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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 03-31-2009, 12:01 AM   #181
wpparke
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

Rok, did you have any close calls through out the winter chasing those big cobias? I bet there are a few good stories to be told.
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:58 AM   #182
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

Great thread. I have been very interested in how you guys do your diving. Thanks for the insight.
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Old 03-31-2009, 10:39 AM   #183
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

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Rok, did you have any close calls through out the winter chasing those big cobias? I bet there are a few good stories to be told.

Damn, this thread is still alive?

I didn't really have any close calls, happen to me, other than getting dragged into the dirt. But after a few 100 times of that, you just get used to it.

But in one instance, John Nette and Cory G, had their little issue. One of them shot a big cobia and the other shot one right next to him. The fish tangled with each other and they wound up on the bottom in the dirt, John had no cable cutters in his BC, (because he doesn't use a BC) but Cory, thankfully did. I wasn't in range to witness this and besides I was dragging a 57 lber. to the boat that I had stoned, but they did some intense cable cutting to get their asses out of their. And managed to land both fish.
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:53 AM   #184
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

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I've been pulled thru bell housings and other small gaps that if I missed the hole could have snapped off the yoke on my regulators first stage. If that ever happens, your air is ZERO. I've watched a diver drop his tank on the boat , regualtor attached and he broke the yoke off his tank. Imagine if that happens at 100'? Your tanks will not be connected to your reg anymore. You either make the free ascent or if you make the mistake to suck on the reg you may just suck saltwater. In this case; a good defense could be a pony bottle, but the reason I don't wear one is because that's one less peice of gear I have to worry about getting tangled on something in the rig.
It is still possible to breathe from the tank valve.

Great thread, BTW.
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:47 PM   #185
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

I have been diving these GOM rigs for over 25 years. A lot more often when I was living in Gulf shores. I never realized there was so much to it. I've always just dove the rigs like they were anything else. I found it a lot scarier diving in Southern Mexico and California. The only thing I have learned the hard way in the GOM is about shooting the rig giants. You have to shoot a big fish at depth in bad conditions to know how dangerous that is. It is very easy to get wrapped to the structure or pulled way past your MOD. The guys i dive with are all very solid divers. That said The Bottom line is a lot of the times in the conditions we dive no one would know you're wrapped until it was too late. Close calls seem to come with spearfishing and deep diving...at least for me.
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:10 PM   #186
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

My Latest Death Scare;

I'm on a leisurely dive trip with some friends, my first screw up. My intensity level is not there. If I'm not travelling at warp speed I lose my concentration.

6th dive of the day, I'm trying a new gun. This gun is totally unfalimiar to me, it doesn't have a riding rig. It has 4- 5/8" bands cocked on it too. I felt obliged to shoot something just so I can say I tried the gun.

I'm at 135' pretty much by myself on the rig, as the other divers were still above me. I finally pick out a 35 lb. AJ to try the gun on. I'm only holding the gun with one hand and I'm not ready for the recoil of a 4 banded gun. I shoot the AJ and the gun comes flying back to hit me in the reulator. It really knocked me for a loop.

I take a breath and get nothing but saltwater. At this point I just knew I was going to die.

I sweep my hand across my face and notice the 2nd stage is not there. The mouthpeice however is still in my mouth. I look around and can't even see the 2nd stage. All kinds of thoughts run through my head such as looking for the other divers, cutting my high pressure hose and sucking on that but instinctively my right arm is swinging trying to find my 2nd stage. I see the bubbles and pull the second stage to my face to look at the problem.

I notice I will have to suck on the metal opening because the mouthpiece is not on the 2nd stage. I pull the mouthpiece out of my mouth and stick the metal opening in my mouth. I inhale and get some air and alot more saltwater. I pull the 2nd stage out of my mouth and stick the mouthpiece back on the 2nd stage, put it back into my mouth and inhale; saltwater again with just a little bit of air. I hold the purge on the 2nd stage and get more air, but still alot of water.

