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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 05-25-2008, 08:59 AM   #91
Louis Rossignol
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

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Originally Posted by pirate_diver View Post
Any more stories coming to mind Rok? Or any of the other hell divers/rig divers.
Here's a good one,

We were diving off of a 42' crewboat out of Venice, this is the way we used to do most of our dive trips because it was cheap.

The decks are high so jumping off was quite a drop, if you planned it right, by the time the bubbles quit you were deeper than 20'. As always it was a race to the bottom. Don't ask me why Hell Divers don't like new gear, but on this dive Mike Fonseca was using one of those steel 72 cu. ft. tanks.

The tank had been sitting up for the winter but was full. At 40' Mike was breathing but not getting the gas he needed. He came flying to the surface screaming that he was dying and terrible current on that rig didin't make matters any better.

Ya know what happened?

The tank sitting up all winter had some rust in it because it was a steel tank. Rust uses OXYGEN to take place. The tank was full but the O2 percentage was very low, too low for a diver to survive while kicking against the current. I'm sure there is a more scientific reason behind this story but I wonder how many times this has happened and the person just didn't make it to the surface.

In the story where the Instructor comes up wide eyed and too exhausted to make the boat, could there have been less O2 in his tank due to an old fill. Also, since I'm on tanks,

I brought my tanks to have visuals on them a few years ago, we do them ourselves now, and the guy at the dive shop tells me, "Louis, as shitty as your tanks look oun the outside, they are extra clean on the inside." Maybe using your stuff to the exteme is a good thing at times.

Hey, you ever seen a bunch of broken plastic in the bottome of your tank? Some of the older tank valves had a plastic stem on them, the stem was so when you go straight down you don't have trash going through your valve from the bottom of the tank into your regulator. Those stems would get brittle and break into a million pieces.

I once had a friend that had those plastic pieces clog his tank valve thus giving him a less than adequate supply of air at depth.

One more thing, ever not open your valve all the way? I have been at 100+' and everytime I breathed it was hard to get air, look at your pressure guage and when you breath the guage moves to zero and then back up. Learn to reach your tank valve and turn it on while the tank is on your back. Never know when you will jump off the boat in ripping current and have to pull that trick off because you were in a hurry.
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:08 AM   #92
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

How many of the rigs that you're familiar with are suitable to be worked freediving? And how often do conditions allow it? To make this relevant; any particularly grim freediver stories that we could learn from?
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Old 05-25-2008, 01:01 PM   #93
Louis Rossignol
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

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How many of the rigs that you're familiar with are suitable to be worked freediving? And how often do conditions allow it? To make this relevant; any particularly grim freediver stories that we could learn from?
I'm a tanker, but you can fredive any rig you want. Sometimes you may have to go out farther to get to clean water. That just depends on the Mississippi River stage. Also you can dive the dirty water and swim below the murk layer. Just have to be ready to shoot fast.
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Old 05-25-2008, 01:15 PM   #94
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

The story about the diver that recently got washed out of the rig and floated for 4 hours got me thinking. The way my BC leaks if I was to ever get washed out and had to do the big ol' drift for hours on end, my tank would run out of air trying to keep my BC full of air. So I made some repairs to my BC.

I filled it with air and dunked it in the pool to find the leaks. It was leaking pretty bad around the shoulders and back area, looked like the material just got worn out and lost it's air holding properties. It is 15 years old, so I came up with a great idea. I bought a can of Rubberize It and started painting the leaky parts with it. It's been drying over night so I checked it out this morning.

No more leaks and it looks great. I ought to be able to get another 15 years out of this one. I don't plan on drifitng but if it ever happens at least I'll be ready.
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Old 05-25-2008, 07:54 PM   #95
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

one of the best post i have ever read. thanks for all the stories they are great to hear and also a great learning experance.

thanks to every one who has added to this

why is this not a sticky
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Old 05-26-2008, 08:50 AM   #96
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

Louis, looking at the pics of your set up...I noticed it looks like you have one of the old conshelf regs from aqualung. Can you still get the parts for that thing??? I have one that was given to me by my aunt from when she was diving, but it needs work. And as usual, good stories. And sick tattoo
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Old 05-26-2008, 09:20 AM   #97
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

It's not old, I bought it last year, brand new. It's a US Divers with the metal second stage. Good to 1500'. I figure if I'm fighting a fish and my face gets slammed into a rig leg I want metal in my mouth so I don't crack it.

