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Diving Safety, Accidents and Incidents Post here to discuss accidents, incidents, ideas, gear, or anything else to improve spearfishing safety. Memorials and condolences threads should be placed in that separate forum.

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Old 02-14-2013, 01:25 PM   #316
Louis Rossignol
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

September 25th I had to get hip replacement surgery. The cartilage in the old one was worn out and the top of the bone looked like it had barnacles growing on it.

July and August I was in so much pain there were days I couldn't walk into my drycleaners. (I own a cleaners as well as being a public insurance adjuster) At the time I was taking 3 Tramadols and 2 Percocets a day just to try and cope with the pain.

My hip started bothering me about 20+ years ago. Back in the early 90's we were deep diving Main Pass once or twice a week. Did I get bent in the hip and not know it? maybe, but who knows. Over time the cartilage died off. Also, my sister of 17 years older than me, had to get the same hip replaced as me 4 years prior. So maybe it was multiple factors.

Back in the 90's in Main Pass I was doing some of the stupidest stuff, I remember one dive, I'm chasing a grouper at 200'+ with no air left in my tank, I mean frikking ZERO and just kept on chasing the grouper. Finally I made a rapid ascent and hit the boat with the Ol' Bendamatic in the red. So, I just slapped another tank on my back and went back down to 60' to decompress. Stuff like that can give you a ton of aches and pains.

About 4 years ago, I started weight training pretty aggressively in hopes to make the joint, and the rest of my body strong enough to not have it replaced. I really thought I would die before I had to go through a surgery like this. But now it's done, and I feel better than I've felt in years. I used to have lower back pains along with hip pains, now I have no pain at all. I'm still pretty aggressive with the weight training but now have been able to incorporate running as well. Something I couldn't do before the surgery.

I went into the Gulf the first time after the surgery at the beginning of November, just to do some freediving. I bought some long ass, stiff as shit freediving fins to help work out my legs. Later in November I made my first scuba dive, I didn't go deep but did manage an amberjack close to 60 lbs.

I was told I would be able to dive the way I used to by DAN and my doctor, but I just wanted to be sure that nitrogen couldn't get trapped in the bone some kind of way. It could screw up all progress I had been making. By December I slowly made my way a little deeper, I think around 175'. So far no problems, since December I've probably made about 10 trips slamming the cobias including one where I brought my wife and daughter to sit on the boat and watch me, while I shot fish all day with the flu. I loaded the boat all by myself. I could have never made it through the day carrying their weight and mine before the surgery.

This surgery has really made me appreciate my legs, I will work hard to keep them in the best shape possible, and even with scuba now, I'm still kicking those big, long ass, stiff as shit freediving fins.

I asked one of the other Hell Divers if I was moving fast underwater December 28th, he said, he couldn't get out of my dust all day, that feels good!

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Old 02-14-2013, 09:46 PM   #317
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

Holy blessings to you Rok - that is one heck of a story of recovery. Glad to hear you are back as strong as ever. I am sure your competitors in the rodeo are trembling a tiny bit as the King may come back to claim his throne. Thanks for sharing Louis, Tony
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:02 AM   #318
Louis Rossignol
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

Tim Raines went missing on Saturday at around 10 o'clock according to Coast Guard reports.

The report we had was that the diver was on his way back to the boat, his fish, floating tails up and when he got to the back of the boat, he just sank back down and out of sight.

We (Paul Cozic, Wil Demuth, Ronnie Joe Collins, Toby Armstrong, two camera men and myself) just so happened to be at ST 67, which happened to have a very nasty Bull Shark that was eating peoples fish right off of their shafts, when we got the calls around 5 o'clock Saturday evening. We had planned to sleep on the rig and dive the next day. Condiditons sucked, it was ruff as shit, not too mention Wil had an issue with his fuel pick up tube on the port side of his boat. I had estimated a 25mi. run to the southeast in the morning if we were going to try to find the missing diver. Although the run to the southeast was very doable in my opinion, even though it was still ruff as shit, we opted to go back to Fourchon because of the mechanical problem in the morning and get a bigger boat.