Decision time;
I let the gun go, which wasn't mine, hold the purge and start my ascent. I made it to the surface coughing and choking. I swim to the boat, examine the mouthpiece because I think it may have a cut in it letting water in. I changed the mouthpiece and fall over the side of the boat. More water. I then pull the exhaust cover off the exhaust port only to notice the diaphram is folded over and letting the water in. On all of my other regulators if the exhaust diaphram folded over, purging and blocking the air with my mouth would make it straighten out. Not this one, there is only one diaphram and it is so soft that wouldn't work.

After fixing the diaphram, I jumped back in and swam down to 135' and retrieved the gun and fish.

Solution
I'm going to change the exhaust diaphram out on this reg to a stiffer one, that won't collapse so easily. I know I'll probably get a ton of replys about using an octopus, but I don't think that will happen.

For the next 2 days my chin hurt like hell and I believe if I didn't have hair on my chin it would have been showing black and blue.

Well I'm still alive, so maybe I can warn yall of my next **** up. I guess the saying is true, "you can't kill bad grass".
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:46 PM   #187
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

Hell of a story Rok. Glad you are still around to drink a beer and show me the ropes about rig diving.
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:56 PM   #188
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

Good report Rock. A lot of people don't realize how easy it is for an exhaust valve to fold over (or a diaphram to tear or shift, or the second stage housing to crack, or cover to come loose, etc.). And I doubt they still teach OW students how to remedy the solution of a badly leaking second stage:

The answer, as you said, is: DON'T SUCK!!!!... you need to simply press the purge and try to sip the air and use your mouth as a splash guard to separate the water from the air.

Trying to get air by sucking on the reg will pretty much drown you, while taking a hit off a freeflowing (purged) reg is not really hard if you are calm and you can devote a hand or finger to the task of pressing the purge.
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:28 PM   #189
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

Just curious Rock, whats youre aversion to a redundant air soure, such as a pony with its own stage two at that depth?
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:13 PM   #190
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

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Just curious Rock, whats youre aversion to a redundant air soure, such as a pony with its own stage two at that depth?
Too much shit to carry around.

I'm into speed, not need!!!
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:19 PM   #191
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

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Just curious Rock, whats youre aversion to a redundant air soure, such as a pony with its own stage two at that depth?
Danglies on an oil rig festooned with fishing lines and nets = inevitable entanglement in the low vis murk.

Entanglements deep = dead & probably not recovered. While some wives will be happy for the insurance $s with no leftovers in hand collecting the payout is problematic. Jeanne keeps telling me to come home, so obviously I don't have too much life insurance.

Entanglements are probable on every dive, air problems aren't
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:01 AM   #192
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

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My Latest Death Scare;... I know I'll probably get a ton of replys about using an octopus, but I don't think that will happen....".
Just for laughs try this, get a small second stage (i use a SP R380) put a elbow (not a swivel) on second and use a 22" hose, bungee(/w plastic ties on the mouth piece) the bugger close to your neck. Hose will not go past your shoulder, if it catches on anything the bungee will pull out of the tie. It is always there and ready to go. Anyway, good story, thanks.

John
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:06 PM   #193
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

We dove a rodeo in Grand Isle last weekend...My first dive of the day was on a deep rig, about 300'. Top layer was a little milky so the blue water underneath was pretty dark. I blasted down to about 160' to find 4 of the biggest AJs I have ever seen. All 4 were over 100#s. Could have gone over 120, but I'll never know and here's why...

I got down to the fish and one gave me a great shot. Only problem was my eyes had not yet adjusted to the darkness. Big difference between the sunlight on the boat and the dark spots under the rig. Anyhoo, I aimed for the sweet spot and pulled the trigger.

Nothing between me and 300' but a few large vertical pipes. Nothing at all to grab onto.

So I missed the stone shot and the fish begins to kick. Then kick some more, then kick even more. We went down, then sideways, then up a little. THat didn't last very long...

