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Just not enough dive time.
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Just a quick report about todays trip organised by Ben.
The guys got there before me and had a dive down to the 'box' which apparently went well. I on the other hand had a bit of a lie-in, well till 7 at least and then trundled up the M1 which was quite foggy but tolerable. As usual a 9 o clock arrival meant no places near the water, bugger. Rang the guys, no response, bugger. But as good as gold Ben returned my call and we met up after their first dive but no sight of Andy P, although there was a Mini in the car park.
First dive for me was the Stanegarth at 7 c, hmm nice. The new reg (dx4) worked well apart from free flowing when I removed it to try the SP4 as a pony reg. which is common when inverted but OK when face down. A slight moment.
Viz was poor, which was a bit of a surprise but there were a lot of people there. As we made our way back we lost Ben so we surfaced and looked for him, no joy, bugger. After a couple of minutes we decided to blow a whistle and the boat was launched really quick, meanwhile I decided to call his name. Nige now thinks I could get a job as a Town Cryer, well someone had to do it. Anyway fortunately he (Ben)was safe by the car! Second dive, around the left ledge was marred by really poor viz and I lost both Ian and Nige, I surfaced and spotted their bubbles a few yards off. We had arranged that I would surface if I ran out of air, which is what they assumed I had done. As they swam below me I dropped in behind them and we swam back to the entry/exit point. At this point Ian spotted a humungus pike and I hung back to photograph it with my new toy. Dont get excited it cost ten quid from Boots and then I lost them again, bugger.
So I made my way back solo again, I dont think they realised I had rejoined them, even though I had grabbed Nige's fin at one point. No worries it wasnt deep or risky. We met up on the surface and agreed the dives were OK, but the viz was poor. I went cos I wanted to test the regs and my suit and wanted to get wet after last weeks dissapointment, on all counts I was well satisfied.
Thanks Ben, Ian and Nige for a good time. Nice to meet your family as well Nige, lovely kids.
Matt
 

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Thanks for saying the kiddies were lovely...yer wanna see 'em at 3 in the morning when they think bees are eating them and the littlun's puking her ikkle guts up!!

Beautiful day at Stoney...lovely weather once the fog had burned off.
first dive to the box was pleasant with a nice penetration... getting into the air pocket and shouting for Ben was fun..."i can hear voices calling me to the deep..."
sedcond dive...and now we've found Matt was eventful even b4 getting wet...kitted up with twins, suddenly we hear a phone ringing...it's bens...however it's in his undersuit pocket!!!

Stanegarth was good but poor viz...onto the helicopter where Ben decided to go fin about...when we surfaced it was`very interesting to note our reaction...We couldn't be sure that ben was fine but we kinda delayed the shout...was this through embarrassment or not wanting to appear twats? dunno but I must praise the rescue launch crew who were v quick...upon Matt's town crier act...( on  account of his crap whistle!!) what did we see but the waving hand of Ben in the car park...kit off and looking as happy as a pig in sh!t  !!  

Hmmmm many lessons learned ...none of them printable!! £10 in the post by Wednesday...or i'll tell yer Mum!!
3rd dive to the galleon and back under the pub... as Ian remarked later...Its a long fin for some shitty bits of timber  

Matt decided to do a bit of stealth diving and hide from me and Ian but that was cool...2 big pike started trying it on, circled me and ian then flicked their tails towards us...come and have a go if yer think yer hard enough!!
Then the missus and the girls turn up we all go to the pub for beer and grub then off home...Thanks guys...lovely day
Cheers
Nige
:bravo:
 

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2 plugs Parker
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Hi guys,
It was good to put a few names to faces today. Also I didn't find Stoney as bad as I thought I would and will not hesitate to dive it again on a weekend, even though the vis wasn't up to much. (100% better that the Delph)
Next time we may even get to dive together.
Ian I hope the torch serves you well, I'm sure it will.

Ali
 

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<font color='#FF00FF'>hmm, I think some of these slanderous comments should be addessed.

