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wibble
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<font color='#000080'>Following a near drowning a few years ago in a kayaking incident I know what it is like to go there and come back.  This is not for the fainthearted.  I have applied my knowledge of what this feels like to a diving scenario (not a real one obvioulsy).  I used to write to fund my.....education.  Now i seem to lose the knack of it every so often.  


The sun shines down through the clear water, greens and iridescent blue shafts of light dance away down into the depths.  Chaos is rife, fins, masks, weightbelts are scattered from where they fell after hurriedly being piled into the rib -  late as ever, racing the tide for slack.  Not wanting to miss our prize, the wreck in all its pristine glory.  The sounder looks promising, with a large anomaly on the small screen matching the coordinates exchanged with a local fisherman in the pub the night before for a bottle of single malt.
The first pair kit up, cursing their drysuits warmth on the summer day, the weight of their cylinders making them sweat as they wait to enter the water and descend the shot into the green.  Slowly they disappear, someone else takes the wheel, and I haul my gear onto the glistening tube, the sunlight drying the patches of saltwater to white ghosts of waterdrops.  I tighten the straps, fit my mask and check with my buddy that all is as it should be.  
The cool of the water is like a long awaited drink on a hot day.  The gentle pressure of the water on my suit makes me glad of the undersuits fleece liner.  We exchange OK's and descend into the unknown.  
The wreck looms into view, the shot sat neatly on the sand by the bow.  My computer registers 40m, quite a depth, but no lack of light.  Everything as it should be, bubbling nicely.   A gentle swell, hardly noticeable on the surface pushes us back and forward slowly as we approach.  We swim to the wheelhouse, intact but with the windows blown out, their frames buckled and twisted presumably in her death throes and final moments of her final journey.  Her nets still at the stern, stretch out behind her like a bridal train, oddments of fishing gear, ropes, buckets held by lanyards litter the deck.  
We swim around to the port side, where the damage is worse.   A huge gaping tear in the steelwork allowing us to see into the dark insides of the boat, enticing us in the promise of a treasure, an artefact to remind us of what is down here.  We switch on our torches and enter through the wide split.  Inside rotting wood, blankets, chairs and books lie scattered, preserved by water and frozen in time.  After scouting around, we enter the engine room, a thick layer of oil at the top tells us that something has leaked, and up is not a good option.  After about 5 minutes we exchange OK's and decide to head out.
We follow the light and exit the wreck.  We both have decompression to do, but not enough to warrant us leaving this new playground yet.  We swim to the stern, and down, to look at the propeller and steering gear.
Suddenly I become aware of that strange stillness, the feeling of being alone, but when you know, deep down that your buddy is still there.  I turn, and see nothing.  I do a 360 sweep and feel a tug on my tanks.  I look up, expecting to see my buddy smiling at me for panicking at his absence but see only the net, tangled around my first stage.  I wait, presuming that my buddy will return to free me from my predicament.  Nothing.  I try to twist up, to free myself, and only succeed in trapping the other valve on my twinset too.  I open the pocket on my BCD and get my knife out.  I can reach up to cut the lines holding me fast.  As I reach up, the swell seems to intensify and the net moves, wrapping itself around my flailing legs.  I dive unmaifolded twins, and I had yet to swap my regs over.  I became aware of the heaviness in the effort to breathe.  I start to reach down to change regs over, cursing myself for forgetting, and for using more air by getting worked up.  I find that my wrist compass has become trapped in the net above my head as I was reaching up, no amount of pulling seems to make it budge, only tightening the noose that is holding it fast. One free arm, unable to reach the knife held in my other hand, and by my position, squashed against the transom, unable to reach any jacket buckles.  Frighteningly, the other reg is just below me, I can see it, but have no way to reach it.

I struggle to draw the last few breaths out of the tank.  I feel my lungs about to burst and grip the rubber mouthpiece so hard in my teeth it hurts.  I thrash in frustration at my own stupidity for being here, for being somewhere I should never have been, somewhere I have no right to be.  But the nets stay fast.
Time seems to slow, the light darken.  The silt is settling around me, and the water clearing allowing me to see details I had failed to notice before.  The net was green, the rope at the edge blue in the round area of truth that is my torch beam.  The bottom was punctuated with small stones, unlabeled tin cans from the wreck and wire ropes tracking to infinity.  Calm overtakes the panic, relaxing the unnoticed tightness in my muscles.  I can hear my own breathing, slow, regular but getting harder.  The light seems to fade more, and suddenly aware of the silence, endless silence.   Vision closes in, I am aware of the tiny particles being swept in front of my mask.  Warmth chases away the pangs of cold, even my fingertips seem to be bathed in warm water.  Darkness envelops, no fear, no pain, just peace.
 