That other thing you see is an SOS Decomptometer. That's my bottom timer. Keep it out of the red and it's not neccesary to decompress. I still take saftey stops though after deep dives, past 150'.

The other thing is a depth guage Papa Smurf gave me. He'd always ask me how deep I went and I'd tell him, I couldn't read my guage. So he gave me this and now I know how deep I went even after I get back on the boat. I liked it better when I didn't know.
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Old 05-26-2008, 10:52 AM   #98
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

I would NEVER use that stuff to try to repair old worn out life support equipment.

what is your life worth?
































(Aqua-seal works much better for that application)
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Old 05-26-2008, 09:45 PM   #99
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

Louis Is 100% Right About Everything He Says Listen To Him ...Louis You Are The Man.Thanks So Much For Helping Speros Understand And Teach them That This Isnt A Walk In the Park...All You Guys Stay Safe For The Rodeo
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Old 06-12-2008, 05:34 PM   #100
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/news/story?id=2638842
Louis,
Reading your posts, I couldn't help thinking of the loss to the climbing world of Todd Skinner. Todd Skinner was a world class climber and pioneer of the sport as we know it. Todd Skinner died last year in Yosemite when the belay loop on his overused harness failed. There is no rational justification for this man's death.
What is the comparative value of your life versus the pride in well worn gear and the cost of new gear? Having done both, I can assure you that rig diving is a hell of a lot more dangerous than climbing. With both, your gear is your life. Do the math. Please be careful.

"The climbing and soloing arent worth dying for, but they are worth risking dying for."
Todd Skinner
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:07 PM   #101
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

I was thinking the same thing when Louis posted the pics from the dive gear museum. At this point for what is cost to fill up the boat you can almost buy a new set of dive gear.
Using your old reliable speargun, fins, mask, etc... is fine, but when it comes to BC's and regs I like to know they relatively new and operating well.
Please dive safe.
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Old 06-22-2008, 07:27 AM   #102
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

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When Wil got on the boat and said to me, "he didn't feel good". Theres only one response you will ever get out of me, unless you become unconscience. "Back in the water", "60ft. crawl up the pipe and stop at 30', 20' and then 10'.
How long at each depth?

Thanks for posting this...you are probably saving lives.
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Old 06-22-2008, 11:00 AM   #103
Louis Rossignol
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

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http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/news/story?id=2638842
Louis,
Reading your posts, I couldn't help thinking of the loss to the climbing world of Todd Skinner. Todd Skinner was a world class climber and pioneer of the sport as we know it. Todd Skinner died last year in Yosemite when the belay loop on his overused harness failed. There is no rational justification for this man's death.
What is the comparative value of your life versus the pride in well worn gear and the cost of new gear? Having done both, I can assure you that rig diving is a hell of a lot more dangerous than climbing. With both, your gear is your life. Do the math. Please be careful.

"The climbing and soloing arent worth dying for, but they are worth risking dying for."
Todd Skinner

Thank you for your concern about my dive gear.

As I mentioned, my regulator is new, I won't rebuild it, when it starts screwing up, I will replace it again.

The Rubberize It that I applied before the Hell Divers Rodeo, has survived approximately 50 dives since then. It's working awsome, still.

In my opinion, your BC is not a life saving device. It is only a luxury item. I stressed the importance of the regulator and it's hoses, but not the BC. I'm also from the day when none of us used a BC, only backpacks. I also believe I have certain advantages to dive the BC I'm using, it's streamlined without alot of crap hanging off of it. Another important thing about it, is it holds the tank very tight. Which leads me to another story, and unfortunately another death. I have to reply to John Gault first.
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Old 06-22-2008, 11:06 AM   #104
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

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How long at each depth?

Thanks for posting this...you are probably saving lives.
I hope so, John.

The way I would usually do inwater recompression is drop to 60 for only about a minute or 2, just long enough to shrink the bubbles, then 30 for 2-3, then 20 for most of the rest of the decompression. The time depends on how bad you screwed up. Thats what a computer is for. But then I like to follow up with several minutes at 10'.
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Old 06-22-2008, 11:11 AM   #105
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

The story,

The divers name was Pat Welch. He was diving one of the rigs in Main Pass, he shot a large grouper and the grouper took off pulling him with it. His tank slipped out of the BC, at which point he should've let go of the fish. But he didn't. He was found face down on the surface, frothy mouthed, BC on, but no tank in it.
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