We were met with the guys from the Blake Terry Foundation, and they helped us load all our gear onto their boats, a 36' Contender with trips, and a monster, Aluminum Custom Cat w/ Hydrofoils and 600 ponies. Also, was Jason Guitreau, Troy Donalson, and George Ansardi on the Heavy Metal. We hauled ass out to the rig, which was ST 185 A. The boats were supplied with plenty of food and drinks by the members of the Foundation.

The plan was for the guys aboard the Heavy Metal to make a dive first to determine the conditions. The water depths were 185' on one corner and 175' on the other corner. When the first team came up, we could see the futility with trying to locate the diver as the murk on the bottom started at 133', leaving approx. 40-50' of murk on the bottom.

We then with all 3 boats started to drag hooks, tied to 2 fishing poles so that we could cover about 5-10' swaths. Very difficult in this depth of water but we did try that for most of the day. We did manage to hook several items on the bottom, so there was a slight possibility if we ran them over the missing diver.

Later on, the second team of divers went down, including myself. The surface was dirty, but after 20+' the water was beautiful blue down to 133', we dove down into the dirt but that was futile as well. However I noticed a current on the bottom that was blowing everything to the north. I have no idea if that current was present when the first team went in the water or if it was present at the time the diver went missing. If it was we may have been concentrating out search on the wrong corner of the rig with our hooks for most of the day.

We readjusted our search but it was getting late in the day and things were looking bleak. The Heavy Metal stayed out while the other two boats headed back in.

Back at the dock, talking to the founders of the Blake Terry Foundation, we discussed ROV's and side scan sonar, however one member, said, "It's nice to be able to find the missing divers and all of that, but we need to do more to try to prevent this stuff from happening". My thoughts exactly!
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:16 AM   #319
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Unhappy Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

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Originally Posted by Louis Rossignol View Post
Tim Raines went missing on Saturday at around 10 o'clock according to Coast Guard reports.

The report we had was that the diver was on his way back to the boat, his fish, floating tails up and when he got to the back of the boat, he just sank back down and out of sight.

We (Paul Cozic, Wil Demuth, Ronnie Joe Collins, Toby Armstrong, two camera men and myself) just so happened to be at ST 67, which happened to have a very nasty Bull Shark that was eating peoples fish right off of their shafts, when we got the calls around 5 o'clock Saturday evening. We had planned to sleep on the rig and dive the next day. Condiditons sucked, it was ruff as shit, not too mention Wil had an issue with his fuel pick up tube on the port side of his boat. I had estimated a 25mi. run to the southeast in the morning if we were going to try to find the missing diver. Although the run to the southeast was very doable in my opinion, even though it was still ruff as shit, we opted to go back to Fourchon because of the mechanical problem in the morning and get a bigger boat.

We were met with the guys from the Blake Terry Foundation, and they helped us load all our gear onto their boats, a 36' Contender with trips, and a monster, Aluminum Custom Cat w/ Hydrofoils and 600 ponies. Also, was Jason Guitreau, Troy Donalson, and George Ansardi on the Heavy Metal. We hauled ass out to the rig, which was ST 185 A. The boats were supplied with plenty of food and drinks by the members of the Foundation.

The plan was for the guys aboard the Heavy Metal to make a dive first to determine the conditions. The water depths were 185' on one corner and 175' on the other corner. When the first team came up, we could see the futility with trying to locate the diver as the murk on the bottom started at 133', leaving approx. 40-50' of murk on the bottom.

We then with all 3 boats started to drag hooks, tied to 2 fishing poles so that we could cover about 5-10' swaths. Very difficult in this depth of water but we did try that for most of the day. We did manage to hook several items on the bottom, so there was a slight possibility if we ran them over the missing diver.

Later on, the second team of divers went down, including myself. The surface was dirty, but after 20+' the water was beautiful blue down to 133', we dove down into the dirt but that was futile as well. However I noticed a current on the bottom that was blowing everything to the north. I have no idea if that current was present when the first team went in the water or if it was present at the time the diver went missing. If it was we may have been concentrating out search on the wrong corner of the rig with our hooks for most of the day.

We readjusted our search but it was getting late in the day and things were looking bleak. The Heavy Metal stayed out while the other two boats headed back in.

Back at the dock, talking to the founders of the Blake Terry Foundation, we discussed ROV's and side scan sonar, however one member, said, "It's nice to be able to find the missing divers and all of that, but we need to do more to try to prevent this stuff from happening". My thoughts exactly!
So sorry to hear this Louis.

