving?

I think it was Mark Chase who mentioned in another thread that he expected that he would take more risks to rescue his wife if she was in danger than he would with any other buddy. It seems perfectly rational to make this assumption. However, I think that underestimates the strength of human nature.

As a police officer I work very closely with a small group of people. We face common risks and dangers which creates a bond between us. We are friends as well as colleagues and with a common aim. It is a relationship very similar to that of dive buddies.

Time and again, when a situation has really hit the fan, I have seen people expose themselves to risk with little consideration for their own safety, in order to help out a colleague. I have done it myself, and have to say that when your mind is full of concern for your friend's safety the last thing you think about is yourself. You will do anything within your ability to help them out. It takes a very strong will to make a cold and calculated assessment of the dangers and then step back.

So in that respect, whether you're in love with your buddy or just have the general sense of duty and care that we all should have, I'm not sure it makes any difference to the way you will react in an emergency.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Mark Davies @ Aug. 26 2003,17:04)]Well, yes. I suppose we should narrow matters down to the essence of John's original question - Does being in love with your dive buddy have a positive/negative effect on your diving?
Thats the fun of forums, but I digress  


Luckily I'm not in love with any of my dive buddies, so its not a problem.

Can we have a poll now for lusting after a buddy (or someone elses), or even their equipment.  


Adrian
 

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The Artist formerly known as 'John Duncan'
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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Lou @ Aug. 26 2003,17:23)]But if you're not in love with your dive buddy isn't it odd when you kiss underwater?
<font color='#F52887'>YES, BUT ONLY BECAUSE IT IS WETTER THAN USUAL.
[b said:
Quote[/b] ] One becomes lazy or dependant on the other.
I agree, Adrian. since I started diving, I made sure that I was sure of myself even if I couldnt be sure of my buddy I had just met. I think this has made me a better diver.
 

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Slightly different slant on this one as my dive buddy/loved one is my son, we enjoy the equality that diving brings as either of us can call a dive off or request a return to the surface with no question asked.
I had a single incident when Adam got a bit bouyant and acted immediately to pull him back, I'm not sure I would have done that with somebody I had just met. Should he drop away from me I'm pretty sure I'd go with him until we either got it back or died trying. My biggest concern is coming back from a dive without him, I don't think it would do my marriage a lot of good. My wife bless her has the worry not only of me not returning but her beloved son too, but then again I ride a motorbike into London every day and have done for many years so I suppose she has learned to cope with the awful phone call.
I think if she wanted to dive we'd do it together too.
Matt
 
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