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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 05-13-2008, 09:13 PM   #61
Louis Rossignol
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

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Originally Posted by Spear CR View Post
I read a little about Whip in the book, but it didn't go into detail about the situation.

Rok, tell us what happened. I think a lot of people might benefit from it. If you don't think so, I understand.
Roger
In this thread I already told the story of what happened to Whip. But I'll give you all the details this time.

We were on a bouble decker boat called the Deep C, alot of bad things happened on this boat.

We were on a 3 day rodeo and this was the third day and last dive of the trip.
Whip had just won King Spearfisherman of the rodeo 2 weeks prior. I was videoing several of the divers when they wold come up and all kinds of stupid things, just having fun.

Right before this rig, I was filming Whip, I said something on cameral like "you gonna win this rodeo too" . Whip was shoving a sandwich down his mouth telling me he's not sure but he's trying. Whip was as hardcore as they get. I had brought 24 scuba tanks on the boat and I was the only one left on the boat with any air at all. I tank dove to the bottom, 80' with the 800 psi. I still had left. I shot a 45 lb. black drum for the rodeo. The ****ed up thing is while I was looking down for fish, Whip was right above my head unconsciensly, drowning and I never had a clue.

Whip skin dove the rig shooting a huge barracuda. The fish must have fought pretty hard because we found the fish wrapped around a rig leg at 50 ft. But we couldn't find Whip. He must have shot to the surface and hit his head on a pipe knocking himself out and sending him back to the bottom.

3 days later 8-10 divers went out back to that rig. They searched the bottom for him. Val Rudolfovich a commercial diver with the Sea Tigers said if Whip drowned, he's on the bottom of that rig. They did their first dive and then were eating a little lunch. They had 2 man teams with a rope inbetween them. Nobody say Whip but they did say the water was very clear on the bottom of that rig. SS 189.

While they were eating their sandwiches, they smelled this smell. Someone said "Who Farted", they looked at the side of the boat and Whip was floating back to the boat, mask on, and snorkel out of the water. Terry jumped in and they floated him into the body bag. He had a large gash in the top of his head.

I still have the speargun and a few of his personal belongings today. I gave the video tape to his wife, we all put beers in his casket. Whip was one of a kind.
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Old 05-14-2008, 06:05 PM   #62
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

Through the eye's of a seasoned spearo......I'm finding myself living vicariously through this thread..feeling and seeing all thats written. Pretty bizzare.
Thank You Rok for your stories, insight and courage.
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Old 05-14-2008, 09:37 PM   #63
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

I've been following your thread with interest Louis, thanks for sharing your stories.

I couldn't help but notice we have a big helldivers fan on board, do you think he has a shot at membership?
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More. We want to hear more.
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:44 PM   #64
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

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I've been following your thread with interest Louis, thanks for sharing your stories.

I couldn't help but notice we have a big helldivers fan on board, do you think he has a shot at membership?
With all due respect,

I'm not telling all these stories to be macho or to glorify rig diving, I'm trying to give insight on the dangers of rig diving.

People come over here every year and die trying to do what we do. My goal as stated in the first post of this thread is to maybe save somebodies life by telling them what they will be in store for coming over here.

My only advantage is I've been diving the rigs since age 18 and fishing them since I was a kid. I've also gained several more years of knowledge from listening to people like Papa Smurf with his 44 years of rig diving.

Don't even attempt to turn this thread into a joke, it's NOT!!!
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:51 PM   #65
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

I thought that with all the morbidity maybe a little levity would be in order but this is the last you'll see of me in this thread. You may be seeing a little bit more of relapse though. And like I said your stories are very interesting and I'm taking them very seriously. They make me feel that what I do is safe.

I have to say that IMO the situations you described where your divers made it out, they did so by luck and instinct. By instinct I mean the natural reaction we all have in us that does not require to be taught. I don't think that most people can count on that. But it sure is a ride to find out if you yourself can I doubt the educational value though
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:52 PM   #66
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

One more horror story

I wasn't on this trip, but there was a man who was on a dive with the other Hell Divers, the report I got was that on the first dive he busted his nose. He came back to the boat alright but on the second dive he was found just floating at about 50'. ? I don't know much more about that story than what I just told yall.


Unfortunately, I got more.

Good night.
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:54 PM   #67
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

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I thought that with all the morbidity maybe a little levity would be in order but this is the last you'll see of me in this thread. You may be seeing a little bit more of relapse though. And like I said your stories are very interesting and I'm taking them very seriously. They make me feel that what I do is safe.
Didn't mean to piss you off, I don't know how to say it any other way. Brutally honest is my flaw.
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Old 05-14-2008, 11:06 PM   #68
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

Dan pargo is showing off his photoshop skills and trying make himself feel better about himself and derail a good thread, which is his forte. Atta boy pargo.
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Old 05-14-2008, 11:22 PM   #69
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

Spear CR, be cool dude, read the stories, give me some questions, that's what I want. seahunter49 is alright! I have a few more stories and everytime someone asks a question, I think of more.