Please keep us apprised of the situation. Tony
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Old 06-17-2013, 02:16 PM   #320
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

So strange for him to sink like that. Seems he would have been positively buoyant at the surface. Heart attack? Nitrogen bubble to the brain? So sorry for his loss.
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:29 PM   #321
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Question Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

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So strange for him to sink like that. Seems he would have been positively buoyant at the surface. Heart attack? Nitrogen bubble to the brain? So sorry for his loss.
Could it be that perhaps in rough seas the boat hit him in the head and knocked him out?

It can be so dangerous to board in rough sea conditions. I always tell my divers returning to the boat to be on guard against the dive platform or the boat itself and to never take your regulator out of your mouth or mask off your face until you are completely on board.

Of course, he also might have had a health problem like a heart attack. Recovering the body and performing an autopsy would be useful to determine cause of death.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:52 PM   #322
Louis Rossignol
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

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So strange for him to sink like that. Seems he would have been positively buoyant at the surface. Heart attack? Nitrogen bubble to the brain? So sorry for his loss.
I had posted this here to get some discussion on this death. He may not have been positively buoyant coming to the surface because if he does anything like I do, we usually make sure we don't have any air in our BC so that on the next dive we can haul ass down.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:11 PM   #323
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Lightbulb Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

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I had posted this here to get some discussion on this death. He may not have been positively buoyant coming to the surface because if he does anything like I do, we usually make sure we don't have any air in our BC so that on the next dive we can haul ass down.
You are probably right Louis that he was not positive at the surface which may explain why he went back down. If he is recovered, the Coast Guard and other LEOs will probably examine that BC (and other gear) closely to see if equipment failure had anything to do with the dive accident.

Before I go in, I depress the deflater button and use my lungs to pull the air out of the BC so I can drop without hanging on the surface. I use a double bladder Dive Rite BC and make sure there is no air in either bladder before my descent. On my boat, we roll backwards into the water, so I kick down about 10-20 feet beyond any positive buoyancy that might be present.

Then, I personally turn over for a feet first descent, especially when diving deep (below 200 feet) like I often do. There is some dive lore somewhere that says the effects of narcosis are lessened with a feet-first ascent.
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:37 AM   #324
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

When I hit the surface, I immediately get positively buoyant before swimming to the boat. It takes three seconds to empty the BC when going down for the next dive. That three second delay is a small price to pay for having positive floatation if I get into trouble on the surface. I wish Tim had put a little air in his BC - he might be alive if he had.

And as Tony said - the swim platform on a pitching boat can knock you out - I always reach out grab it with a hand before getting my head anywhere near it.
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:49 AM   #325
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

Louis, has there been any luck finding Tim?

This is another very sad situation in our sport and I am sure the family would like to have closure. Tony
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:09 AM   #326
Louis Rossignol
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007/...off-Grand-Isle

After communicating with the captain, who was also Tim's friend, they think he may have had a heart attach or stoke at the side of the boat. They said he came to the boat under his own power and everything seemed fine, then he just sank out of sight.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:24 PM   #327
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

Arrrrrgghhhhhh u big heapum rig boys. Is that state waters? If its federal PW them in the face n string em
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:51 PM   #328
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

Labor Day. Three of us were diving South Timbalier block 130. I had shot a decent gag and headed up with the fish leaving the other two guys behind finishing their dive. I surfaced and threw my fish in the boat and climbed in just in time to see a supply boat backing in to the rig. I started yelling at a guy on the rig in not so nice of language, that I still had two divers in the water and that they should be headed up. He waved off the supply boat and told me that the boat had to get in....no shit huh....maybe that's why he was backing in....I saw a warsaw on the surface and knew that one of the guys was making a stop. When they got to the boat I found out they were being pulled out of the rig and had to hang on to keep from being sucked out. The crew of the supply boat completely disregarded our dive flag and it was pretty obvious (empty boat) that we were underwater.
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:53 PM   #329
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

Thanks everyone for all the tips, especially Louis. Great thread
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Old 06-24-2014, 11:38 PM   #330
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

Ledslinger......man all I I'm going to tell you is don't go to the rigs without an experienced person with you. If you want to learn please do so with someone who has been there.
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