What to do when you don't know how deep you have been?

What to do when you don't know how deep you have been?

Post by Robert Plac » Sat, 07 Mar 1998 04:00:00


I was recently involved in a situation where I got caught in a strong
current, at about 85 feet, and smashed into a c***formation rendering my
computer and analog depth gauges useless. My buddy was about 20 yards away
fighting the current so as not to be flung into the same c***formation as
me. By the time I gathered myself together and got my bearings back I had no
idea just how deep I was and for how long I had been there and I only had
about 750psi left, luckily my air gauge didn't get hurt. To make matters
worse when I got caught in the current we were beginning to ascend because
we were nearing the no deco limit. I knew I was in a bad position and I
really wasn't sure how to handle it.

This was a situation that I was not prepared for so I did what I thought
best. I hung around 15 feet alone, my buddy had to surface or she would have
been faced with deco time, until I had sucked the tank dry. I did this
hoping that if I had gone deep enough for long enough that the time I spent
would take care of any deco that I needed. Luckily I surfaced with no
problems. I did no further dives that day to be safe.

I know this was probably not the best way to handle the situation but under
the circumstances I didn't know what else to do. This is something that we
all obviously want to avoid but, when it does happen we want to handle the
situation properly.

Any suggestions?

Rob :-)}

 
 
 

What to do when you don't know how deep you have been?

Post by plumeriaNOS.. » Sat, 07 Mar 1998 04:00:00

Quote:
>This was a situation that I was not prepared for so I did what I thought
>best. I hung around 15 feet alone, my buddy had to surface or she would have

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Quote:
>been faced with deco time,

 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Rob,

Interesting story - glad you're both OK.  However I don't understand
the point that you made (which I have marked above).  You are
offgassing when you are at 15fsw - hence the reason you hung around
there for as long as possible presumably.  Why couldn't your buddy
hang with you so you could offgass together, reducing any potential
decompression risk?  If you'd been deeper that would be another
story.......

maybe I am missing something here.......

Peter

 
 
 

What to do when you don't know how deep you have been?

Post by Andy Barne » Sat, 07 Mar 1998 04:00:00

Hi Robert

I appreciate that your experience probably wasn't pleasant - just a thought,
but in similar circumstances again - the best option may be for your buddy
to remain with you, should you develop any problems - after all, the depth
at which you are making your stops, will not incur any further nitrogen
build up problems for your buddy - quite the opposite.

Best wishes

Andy Barnes

Quote:

>I was recently involved in a situation where I got caught in a strong
>current, at about 85 feet, and smashed into a c***formation rendering my
>computer and analog depth gauges useless. My buddy was about 20 yards away
>fighting the current so as not to be flung into the same c***formation as
>me. By the time I gathered myself together and got my bearings back I had
no
>idea just how deep I was and for how long I had been there and I only had
>about 750psi left, luckily my air gauge didn't get hurt. To make matters
>worse when I got caught in the current we were beginning to ascend because
>we were nearing the no deco limit. I knew I was in a bad position and I
>really wasn't sure how to handle it.

>This was a situation that I was not prepared for so I did what I thought
>best. I hung around 15 feet alone, my buddy had to surface or she would
have
>been faced with deco time, until I had sucked the tank dry. I did this
>hoping that if I had gone deep enough for long enough that the time I spent
>would take care of any deco that I needed. Luckily I surfaced with no
>problems. I did no further dives that day to be safe.

>Any suggestions?

>Rob :-)}


 
 
 

What to do when you don't know how deep you have been?

Post by Glawack » Sun, 08 Mar 1998 04:00:00

Quote:

>>I was recently involved in a situation where I got caught in a >>strong
>>current, at about 85 feet,  and smashed into a c***formation >>rendering my

computer and analog depth gauges useless.

Quote:
>By the time I gathered myself together and got my bearings back I had
>no
>>idea just how deep I was and for how long I had been there and I only had
>>about 750psi left,
>>This was a situation that I was not prepared for so I did what I thought
>>best. I hung around 15 feet alone,
>until I had sucked the tank dry.
>>Any suggestions?

If your buddy loved you, she might have brought down another tank (if one was
available), so you could have stayed a bit longer.  This would have been easier
if the situation was planned for, and it *was* a forseeable event, unless maybe
you were in a place that is always glassy smooth and calm.  Some dive operators
hang a tank at 15-20', and this would be one good reason. If you weren't with a
dive operator, did you have extra tank and reg, and O2?

Of course it's also a good idea to leave a safety margin between you and the no
deco limit in case of some kind of problem, and hey look, you found one.

