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Bad First Experience

Discussion in 'New to Scuba Diving' started by RosieB, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. RosieB

    RosieB New Member

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    Hi guys, its me again. So I finally got out on my first dive today and it was what can only be described as a series of unfortunate events. Basically everything was fine, I felt absolutely great and my instructor was already in the water waiting for me. Literally just as I rolled off the boat into the water, the boat anchor line snapped so the boat started floating away from me before I could grab on. I got caught in a random current that started pulling me away from the boat and the instructor, and in one second everything went from fine to sheer panic. My BCD was fully inflated and I was on the surface with my reg in my mouth but it was like there was a steel band across my chest and I felt like I was drowning. Although I knew it was the reg giving me air I kept feeling like I wanted to pull it out and I was screaming for help. It felt a lot longer than it actually was but very soon the boat managed to get me back again and I aborted but everyone else managed their dives with no problems.

    I don't feel like I can just walk away from scuba but at the same time I don't want to endanger myself or others by having the panic happen again. Has anyone else had a bad first experience and bounced back?
     
  2. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    Hi Rosie - first dive, boat problem and being separated from instructor; perfectly reasonable to get upset. I did my first four OW dives as shore dives, giant step in, climb a ladder out - a boat dive is more challenging at the best of times. In answer to your question, I had a bad experience when I was qualified OW and taken 10m below my qualification and found that I was low on air, then had great difficulty getting back onto the boat. I didn't panic in the way you describe but I was very aware of being much closer to the limits than I was comfortable with and got in a state. I went to another dive centre and talked it through with them and then worked out a plan - among other things, to get the AOW qualification.
    Firstly, you felt like screaming but you worked out that the reg was working and kept it in - good decision, secondly, you aborted the dive - excellent decision and much more mature than you realise. Never go on a dive if you don't want to - the first time I canned a dive for less reasons than you, I realised that I'd gone to a new level as a diver. It's meant to be fun!
    So, what now? You need to regain your confidence and your instructor should be able to help you there - maybe go back to a couple of pool dives and go through all the basics, maybe a puddle dive where the conditions are more predictable. Most, if not all of us, have taken a couple of steps back and had to regroup. It's your misfortune that it happened on a first dive. Best of luck.
     
  3. Alan Davies

    Alan Davies Active Member

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    My brother just passed his open water after a series of panic attacks due to the same kind of reasons as u and I would have gave up 15 mins into a try dive if not brought loads of gear I tried to give my brother advice were as if you have your bcd inflated at the surface with your ref in u cannot drown stay calm and try and relax stress is the one that can damage up
    I did 4 pool sessions before doing my ow which helped I put it down to age the older u are the my anxious u get not that I'm saying your old or anything
    The more u dive the easyer it gets that's my experience
     
  4. furryman

    furryman hmmmm
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    Anyone that says they have never had a bad experience is either a liar, or it just hasn't happened to them yet.
    You have had a bad one right at the beginning, but you controlled yourself, and as @JohnL said you did the right thing by aborting. That simple decision put you back in control.

    Onwards and upwards... (or downwards, really).
     
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  5. Alan Davies

    Alan Davies Active Member

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    Wished I'd done it 20 years ago like a lot of things but now I'm making the most of it and since I passed in the beginning of April doing two dives a week aow next week sports diver the weekend
     
  6. RosieB

    RosieB New Member

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    Thanks so much for the encouragement guys. I think the scariest part was how quickly things can go from being completely fine to not fine. All the instructors on the boat said it was a really mature decision to abort cause so many people pressure themselves into going when they're not ok and thats when more problems happen. To be fair I couldn't have gone back in even if I had wanted to cause it took me about 20 mins to stop hyperventilating :). Its made it really easy see how people have accidents cause they panic, and how strong the power of nature can be. I'm gonna give it another crack and the instructors have said I can take all the dry gear to the pool to get used to being in it, then next time I go out there will be more of them in the water as I go in so they are right next to me. They both also said that it was just complete misfortune that it just happened on my first dive because it was an absolute one off.
     
