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PSAI Instructor Trainer
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Dear all,
have been thinking about this (unusual for me) however a couple of recent posts etc. brought this up again..

I think that one of the most useful features of a good diving forum, is that it generates an atmosphere where people can share experiences, including near misses or mistakes for all of us to learn from.. We've been using near miss reviews for some time in the outdoor industry and provided that they are supportive and that people look at the learning! ( ie. not defensive or trying to score points off people, or trying to prove how much you know!)     It helps people review incidents, it also can help those of us with less experience learn from other people and to review a potential cock-up from a safe distance...

So please! lets make it a feature of Y. Divers and lets not get into flaming or handbag chucking. If people are able to share incidents on here we all may learn something! and it will encourage people to be open if they know there not going to be on the receiving end of 57 critical opinions. ( I know that the other side is somebody who a total pratt and isn't interested in learning... but why let an exception spoil it for the majority??)

I'd like to know peoples opinion to this!

Do you feel it could be a useful feature, I know BSAC use it in their mag. Maybe your bad day out could save someone else having an epic or even save a life..
 

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Maybe even set up a forum for it..?
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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I think it deserves a seperate heading so we know where to look without having to search too far. I totally agree with the idea, any near miss should be a learning excercise for everyone and not an excuse to flame. The guys that have been Man (Woman?) enough to open up have done us all a favour. It might be something simple like forgetting to do a Buddy check and then spotting a mis-routed hose, or something more serious like getting bent, both are learning opportunities. We dont get many opportunities to get it wrong  in this sport do we?
Matt
 

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Great idea,

From a Newbie's perspective it would be an excellent and valued source of information which isn't readily available.  When I read through dive mags and forums I get a little overwhelmed at the knowledge out there (everyone seems to already now everything!), and sometimes think to myself when asking a question "I'm I going to look like a bigger tw*t than usual!" (luckily everyone here has been very kind in that respect
)

So indeed I would like very much to see this and for people to use it properly!!, we all make cockup's its learning from them which is the hardest part!  Fantastic idea!
 

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Lucky Man
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Excellent idea.
Let's have a separate forum, "Incidents" or some such, so people feel invited to open up. Any administrators out there feel inclined to set this up?
And let's have people who post unhelpful or mocking replies jumped on by all and sundry, nip that sort of thing in the bud.

In the spirit, I had a "learning experience" on Monday...

Brighton, 31m wreck dive on air. Deployed my SMB to ascend when no-deco time hit 2mins - the line snapped and off it went. Buddy and I did free ascent to 15m, to stay out of deco, then she deployed her blob mid water, all went well from there.

Very minor incident, but learnt 3 things:
1) Buy a decent SMB (mine was a cheapy and it was the line of the SMB, not the reel line, that snapped)
2) One SMB per buddy team (as some instructors + clubs recommend) is not enough  -have one each.
3) don't ride too close to the no-deco limit, give yourself a bit of time for things to snafu...
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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Go for a self inflating AP job, bit bulky but stops any chance of a free-flow/entanglement.

Matt
 

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Yeah, I have to get back into practice with SMBs - I screwed up my ascent a tad last time I used one, fortunately it was from 6m


Must remember to nip into a chandlers and get a small bolt I can put on my reel - the problem with the large mcmahon is you can push the release handle so far down it pushes against the spool...