Planning ahead helps deal with those unexpected problems, because most are
predictable.

And remember that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

 
 
 

What to do when you don't know how deep you have been?

Post by Ken Kurt » Sun, 08 Mar 1998 04:00:00

Robert,

How you handled that is the texbook answer of what to do in those situations.
If you think you've exceeded a no-deco time and you lack the ability to monitor
depth and time (of course it begs the question - how did you know you were at
15'????), you ascend to 15' and burn off the rest of your tank and stop diving
for the day, hoping for the best.

Ken Kurtis
NAUI Instructor #5936
Co-owner
Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, Ca.

 
 
 

What to do when you don't know how deep you have been?

Post by BUFF520 » Sun, 08 Mar 1998 04:00:00

Quote:

> I was recently involved in a situation where I got caught in a strong
> current, at about 85 feet, and smashed into a c***formation rendering my
> computer and analog depth gauges useless.
>By the time I gathered myself together and got my bearings back I had no
> idea just how deep I was and for how long I had been there and I only had
> about 750psi left...

> This was a situation that I was not prepared for so I did what I thought
> best. I hung around 15 feet alone, my buddy had to surface or she would have
> been faced with deco time, until I had sucked the tank dry.

I did no further dives that day to be safe.

Quote:

Any suggestions?

> Rob :-)}

A couple suggestions:

First, you did the right thing by*** at 15'. When in doubt, go to
deco stop for as long as air supply lasts. You might have wanted to add
a short stop (1 min) at 20' to be safer.

As far as your buddy, she should have remained with you at deco stop.
Bottom time ENDS when you arrive at first deco stop. If your buddy had
remained with you, she would be in LESS danger, not MORE from DCS.

After you surface from a "blown tables" dive, I was always told to take
asprin to slow down *** clotting. The *** clots that form behind
each little bubble in the capillaries cause as much, or more tissue
damage as the bubbles themselves.

Second: Immediately after surfacing, go onto 100% Oxygen. Don't wait for
any symptoms to develop. 100% Oxygen will help flush nitrogen out of the
***stream, and  increase the ppO2 of the *** (again, reducing tissue
damage that might occur).

You did the right thing by staying out of the water. Last report I read
from DAN was that many severe cases of DCS are reported by divers who
went back diving again after they violated table/computer limits without
feeling any symptoms.

 
 
 

What to do when you don't know how deep you have been?

Post by Mike Gra » Sun, 08 Mar 1998 04:00:00

Sounds like you did the right thing: normal ascent (maybe a few minutes
stop at 30') then hang at 15' til yer tank's dry.

If you suspected you surfaced with a deco obligation, you should have
hit the O2 bottle.

Locally, going on O2 usually means a trip to the hospital, but I don't
think they would give an asymptomatic diver a chamber ride (any chamber
operators????).

regards
m

 
 
 

What to do when you don't know how deep you have been?

Post by CaptnDa » Mon, 09 Mar 1998 04:00:00

Quote:
>If you suspected you surfaced with a deco obligation, you should have
>hit the O2 bottle.

>Locally, going on O2 usually means a trip to the hospital, but I don't
>think they would give an asymptomatic diver a chamber ride (any chamber
>operators????).

>regards
>m

Where do  you dive locally that O2 is not available?  DAN has been working very
hard in the past several years to get O2 available to all divers.  Oxygen
administration courses are readily available.  DAN oxygen kits are also
available to anyone who is willing to spend the few dollars that they cost.  In
the US every reputable dive boat, dive shop and dive club should certainly have
O2 available at the dive site.

Safe diving,
Dale

 
 
 

What to do when you don't know how deep you have been?

Post by Mike Gra » Tue, 10 Mar 1998 04:00:00

Quote:

> >If you suspected you surfaced with a deco obligation, you should have
> >hit the O2 bottle.

> >Locally, going on O2 usually means a trip to the hospital, but I don't
> >think they would give an asymptomatic diver a chamber ride (any chamber
> >operators????).

> >regards
> >m

> Where do  you dive locally that O2 is not available?  DAN has been working very
> hard in the past several years to get O2 available to all divers.  Oxygen
> administration courses are readily available.  DAN oxygen kits are also
> available to anyone who is willing to spend the few dollars that they cost.  In
> the US every reputable dive boat, dive shop and dive club should certainly have
> O2 available at the dive site.

> Safe diving,
> Dale

Maybe that wasn't real clear: locally, going on O2 ON THE BOAT means you
have to go to the hospital for follow up.

regards
m