Ben was quite happily swimming about inside some helicopter when he came out to find all his buddies had buggered off. He stayed where he was for a minute looking for them and then realised they were gone. Had he been anywhere but a proper quarry he would of had a nice long solo dive, (bearing in mind he had enough redundent air to be safe. Probably would of shot a DSMB so they could see he was alright.

However it was stoney so he decided to quickly look for them and then surface. he went up to 6m where viz was about 2m. Did a dafety stop of 3 minutes and surfaced. Looking around no buddies. ben thought bastards, they kept on diving, so should I have, but thought he would get out of the water.
It took Ben about 5 minutes to get out of the water due to the crowded exit points. Look about, still no buddies.

Bens got twin 12s on so his back is breaking so he goes back to the car to de kit. After taking twins off and chatting to Ali for about another 5 minutes and watching the rescue boat plucking trainees out. He heres a "Ben" being shouted across the water. Embaressed he shouts back and hides again once the boat has seen him!!

Was I naughty, cause not. Probably should of waited back at the edge of the water after de kitting but there you go. Still if buddies hadnt had a 10 minute swim about dive / search we would of all met!!!! guess it highlights lack of dive planning / surface cover or agreement to solo dive if seperated!! Personnally I reckon if u split by accident people should solo dive. If u are lost, then trapped and then drowoned, the chance of someone finding / rescuing you are very slim. Its basically body recovery!

Anyway. All sorted its self out. At least they tried to save me!
,

nige, behave (tell my mom!) Watch it or Ill tell your wife what you get up to underwater........ guess who will get grounded first!
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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Ben
you are absolutely correct it did indeed highlight our lack of dive planning/surface cover and I am sure we all learnt a lot from it. That is one of the great things about a training arena like Stoney, you can do things less than perfectly and get away with them and it teaches you a very valuable lesson.
As you say it wasnt that risky really, no current, very little liklihood of entrapment and even if you do there are enough people about to buddy up with some other poor unsuspecting souls.  We all managed our air so that wasnt a problem either.
I have no worries about diving with any of you guys again, hope its mutual.
Take care
Matt
 

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I guess the answer to the argument about whether or not to continue as a solo dive is whether both parties would have happily started the dive solo.

Personally I wouldn't so therefore I wouldn't agree to a buddy continuing solo if we were seperated.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]If u are lost, then trapped and then drowoned, the chance of someone finding / rescuing you are very slim. Its basically body recovery!
Well, if they've drowned then it's body recovery  
, but if you are lost/trapped then you have as long as thier air lasts to go to thier aid.  At least you have then tried rather than saying that you don't want your dive cut short so they are on their own!

Mind you this only works if both parties are clear on the one minute searching then surface rule (or whatever rule you lay down between you).  It also means that you have to have a plan beyond that, as your incident showed clearly.  It would great to read it as it is something that we maybe get a little slack on when diving somewhere like Stoney, lulled into the impression that it is safe.  I think it is easy to forget that people die diving at Stoney the same as anywhere else.

Cheers for the report, guys

Glad it did all work out ok

Lou
 

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I agree with Lou. If you get separated, search for 1 minute and then head for the surface. If everybody follows that rule, there is no problem. What really annoys me is bobbing anxiously about on the surface for several minutes waiting for my buddy to ascend as well but his/her not turning up owing to having decided to continue solo. I then have no way of knowing whether or not he/she is alright. Deciding before the dive to continue solo in the event of separation is naturally a lot better but still not optimal, in my opinion. I still have the nagging fear that something might have happened to him/her. I have done a couple of solo dives and would consider doing it again under similar circumstances but that's a whole different kettle of fish.
So, stick to the rule we were all (?) taught when we first learnt to dive: Search for 1 minute and then ascend!
 