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currently offshore, please leave a message
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Bloody good wrighting that porg
 

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Well writen, Helen, but is drowning really that pleasant? No panic, choking, fighting to get a breath etc?
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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John
I was about 12 when I nearly drowned and I dont recall it being pleasant at all.

Matt
 

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Jonah
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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Porg @ Dec. 26 2003,21:47)]see, i aint always a complete and utter pervert.  No mention of a willy anywhere!
I dunno, this:

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]I haul my gear onto the glistening tube
could be interpreted in interesting ways....

(sorry everyone, just dragging the tone back down where it belongs!)
 

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<font color='#000080'>As far as i'm aware this is based on a story told to both porg and I by a guy who posts on these boards he luckily however survived to tell the tale.

and Tom glad to see you're putting the tone back where it should be
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (MATTBIN @ Dec. 27 2003,12:09)]John
I was about 12 when I nearly drowned and I dont recall it being pleasant at all.

Matt
I believe you Matt! I would expect it to be horrible.
 

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<font color='#000F22'>Very well written porg. Unusual for me to do anything than skim these long threads, but found myself reading it intensly.


gareth.:D
 

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wibble
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<font color='#000080'>Well, i kinda resigned myself to the fact that i was gonna die, so no, not really ( i was pinned underwater to a fallen tree in the middle of the river tyne).  Also i think i would be very loathe to spit the reg out, and therefore you would suffocate and not experience the nasty bit of drowning until you were unconcious.  If you are lucky the epiglottis will go into spasam and wont let the water in.  That is sposed to be better than wet drowining.
It is amazing how exhausting struggling about can be too, so that seemed to line me up for the relaxed bit.  Your senses get unbeleivably sharp before the lights go out.  But your vision closes in.  The last thing i remember clearly was seeing leaves swirling around infront of my eyes, the colours as bright as if they were still on the tree.

A guy commented that he noticed when i was doing my training he had never seen any trainee so at ease with taking the reg out of their mouth.  Wierd.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Porg @ Dec. 27 2003,17:57)] If you are lucky the epiglottis will go into spasam and wont let the water in.  That is sposed to be better than wet drowining.
<font color='#000F22'>Not sure I'd want to find out either way. Do you know anyone who was resuccitated following this then?
 

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wibble
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<font color='#000080'>During my many years (far too many) of trying to drown kids for a living you see it all, near drownings, fits, all manner of cuts and slices out of every possible bit of your body.

It is fairly common when kids fall in during horseplay that they will get a mouthfull of water.  If they are really unlucky, the cold shock of this makes the epiglottis (the flappy bit that stops you beathing your food in) clamp down over the trachea and stop everything (air included) from getting in.  This causes panic and the poor kid feels like they are going to die, but all you can really do is reassure them that they aint dying and wait for them to either pass out and the muscles relax, or relax enough for the epiglottis to return to normal.  All the time they will have a buoyancy aid on, and so are in no real danger.
 

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Never enough time!!!!
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I can relate quite well to this, but need to add a wee bit, if not quite so eloquently...

I had occasion a few years ago to get stuck fast inside a deep and dark wreck as I saw my buddies light disappear out of the hull. The few moments that it took him to come back and free me seemed like an eternity..  and those were in the days where only the rich and showoffish could dive with either a twin set or a pony. I was stuck fast, the seconds (hours to me) dragged past and the last thing I thought of was to take my stab off!!
All the training in the world didn't prepare me for the actual panic of being stuck fast in a deep and dark place with no-one to help but myself...  the panic took over and the breathing rate increased, I could see my contents guage rapidly falling towards reserve and I knew that I had to make a deco stop. My buddy told me later that he waited no more than 1 minute after exiting the wreck for me to reappear and that I was about 5m inside stuck by no more than my stab jacket inflator in a notch in the metal.
Taught me a few lessons...   before penetratinmg any wreck, make sure that you have everything secure and strapped close to your body (this was only my 2nd wreck penetration dive). Never panic when the unexpected happens. Look 1st for a simple solution to your problem...  there is almost always at least 1.
And finally, have absolute trust in your buddy...   this is probably the hardest one to do, but being a completely honest and open person will increase that trust...   never do advanced dives with anyone you have no experience of, regardless of the claimed level of experience of either of you...   he will be looking at you the same way.


John
 

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<font color='#000080'>
[b said:
Quote[/b] (John_McG @ Dec. 27 2003,23:17)]Taught me a few lessons...   before penetratinmg any wreck, make sure that you have everything secure and strapped close to your body (this was only my 2nd wreck penetration dive). Never panic when the unexpected happens. Look 1st for a simple solution to your problem...  there is almost always at least 1.
good advice John
Glad it had a happy ending.
Others can learn from your experience.
Thanks for shearing it.
Cheers
Bob.
 
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