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Identify & Avoid


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#1 Landlocked Dive Nut

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 05:03 PM

Re-printed from Dive Training Magazine, authored by Robert N. Rossier

Introduction
Diving is a pretty safe sport. Most divers are cautious and attentive in the way they prepare for and conduct themselves while diving. They know the rules and limits, they check their equipment over carefully, and they don't push the limits too far or too often. When it comes to injuries, we're probably more likely to get hurt playing softball or soccer than we are to suffer an injury on a dive. But when that unusual circumstance comes along, it's important to have a plan. After all, we can't stay underwater forever, and some problems need to be resolved pronto. We need to think about what could possibly go wrong on a dive, and have a plan for what to do if that "worst-case scenario" should arise.

With this in mind, we'll take a look [individually] at some of the most challenging situations a [recreational] diver can encounter. For each one, we define the scenario, identify the risk factors, examine the likely causes and suggest strategies for avoidance. Then we'll explore the various tactics to deal with the problem just in case it sneaks up on us.

Scenario #5: Entanglement / Entrapment
Swimming around a wreck, you decide t just swim in a short distance to get a better look, when suddenly you find you're tangled up and stuck!

Risk Factor: The primary risk in any underwater entanglement or entrapment scenario is running out of air. That is why it is so important to be prepared, to dive with a good buddy and to avoid situations that could lead to entrapment or entanglement.

Likely causes: Entrapment scenarios often occur when divers choose to continue diving in an environment for which they are untrained and improperly equipped. Examples include divers who enter wrecks, caverns and caves without proper safety equipment and training. Such environments are extremely hazardous to the untrained diver. Entanglements can occur also on wrecks where fishing nets and lines may become caught & abandoned, and in areas of strong currents.

Avoidance: Common sense goes a long way in avoiding entanglement/entrapment problems. Never dive a wreck or other overhead environment without the proper training and equipment. Approach wrecks, caves, caverns, fast-moving water and other entanglement/entrapment hazards with extreme caution.

Dealing with it: Make all efforts to draw attention to your situation. Bang on your cylinder with a metallic device such as a knife to draw attention, or use an underwater horn or rattle. Remain calm and conserve your air as long as possible. If you become entangled use a safety sausage or SMB to signal for help if possible. If your remaining air supply is depleted and you cannot extricate your equipment from entanglement, as a last resort you may need to consider ditching your gear and making an emergency swimming ascent to the surface.

Discussion? Comments? Additional advice or alternative solutions?
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#2 Bubble2Bubble

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 07:30 PM

Tammy,
I do.... and I think alot of the other Sder's do.. appreciate the importance of going over the "worst-case scenario"

as a last resort you may need to consider ditching your gear and making an emergency swimming ascent to the surface.


Alot of divers dont know that the Navy submariners from several countries practice escaping from there subs at a depth of 100ft or even 200ft. Its possible to survive a rapid ascent from such a deep condition, if you dont hold your breath ! actually as the ambient pressure changes as you ascent and you gain a possible breath of air. I think thats why in recreational diving, they promote "dont hold your breath" as the main safety factor while diving. We where all tought to say AAAAA as we ascended, just keep your airway open and the expanding air will find its way out. Information equals Insurance.

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#3 VADiver

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 11:40 PM

The best way to deal with this scenario is to have a good dive buddy who is squared away and attentive. One he see's you are entangled and cannot free youself he would move in and deal with it. I can see no added value in deploying an SMB to signal for help. Thats just another entanglement hazard.

#4 ASDmike

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 05:47 AM

yes!

The best way to deal with this scenario is to have a good dive buddy who is squared away and attentive.

And this whole I&A series has been best answered that way.

I can see no added value in deploying an SMB to signal for help. Thats just another entanglement hazard.

Them saying to deploy a SMB just seemed goofy. Even if successfully deployed, I'd guess in nearly all of my dives it could only act to mark the body (since either there is nobody attentive on the surface and/or nobody that would perceive a floating SS/SMB to be a diver at depth needing immediate aid). Better to use the time to calmly work the entanglement and to attract someone, someone already underwater.
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#5 Landlocked Dive Nut

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 07:59 AM

I think most of the I&A scenarios are aimed more at self-rescue. I agree that this I&A scenario could have better suggestions for solutions to this problem. They did not even mention removing the gear so you could try to un-entangle yourself, or using that knife to cut yourself free instead of banging on the tank with it.

The reason I am posting these is to bring the subjects to the forefront so we can discuss the issues and provide additional info or solutions, which we seem to be doing. :birthday:

I am constantly surprised at how many divers are comfortable losing sight of their dive buddies during a dive, including myself (if we're part of a group dive, and I hold back to take a photo and my buddy gets ahead of me, for instance).

Many are "same ocean, same day" buddy divers......maybe those are the ones who should deploy the SMB, so they can be retrieved if they're unable to help themselves.
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