  7. Alan Davies

    Alan Davies Active Member

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    I've done padi dives off of a hard boat with a lift and bsac dives off a rib and think hard boats suit me better
     
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  8. phantomlurker

    phantomlurker Member

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    Wow, what a horrible start to the dive. Congrats on remaining calm enough to keep the reg in place and breathing!
    I haven't had the pleasure of a boat dive yet in my short experience, and an event like that would have thrown me for sure. I just hope I would be as smart as you as to can the dive!
    Have faith, and keep going. It will be worth it!
     
  9. RosieB

    RosieB New Member

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    Thanks, but not sure how much of it was down to my good judgement - toward the end the only thing keeping the reg in my mouth was the person on the boat holding it there :D
     
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  10. phantomlurker

    phantomlurker Member

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    It's the end result that matters! Seriously though, you'll be fine. Plus think of the excellent "first dive" story you'll have to scare newbies with in years to come...
     
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  11. RosieB

    RosieB New Member

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    Thanks - I never thought of that :thumb:
     
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  12. Big Joe

    Big Joe Active Member

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    My other half had three attempts to pass her open water qualification due to panics, but persisted and made it. That was over fifteen years ago. Although there have been lesser incidents over the years (ref Furryman above), she is an AOW with a couple of hundred dives, who continues to dive, although she only does warm water and pretty fish. Whether you are bimbling about in 10 metres, or doing long deco dives to 100 metres, it is there to be enjoyed. Never be afraid to call a dive.
     
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  13. RosieB

    RosieB New Member

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    Thanks for this, it gives me hope that I will get it finished. I guess I just feel the pressure because my parents are bankrolling it and its taking me so long t get through it. I'm going to give it another go because I'm hopefully moving abroad within the next few years so the water will be warmer
     
  14. snowman

    snowman Active Member

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    You know, some of us BSAC types have been on a boat with a lift once or twice too :D

    To the OP, as others have said, go do some gentle shore dives, get confident in the water and then go back to a boat dive (make that an easy one, short trip each way, too).

    You did have a bad experience, but that's not the norm, so just chalk it up to experience, regroup and go back to boat diving when you're ready.

    I missed your most recent reply - Try not to feel 'pressured' about the cost of learning to dive and trying to get it done - Diving feeling stressed is the surest way for things to go wrong, so just take it steady and at your own pace - You'll get there, I've no doubt! :)

    M
     
  15. hawk

    hawk Doing It Rong
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    As Snowman says, not all BSAC dives are off a RIB.

    I personally don't like diving off RIBs - it's nothing to do with getting in and out of the water, it's the lack of facilities.
     
  16. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    Other than during padi training, there is no such thing as a 'padi dive'. The only 'bsac dives' are bsac club and bsac training dives. Mostly there is diving in different conditions and there is no link between agency and the type of diving done. Any perceived link is merely a reflection of the circumstances in which you encounter that agency.
     
  17. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Kind of, but can see how it's perceived that way.

    The vast majority of the worlds divers are trained by PADI and thus the largest number of dive outfits are
    naturally PADI ones who operate follow my leader type dives. It's understandable then that the these
    types of dives get labled PADI dives even though PADI are soley the supplier of courses, not the dive part .

    Meanwhile BSAC divers trained in the UK conditions tend to not have the same luxury of being able to travel
    in a led group, so the norm is as an independent buddy pair.

    Neither is a set in stone as a standard as such, but the shear number of divers that dive or are associated in
    this manner might well as make it a standard.
     
  18. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    There's a vast difference between dive boats too. The hard boats tend to have a far more relaxed attitude with how you dive as they expect you to know your stuff, especially when doing "individuals diving". There's definitely a difference in the atmosphere when doing a "club" booking off of one of these boats.

    The big benefit of a RIB is they're generally fast to get to and from the dive site, obviously subject to the weather conditions. Can be fun diving from a RIB, but largely depends on the diving you're doing. Diving from a RIB in the Med... lovely.
     
  19. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    I did padi dives on Sunday and Monday - ie a group of people brought together by a padi dive centre. Sunday, there were just two of us - we've dived a couple of times together and I'd been to the site before. Monday, there were about a dozen people diving and were in four groups diving independently - I dived with the buddy from Monday and another. He had been to the site before - easy dive, perfect conditions and we were often diving three abreast. So, not necessarily "follow my leader". We met up with the dive centre instructor's group underwater and were complimented by her back on shore as to how well we were diving together.
     

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