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joking apart guys...the topic of solo diving is one that regularly appears in the pages of diver mag and i spose theres no right or wrong answer...can you ever be 100% sure yer buddy hasn't gone belly up if you haven't got a visual on them? I for one quite enjoy the freedom of solo diving in the shallows but would never consider it at depth for the simple reason that Sods law operates just as well underwater as it does on land...I think very minor incidents like this highlight the fact that " competent" divers get slack minded ...buddy checks are minimal or non existant, new buddies who don't know each others kit quite happily jump in not knowing what weight configurations there are, where the dump valves are, god the list is endless...think back to those early dives and the mantra BWRAF....BURGERS WITH RELISH AND FRIES...or however you used to remember it...Jo used to use BIG WILLIES REALLY ARE FUN!!!
The point being that we think we are cool and sexy in our own gear ..we dion't want to spoil that gung ho spirit by being all serious and stopping for a minute to check and plan...its human nature to learn lessons only in the aftermath of something...only by having a little more regard for our own lives and the impact a serious injury would have on our family will we stop and think about what we're doing
Thing is we're all as guilty as the next man and yes 99 times out of 100 yer buddy will be in the car park, dekitted and having a bacon buttie, but, there's always gonna be that 1 time....I've seen two die at Stoney...its a sobering thought but EVERY time we do the thing we so love, we are putting our lives on the line.

Here endeth the sermon...I'm gonna have a lie down in a darkened room!!!!!!
Cheers Nige
 
 
 

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<font color='#FF00FF'>Nige,  
 


Not trying to be provocative or wind anyone up and not aimed at you at all.. , but

Buddy checks are a waste of time, people should be compotent enough and aware enough to check there own gear properly every time and between dives. They should try and avoid getting slack and remember to check and re check and know there gear inside out. Practice makes perfect and all that. If your buddy checking someone and you find they have forgotten something you have to ask yourself what else have they forgotten or will they forget underwater!
This isnt me getting lacksadazy or whatever, i take my diving seriously and practice / dive every weekend....  but i believe if they dont trust themselves to do the basics.......

They should also preferably know each others setup, but these days its difficult with all the gear..... back to the argument that every dive is really a solo dive, buddy or not!
 

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<font color='#000080'>Well have to add my tuppence worth here,  I know some of you will not agree with this but basically I agree with my regular buddies what we will do in the event of a separation/lost buddy scenario.  Generally if it is reasonably shallow and the vis is awful we agree to just continue the dive if we get seperated with an agreed maximum dive duration.

The last time we used this was a couple of weekends ago,  vis was less than 1m, three of us started as a team lost contact very soon after entry and all had a thouroughly enjoyable dive  
  All of us surfaced after 30 minutes within a minute of each other.

In my opinion there are many things to take into consideration including experience, conditions, comfort levels and kit config.

But if for whatever reason this has not been discussed before hand then the old search for a short time and surface should be used to avoid unneccessary worry.  

Daz
 

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Ben

The main point of a buddy is, for the experienced diver, to know the equipment that his/her buddy is wearing.  Therefore it is most definately *NOT* a waste of time.  It is precisely because there are so many variation that it need to be done, especially if diving with people you don't usually buddy.

It does appear that you can't be bothered to learn your buddies equipment and so just dive with an "i'm all right, Jack" attitude.  Do you make this clear to anyone you dive with?  Did the guys you were diving with all know that you had no intention of being in a position to help them if they got into trouble?  That you were assuming them to be solo divers in the same water as you?

It is all very well having your attitude but communication before a dive is essential so that no-one is entering the water under any misunderstanding.

Regards

Lou
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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Sorry Daz but how do you know if your 'buddy' has got a problem, say entanglement causing an increase in air consumption beyond his tanks capacity given the dive time agreed. If you surface after 30 mins what chance do you have of finding him/her, If you are on a single you are going to be virtually dry, on twins probably near deco anyway, resulting in being unable to do a search. I cant agree that a dive becomes solo once started as a buddy team. How would a skipper handle that given he's expecting 2 divers per blob. Maybe it looks as though we did 'solo' at Stoney but in fact I could clearly see their bubbles and only theirs on the second dive so I knew they were still a buddy pair and they had thought I'd surfaced as agreed before the dive.
The bottom line I suppose is agree the dive before you dive, plan the dive, dive the plan?
Matt
 

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<font color='#000080'>Matt,

In answer to your question.  You can't.  