Our club rule is "Every sports diver must carry an SMB". Personally, I carry two
 

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Resident Serbian Sniper
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The most valuable lesson I learnt was not to be complacent.It it's the little things that have little/no perceived consequence that you foolishly dismiss as routine that will go dreadfully wrong,awfully quickly and kill you...or someone else.
I got a job with a firm doing inspections/surveys on swimming pools for the HSE guidelines.Any remedial works needed after the initial survey,either from a safety perspective or a general repair was then carried out by ourselves.
Now I'd been working in "civils"for the last 6 monts in black contaminated water and often in OH environments,to work in gin clear water,at no relative depth was a laugh,esp as I'd brought one of my mates Tony to the job from my previous work.
We'd done a survey on a pool down South somewhere,a newish "feature pool"with waves,white water channel etc.The outlets for the wave machine were set back in the shallow end of the pool in an oblong shaped recess which ran approx 4 feet back(from the edge,under the poolside)and about 10 feet in length.To keep people out of this "cavern" and away from the outlets there was a SS system of vertical bars,quite thick(wrist thickness),welded to a flat frame thus bolted to the pool structure.At one end was an access feature/gate,basically a flush fit panel about 20 inches wide,bolted in.
The day we did the survey a kiddie had got his arm trapped in the grate/bars(he was OK),after that,the survey was virtually an added formality,the HSE closed the pool until the gaps in the bars were made small enough so as not to provide an entrapment danger to the smallest arm.We were to carry out the work on behalf of the local authority which would then be inspected by the HSE before the pool could re-open(nice to know that somewhere,somebody is getting something done!).
Simply put,the solution was to put SS close weave mesh over the bar/grille assembly and secure it firmly.This would allow virtually unimpeded water flow through it but was small enough even for babies fingers not to pass through.
We worked through the day and well into the night and were pretty tired towards the end.The access panel was removed so that we could secure the mesh from the back,while we did this the surface crew covered the access gate with mesh too.
Tony and I were doing the wet work,we were, in hindsight very complacent,given what we'd been doing previously it's very hard for people to comprehend just how easy these conditions were to work in by comparison.
All the pool work was done(quite legally)on SCUBA,even work in restricted environments eg.under pool floors.We'd got used to this(often doing 18hr days,not unusually 8 of which could be in the water doing repetiitive work)classic over familiarisation conditions.We could get a few hours from a single and breathed them right down to empty,stood up(or surfaced)and merely got another one,no problems.
We'd put the mesh on,but were concerned that where it was secured along the edge the gate sat on it was to proud.We lowered the gate but could'nt grip it properly to slide it into place for a trial fit.The gate itself was quite a tight fit anyway and had to be aligned exactly before it would slide into it's space,we messed about with it then Tony took hold of it from the back.
This is where the little bulb starts to flicker in your head,work closely with anyone in demanding conditions long enough(not just diving)and you know automatically what they're up to.I "knew" he planned to hold the back of the gate and back into the reccess with it to test it's fit.He looked at me ,nodded,and I shook my head.He checked his contents guage and had enough for a few minutes more(well into the red,under 50,but more than enough.....)nodded more vigourously, and the hand signal(perhaps one you did'nt get taught)lead me to beleive that he was fine with the idea and would be OK to quickly try it,whatever I thought about it.While I was still pondering it as folly but also desperately trying to find a credible alternative to give him no reason to do so,he backed in(a couple of steps)and pulled the gate in with him.
It fitted really well,it was,even though I say so myself a nice job.
It would'nt budge.Even if we could have talked there were no(maybe one or two)words to be uttered.I looked at him,he back and his eyes alone said an awful lot.We turned again to the gate,as is often the case,there was no visible reason for it to be stuck but it was,incredibly so.

