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'Kay so this is about things you learned from diving - this is slightly dodgy but what the Hell, I will post it anyway....

In 1998 I was in Ontario Canada, staying with a mate who was in the Canadian military - he wasn't a diver himself but he had friends from the same unit who were going diving for four days in the Great Lakes, around the Thousand Islands area.....

He said would I like in, and despite having only around 15 dives under my belt, I said yes.

We did a lot of wrecks (sunken 'lakers' as you can imagine) and on day three we did a laker sitting at about 35 metres. And, um, this was under a shipping lane.

So no safe vertical ascent.

We go down at the edge of the lake and find the guide rope (this is a frequently-dived wreck) and I descend and go out with my designated buddy, Steve.

We have a lovely time but we're deep and time is short.

Problem occurs when Steve's weight belt falls off as we're swimming alongside the wreck.

Steve (obviously) starts to ascend.

His weight belt (obviously) drops to the bottom in a hurry.

Hmmm, think I.

Never been trained for this, but hey-ho, lets sort it out.

Steve has grabbed the side of the wreck - I fin down to his weight belt, pick it up from the bottom, and bring it back to him. Then I try to get it back on him. Never trained to do this, and to the naked eye, I imagine it looks like I'm trying to have sex with him underwater (I'm positioned behind him, arms wrapped around his waist etc).

Finally, he grabs the buckle and connects it - result, Steve is again buoyancy neutral.

Problem now is that I have exerted myself at 35 metres and am consequently running out of air, beneath a Canadian commerical shipping lane.

Steve and I follow the guideline back, ascend and then at the 3m safety stop, I run out of air. First time. I do the cross-throat gesture and Steve extends his octopus to me. Airflow restored.

Minutes later, Steve and I emerge and get back on the boat.

What did I learn? That I could deal with *&&%£R£ I had not been trained for, underwater, survive it, and get someone else out alive.

I'm glad it happened, actually.
 

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