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Egypt Liveaboard (Fatality)

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by bgdiver, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. bgdiver

    bgdiver Active Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    Just thought I would get this off my chest. Ive been in two minds about posting this, but I think its important to discuss these incidents in the hope that we can make sense of these fooked up moments and hopefully become safer divers as a result.

    I'm not going to write a novel just the facts. If you want to know more feel free to ask questions.

    As some of you know I went on my first Live-aboard with Blue O Two last month. It was an amazing experience. Met some great people and the diving was incredible. Unfortunately when we arrived we were told that the weather forecast didn't look good, strong winds all week, bad news for the wrecks.

    We spent the first three days bobbing around the local reefs, (fine for me with my goPro) not so much for a lot of the other divers. Eventually at 3am the Captain decided to go for it and make the jump over the gulf to the Thistlegorm. After a very very rough and sleepless night we made it to the other side.

    First dive on the Thistlegorm. My guided wreck penetration went fine. ascended the shot line, up the ladder and was met with the worst site any diver wants to see. Another diver on the deck receiving CPR and clearly not doing very well. They worked on him for 2-3 hours while we all sat around feeling completely helpless and not knowing what to say or do. Eventually the ambulance speed boat arrived whisked him off the Sharm but he didn't make it.

    Now I want to make it very clear, I was not part of this divers group, I do not know exactly what happened. I can only pass on what I heard. This is not an official account and it is probably inaccurate, I can only say what I heard from others on the boat.

    Apparently, he was a new open water diver 25+ dives (aged 40-50) he had had a problem all week with his ears so had only done one or two dives. Obviously he wanted to do the Thistlegorm and he felt ready for it so he decided to do the dive. They had chosen to dive the exterior first and descended to the stern of the boat. I think him and his buddy were part of a group with a dive guide, but i'm not sure. after 15 mins the diver was apparently down to 90 bar. I think he was on an Ali 12 so clearly his breathing rate was sky high suggesting he was not comfortable.

    The dive guide or buddy signalled for the two of them to head back to the shot line, which they did. This is where it all went wrong. Apparently the diver suddenly spat his reg out of his mouth and started to pull him self up the line. However, his buddy saw this and managed to grab him and shove his alternate into his mouth which he spat straight back out. The buddy then did his best to keep a reg in the divers mouth and slowly ascend the shot line while the diver was violently thrashing around. This started at roughly 20M up to 6M where the diver managed to knock his buddies mask off and regulator out of his mouth. At this point understandably the buddy had to let the diver go to replace his reg and mask. The diver shot up the last 6M without a reg and apparently made it the the surface but only barely alive. Due to the strong winds there were some quite big waves, apparently the diver was on his back, two large waves came over and he actually drowned at the surface before anybody could get to him. The buddy checked his computer and there were no ascent warnings, so no DCS worries.

    Absolutely horrible, I just feel so sorry for his family.

    Thats it in a nutshell... feel free to ask any questions.
     
  2. Iain Denham

    Iain Denham Active Member

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    wow bloody hell, don't know what to say really poor fella.
     
  3. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
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    Thanks for sharing that Adam, not a nice experience I'm sure.
     
  4. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    That's awful to hear.

    That's just reinforced some rescue diver scenarios I've been doing over last weekend. Panicked diver + OOG. It's clear that this does happen and it's not just a made-up scenario.
     
  5. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    Sounds awful, been in a similar situation so understand how you feel,
    it's the family bit that always makes it worse :(

    Don't think we need to ask questions.

    Diver outside of his level and the guide let that happen.
    Not an uncommon scenario that sadly is the root of many an incident :(
     
  6. bgdiver

    bgdiver Active Member

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    Thats why ive been so quiet on the forum, took a while to let it sink in.
     
  7. Zubar

    Zubar Active Member
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    It's pretty shit and I'm sure it put a bit of a downer on your trip.

    Sounds like a typical incident pit, with panic being the cause of death. He probably had enough air to get up, if only he had kept his reg in.
    Top marks to his buddy, don't think he could have done more.
     
  8. bgdiver

    bgdiver Active Member

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    Completely agree, I think the buddy did everything amazingly well considering the situation.

    The visibility was crap (for red sea standards) plus there was a bit of a current. It made the dive feel a bit deeper than it actually was. he must have been hyperventilating, didn't think he was getting enough air, spat his reg out. Tragic!
    As you know i'm a relatively new diver myself so I can kind of understand why he may have felt uncomfortable on that dive. It was a bit of a shock to the system after three days of reef diving.
     
  9. Tel

    Tel Super Moderator
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    A cylinder with low contents and maybe a hire/non-adjustable reg + the extra
    work from a hyperventilating diver might give enough of a noticable drop in
    performance that could see an inexperinced diver thinking the reg was failing/not
    getting enough air.
     
  10. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
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    I must admit to being surprised that a diver with so little experience was allowed on a liveaboard. I seem to recall when I started diving there was a requirement for AOW and 50 dives, but I suppose that went by the wayside when the recession caused numbers to drop.
     
  11. bgdiver

    bgdiver Active Member

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    I know what you mean Dom. I think the minimum requirement on the more challenging routes is 30+ dives OW cert. Definitely pushed by the recession. I had a wander round Hurghada when we got back to port, very quiet, and full of half finished hotels, they got hit really hard. That itinerary was supposed to be geared up to beginners so there were no minimum number of dives. Plus he was there with a dive club so they must have thought he was ready.
     
  12. Doomanic

    Doomanic Dinosaur Wrangler
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    Sadly.
     
  13. bgdiver

    bgdiver Active Member

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    Are you putting words in my mouth Dom :)
     
  14. Dan Payne

    Dan Payne Active Member

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    Not something I wanted to read before heading out there!!

    On a serious note though, that must of been awfull for everyone involved, family, buddy, staff and other divers.
     
  15. Dan Payne

    Dan Payne Active Member

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    On a note about minimum dives. They appear to vary depending on itinerary.

    The one we are going only requires a min of 15 dives with OW level, but ideally AOW. So not much experience required.

    This is also doing a days diving on the thistlegorm.

    Others I looked at had a min of 30 & 50 dives. All with the same company.
     
  16. Sidemount_Stu

    Sidemount_Stu Sidemount & Sane!
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    Sad sad news, feel for all involved, family & friends. Sounds like the buddy worked hard to do all he could and he must have been particularly affected by the outcome!

    Let's hope the "requirements" get revisited and go back to more realistic standards.

    We can only hope lessons will be learnt that help prevent similar future events, sadly I have my doubts!
     
  17. Zubar

    Zubar Active Member
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    Hmm, also as the wreck seems to be degrading rather rapidly of late :(
     
  18. CaptainPugwash

    CaptainPugwash Active Member

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    A very sad story. It must have been horrific for all involved.
    After your updated thread, I realise that the question doesn't apply to this particular situation: Why is it that guides will happily take you into a wreck regardless of training / qualifications / experience, but consider your depth limit to be sacrosanct?
     
  19. Zubar

    Zubar Active Member
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    I suppose because it is easy to put a value on and therefore limit. 'Conditions' are more subjective and therefore harder to define and control.
     
  20. CaptainPugwash

    CaptainPugwash Active Member

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    I am refering to "overhead environment" though - that isn't subjective is it?
    In the PADI world you ought to be wreck qualified to enter.
    Is that not correct? Am I missing something?

    When I was in Egypt they kept mentioning "Insurance" as a reason not to exceed depth limits.. but I'm sure insurance claims would come up against the same issues if something were to happen inside a wreck.
     

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