I knew that time was going by,I could'nt pass him more air,even via another reg as the mesh was to fine.I could'nt rip it off as it was to well secured,same for trying to bash my way in and it would take to long to cut my way in given the tools we had.There was no way either I could get air into his little recess to trap against the roof due to the mesh either.He was goosed,I saw it and so did he.We tried patiently again to remove the gate to no avail then I'd had enough.I could picture myself in court and at a coroner's inquest and did'nt fancy it much.I stood up(so surreal a moment)spat my gag out and asked for a lump hammer.
The surface crew(all divers too)saw it,whatever it was, immediately and gave me a hammer,no questions to be asked,they'd know that I'd have told them if there had been time,in any case they'd probably worked it out anyway.Even the pool/council representatives picked up the atmosphere as I sank back down.Tony was still patiently trying to ease the gate back out but was very low on air,he began to do an angry impression of a Gorilla in a zoo and I attacked the gate edges with the hammer.I was aware that I might wedge it in place even harder but had no option,suddenly,after a combined but fraught attack it came out and dropped on the bottom.
Tony follwed,rapidly,and we stood up,he was in fact"dry",I don't know for how long but I tried his gag later and it was all over.We leaned on the side in silence except for some deep braeths and he said,
"You Bastard,you tried to kill me"
I looked at him and really could'nt be bothered arguing,we just started laughing,something the surface crew could appreciate but funnily enough the council reps and pool staff could'nt.
A supervisor told me once that every time we put our heads under water we're risking out lives.That night we got our wake up call,after all,from one bad extreme to another easy one,what could possibly go wrong?
Take care all,Hobby.
 

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Dunno really........ thinking about it
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I agree with Hobby’s point on complacency. I was working on a fish farm and diving virtually everyday for either work or fun. It usually wasn’t too hard going and the conditions often ok. One summer we had a very unusual algal bloom that killed off the majority of the salmon. The original idea was to net the dead and dying out the cages before they rotted but there were simply too many – dunno maybe 50 tonnes or so. The decision was taken to cut the net cages and let this festering lot drop to the bottom in some 45 m of water. Out of sight and mind. This loch at that time was not used for anything and had virtually no inhabitants – wasn’t my shout anyway.
The cages had multiple layers of netting in the shape of the cage and a large mesh tangle net some 4m long hanging round the perimeter to deter/trap seals – nice company eh?
Plan A was to drop down the outside to about 6m swim up under the tangle nets and cut the nets of the cage letting it all go.
So in I went, solo as ever, ( co diver was finishing ***/tea whatever) viz was crap due to the algae, the light was a weird dark grey green and below 50 cm there was sod all of that. Anyway I got it wrong and proved that a tangle net really does work. Luckily ? most was wrapped around valves and first stages with bits of body caught as well. So I closed my eyes (always seems to improve sense of touch) and started to unwrap myself. I couldn't reach my leg knife and didn't usually carry a chest  spare. Progress was slow and of the two forward one back variety. Not time to panic but a degree of concern was creeping in. I had plenty of air but it was going a bit quicker than normal. Anyway Allan, bless him, noticed that my bubbles were stationary and came and cut me loose. Unfortunately he was using a scalpel so bits of suit were never quite the same again.
We decided to go for plan B which was to do it from the inside of the cage. That worked but was truly surreal; it was diving in 4 tonnes of fish no water was apparent being bitten by dying salmon.

So the cycle of apprehension as we learn followed by complacency as we surely know it all then the respect and though that experience brings was complete.

(I wonder what the HSE would say to all this today – this was back in the early eighties when life was easy )
 

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To paraphrase Terry Pratchett:
If screwing up was the order of the day, then everybody was going to make it clear they'd screwed up damned heroically.
 

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Not heroically Dominic, luckily with, again a paraphrase, "just a little help from our friends"

Anyway the sun was shinig what could go wrong, eh?
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>Hmm.. can't quite match the Commie's stories and both of thses I've posted on YD before, but re complacency, St Mary's Island, Tyneside, shallow site, incoming tide - no problems eh?....wrong!
the topography means that the basin at the north end fills first then spills over the causeway into the southerly side of the island creating a countercurrent, myself and two trainees got stuck on the surface inbetween the incoming and outgoing currents, not being able to fin in either direction, fortunately shore cover raised the RNLI.

Weasel loch, surging tide got pushed through "Divers Hole" (aka the washing machine!) could see the narrow gap approaching rapidly then it was all foam and bubbles, how me and my buddy got through there without bashing our heads open on the rocks is beyond me


C'est la vie
Steve
 
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