THe fish finally decided to head for the bottom. I kicked up as hard as I could (wearing longblades for more power) and the fish was completely KICKING MY ASS. It felt like the fish got stronger as the fight went on.

It was like being in a dark closet, with a bull, and the walls are covered with barnacles, and there's no floor, and it's full of water. CRAZY.

As I was being dragged down with nothing to hold onto, I admitted defeat. Reached for my kinfe and cut the cord. (I rig with cable and a short piece of spectra at the muzzle so I can cut it with a knife.)

Worst part about it, was being dragged within 5' of a 35# Red Snapper while fighting this freakin' DONKEY. Man I wish I could have that dive back. I would have waited for my eyes to adjust, and found that sow snapper.

I wear a pony bottle and all the redundant gear. This was just a case of an UNBELIEVEABLY STRONG fish that would have probably taken me to the bottom if I had held on or got wrapped up. Didn't want to get wrapped with such a strong fish.

Sometimes you have to let go...
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:32 PM   #194
Louis Rossignol
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

Just for the matter of being safe in the future. You can PM me the rig number and I'll make sure to take out those big fish for you. You don't need them anyways.

BTW, I drove past EB305 about 3 times in the last 2 weeks and never dove it, am I getting warm?
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:47 PM   #195
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

This is the first time I've ever read a whole thread. Great post guys, def needs a sticky.

A bunch of friends and I got amped to get into spearfishing this year. We all went out and dropped coin on gear. A couple of 'em have never even snorkeled before and, well lets say they had a tough time adjusting to the water. Even so, they are working in a pool now to master this dance.

I've been SCUBA and SCBA since sometime in the early 90's. So now I get to kill fish underwater? Not just yea but HELL YEA!!! I thought this would be a cake walk... haha

I 100% agree with the comment on freediving is a good way to loose a riding rig. The guy who sold it to me on the west bank was laughing when I walked out the door. I thought I'll show him....

I'm outside the rig. A school of Jack swam below me at about 40'. I fined up and drew down on the first one I saw. They were all looking at me face on. So I aimed between the eyes, and back a couple inches when I pulled the trigger. I must admit I was fired up, like that fist time you get a buck between the crosshairs. I have no idea where the spear struck, but I guess not where I was aming. That fish dragged me from 40' to 80' in about 10 seconds. I was kicking so hard I burned through all my breath, and that jack was still going strong. When I looked up the boat kept getting smaller, and my brain was screaming BREATH JACKASS. So I lifted my thumb and gave a Jack $100 piercing. When I shot through the surface I actually started to brag about loosing my gear!

Not kissing arse here, honestly, now that I've read this thread, there's a bunch of advise here which will probably save me and my friends lives. Rok, me and all my buddies are gratefull your padnuh talked you into posting this thread. We are all keeping an eye out for each other, and staying out the loop. The hand over the head thing while assent is a great one too. Condolences for all your losses with HD, which it took to learn these lessons. But man when you hear stories like this, even with a hard head like mine, it gets real. Booze on me if I see you out.

If its not too much of a bother, I'd like to ask you seasoned fish stabbers to answer a few questions.

1. Okay, so whats the deal with floaters (rigs)? Can we dive them if we stay out the structure or not?

2. How many cable wraps should you use on your gun to be safe if you're attaching the spear to a float?

3. I hit an awsome looking rip coming in from an overnighter last weekend. I decided to jump in but did not see snot. I have not seen anybody talk about spearing fish at a rip. Is it stupid to dive grass lines?

4. You say the best place to shoot a fish above the gill plates. Are you aming for the spine?

5. I've read that you should weight yourself heavy so you don't have to waste energy going down. So if you run out of breath, or black out, some people want to go to the bottom???

6. When i first dove in there were about 20 4'-5' black tips under me. What happens next time I see them and decide to brick one of those? What do you shoot for on shark to stone them?

Thanks for reading my speal. I get all fired up every time i think of that AJ in front of my spear. I can't wait to go get it back, and then fire off his whole family for jacking my riding rig.
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