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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 04-10-2017, 10:26 AM   #1
Cobalt06
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Join Date: Feb 2017
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My Brush with Drowning.

I have been Scuba Certified since 2005, Freediving since last year and generally love the water and spend a lot of time in it. A friend and I have been spearing every weekend for the past 5 months solid.
Last week, I was out spearfishing in a spot my regular Spero buddy and I frequent about once a month. It was 4 in the afternoon and the tide was on its way in. we left shore and swam about 100yards out to the Drop off where the water goes from 75ft to several hundred feet almost instantly. We hung around making dives to the drop and the current was pushing us down the coast steadily. about 1/4mile from the beach where we left I shot a 12.5lb Horse eye jack and with the current I was 1/2mile when I finally had it secured and was reloaded. At this point my Swim buddy was no where in sight. I started back to shore stopping to look for him every 50yards or so. He is a better swimmer and been doing this longer than I have so I was not to worried. we get separated we just go back to the insertion point and wait for the other. Once I got back I noticed the waves had picked up quite a bit and the exit would be rough. I spotted my swim buddy about 50yards behind me headed back also. the "Slot" as we call it is named because of the path through the rocks to the beach is in an S pattern. I rolled up my line and attached my buoy to my gun so I could hold it with one hand.
This is where everything went bad......
I started in and could not see the rocks well in the churning water, I turned to abort my attempt and was thrown into some rocks hitting my left ankle to the point it was almost impossible to kick with this leg. I pushed off the rock and started to swim back out when I was rolled into another rockchest first. being about ankle deep in water and the rock was 20ft across I mand the wrong decision to take off my fins and try to get across the rock to a larger rock and out of the water. I was hit by another wave that pushed me off the back of the rock I was sitting on and in between the rocks surrounding me. I gathered my stuff in one hand and moved back to the rock and held on as another wave hit me driving me down between the rocks. I had a good breath but knew it would not last forever. I remember thinking "Just wait it will stop, please stop soon" The Wave eventually stopped and I could get up to grab a breath. Thankfully this was between sets and the waves that came next were smaller. I scrambled on my hands and knees across the coral and urchins another 20ft to the cliff face was to a v notch I could shove my gear and threw my fins up on the 20ft tall rock I was going to have to climb as soon as my body would stop shaking from exhaustion. I hoisted my gun and the fish on my back and started the climb about 5 min later. as I set on the rock thankfully to be alive, I saw by swim buddy looking at me from the water whit that "Holy ****" look. I told him to swim down to the next beach and I would drive to pick him up. The walk back to the Jeep was exhausting and the adrenaline dump was hitting me hard. after getting home with scrapes and bruises and a pulled calf muscle I decided to take the rest of the weekend off from fishing. The rocks were a bad decision. I think I could have swam back out and made it to the other beach.
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:31 AM   #2
battleborn702
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Re: My Brush with Drowning.

Wow...glad you made it whole. Thanks for sharing. Its a good learning excercise.

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Old 04-10-2017, 10:42 AM   #3
dctrjayyy
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Re: My Brush with Drowning.

wow. glad you made it. good reminder.
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Old 04-10-2017, 11:08 PM   #4
North Star
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Re: My Brush with Drowning.

Waves and rocks are a nasty combination. Most people who do shore diving have an experience like that sooner or later. Glad you are safe.
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nec timor nec temeritas (neither fear nor foolhardiness.)
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Old 04-11-2017, 10:02 AM   #5
Mango Tango
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Re: My Brush with Drowning.

Wow, great story and glad you made it back safe! Thanks for posting.
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Old 04-11-2017, 10:28 AM   #6
PikeInSalt
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Re: My Brush with Drowning.

Jeez, I literally read half the story before realizing that Cobalt06 is my spearing buddy and I was the spearing buddy referenced!
I screwed up that day and disregarded some of the rules I've made up. We don't dive the open ocean beaches in late afternoon, only the ones within the bay. The current and waves tend to get too gnarly on the ocean side at that time. That day, lack of viz in the bay forced us out to the Slot (open ocean beach) in search of blue water. We should have just packed it in and went home.
I'm glad my friend was ok. We've had some close calls at that spot and others but this was the worst.
Definitely a wake up call and reminder to use my head before getting in the water.
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