I am not advocating my way for everyone and it really does depend on the conditions and lots of other factors.  Boat dives ?   I would not advocate it at all,  hardly fair on the skipper...

The times where I have dived solo (by prior agreement with my buddies)  shore dives where the max depth has been 7m.

Everything has to be taken into account including the people you dive with.  We have both seen the benefit of the look around and surface find your buddy philosophy and it worked for you and me, we had a great dive.  

If the vis is ok(ish) then fine,  but sometimes when the vis is really bad it is a question of aborting the dive or just carrying on holding onto each other for dear life, banging against each other (Not my idea of fun !!).

It is all about risk assessment/acceptance = love of diving.

Zero risk = Don't dive.
Extreme Risk = Negate as much as possible but accidents still happen.

There are degrees between these that I am happy with.  Also there are many other considerations to take into account.  Only the individual can make these choices.  

Daz
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Zero risk = Don't dive.
Extreme Risk = Negate as much as possible but accidents still happen.
You sure? Zero risk dont dive?
Matt
 

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<font color='#000080'>Sorry Matt,  

Not particularly clear,  what I meant was if you want zero risk of any accident happening related to diving, then do not bother diving.

Everytime we dive there is some risk of an accident no matter how much we negate the risks, some still exist.  The only way to reduce the risk completely is to not enter the water.

Probably still do your back in loading your kit back into the car though.  


Daz
 

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<font color='#000080'>And not even twinned yet  


Anyone got a spare 10l, manifold and backplate spare....

Daz
 

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I have to agree with Lou again: Buddy checks are NOT a waste of time. I don't do a hands-on check – I don't want anyone fiddling with my valves once I've turned my air on – but I do a quick visual check that everything's in place for my buddy and I welcome his/her doing the same for me. No-one is infallible! I confess to having forgotten my weightbelt several times and forgetting to get my drysuit zip closed a couple of times. That doesn't make me a careless diver, in my opinion, just human. I also ask my buddy if his/her air is turned on and regs and inflators working.
As regards, separation and whether or not to continue solo, I strongly believe that if you start the dive as a buddy pair, you should finish it that way. If you decide to dive solo you are only risking your own life but by agreeing to dive as a pair you've accepted responsibility for another person's safety. That may sound fundamentalist but I think it's the only tenable attitude from a moral and probably legal point of view.
 

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<font color='#000F22'>I buddy check too but I just explain how everything works. And expect my buddy to do the same. It's really checking your own equipment whilst someone else watches.

For example

"Here's the inflator, inflate, purge, there a wee dump at the back here (show em), here's the drysuit inflator and the aytodump is here. It's open and I'll lave it that way. I'm not wearing a weight belt but to undo my harness it's here.(show them) - if you need me out of the rig cut me out. The main knife is here. I breathe the long hose so if you're out of air I'll give you this (show 'em)"

I'll then test breathe both regs whilst showing my buddy the gauge to indicate that it doesn't flicker. I'll then show my buddy where I store my DSMB and backup and where compass and computers are.

It takes no longer than doing a check yourself and if you have forgotten anything it'll show up.

If my buddy does the same thing then I feel more comfortable.

I expect a buddy to get it right but it doesn't hurt to check.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Gavin Yates @ Mar. 18 2003,20:03)]"Here's the inflator, inflate, purge, there a wee dump at the back here (show em), here's the drysuit inflator and the aytodump is here. It's open and I'll lave it that way. I'm not wearing a weight belt but to undo my harness it's here.(show them) - if you need me out of the rig cut me out. The main knife is here. I breathe the long hose so if you're out of air I'll give you this (show 'em)"
Standardised equipment anyone??

Ok... I'll get me coat...
 
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