I want no one to feel intimidated.
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:07 AM   #70
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

I think it is probably worthwhile to put this into a list of "rules for rig diving." here are a few that I have learned..feel free to challenge if you disagree.

1. If you rig your gun with SS cable, make sure you bring something that can cut it, and make sure it's capable of being tethered to you so you don't drop it in a panic. This is key because there are so many ways to get entangldd on a rig and a fish can tied you to the rig like a Christmas bow if you aren't careful.

2. Ascend inside the rig structure with your hand stretched out above your head. If you can, ascend in the same corner that you descended and pay attention to the horizontal and diagonal crossmembers on your way down. There are many reasons for doing this, but rig boats is the biggest reason. Some rig boats will not approach a rig if they see your dive flag...others will.

3. Don't bring a loaded gun into the murk..it's too easy to shoot somebody.

4. Pay attention to depth...it's amazing how fast you will find yourself 50' deeper than you intended to go. A lot of times the next section of horizontal poles looks like it's only 20 feet further down...but it's actually 60 feet further down.

5. Don't swim around a lot laterally looking for fish - they are either there or not, and if you've hit your max depth and haven' seen anything, head for the surface. take out your anger and unload your gun on a sheepshead or mangrove.

6. Don't backdive rigs unless they are really loaded with fish, and generally these are schoolies and not trophies if they are packed.

7. Watch out for sandblasting and painting..it's not dangerous but can really ruin your day if you ascend to find the boat covered in sand or paint.

8. Set a plan and stick to it - it's easy to change your plan, especially as it relates to depth, while you are down there, but this is generally a bad idea.

9. Don't backdive on a second tank unless you are committed to only shooting something small. The biggest grouper i've ever seen, I saw at 130 feet and i started my dive with 1500 pounds...I was smart enough not to shoot him.

10. If an AJ seems worn out, he's not. Be careful and ready for an exposive run at any time. also, AJ's like to swim straight down. Rok says he doesn't use rig poles to fight fish, but this can be a good technique to keep them from dragging you deep.

11. The low rumbling noises made by the rig are normal...although very creepy and intimidating. Underwater pipe emissions are normal too.

12. Don't go in the bottom murk - nothing but bad stuff down there.

13. Just because you can't see the sharks doesn't mean that they aren't there.

14. Surface murk makes the water dark, and can make it hard to find your buddy, even if he's only 20 feet away. Tank slappers are a good idea.

15. Skindiving with a riding rig is a really good way to lose a spear.

16. Cudas are everywhere...don't wear anything to shiny.

17. Don't try to dive like the Helldivers do...they are all nuts.
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Old 05-15-2008, 07:00 AM   #71
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

I only dissagree with #2, ascending inside the rig will get you hit in the head, especially in swells. Alot of times they have pipes that are cut off before they reach the water. You will rise up in the swell and hit your head. Instead come up the outside of the corner leg you went down on. You will hear the workboats.

Setting a plan is a good thing.

I like to dive 3-4 deep rigs first with an hour surface iterval in between each dive, changing to a new tank every dive. Then use the shorts on shallower water.
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:07 PM   #72
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

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Originally Posted by LSUBigL View Post
I think it is probably worthwhile to put this into a list of "rules for rig diving." here are a few that I have learned..feel free to challenge if you disagree.

1. If you rig your gun with SS cable, make sure you bring something that can cut it, and make sure it's capable of being tethered to you so you don't drop it in a panic. This is key because there are so many ways to get entangldd on a rig and a fish can tied you to the rig like a Christmas bow if you aren't careful.

6. Don't backdive rigs unless they are really loaded with fish, and generally these are schoolies and not trophies if they are packed.

15. Skindiving with a riding rig is a really good way to lose a spear.
Can you elaborate a little on these? When you say tethered are you referring to the gun being tethered to you? Also, what exactly is a riding rig? And lastly, I've heard mention of you guys tying off fish to the rig and going back to retrieve them...how do you guys go about doing that and how frequently do you go back to retrieve them to find nothing but a fish head or empty/bent spear?

Awesome thread...these stories are unbelievable.
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:39 PM   #73
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

A riding rig is when your shooting line (SS cable down here) is attached to a rope. The rope is either held in your hand to keep tension or a lot of people clip them to the gun. After the shot is fired, the spear, line and rope detach from the gun. You shoulder the gun and then it's just you and the fish. LA divers, and a few Texas divers as well, swear by this for rig diving.

Backdiving often ends up wasting your bottle on small fish and a wasted surface interval.

I've only been rig diving for three years and have never left a fish down, but a buddy of mine had to tied up his gun and fish on a pretty deep drop. He was narced, tangled and the fish kept fighting so he just wrapped everything up and started his ascent. All was retrieved later without incident.

Again, great thread Rok. It's good to see a lot of folks taking interest and hopefully taking it to heart as well.
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Old 05-15-2008, 02:38 PM   #74
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

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Can you elaborate a little on these? When you say tethered are you referring to the gun being tethered to you? Also, what exactly is a riding rig? And lastly, I've heard mention of you guys tying off fish to the rig and going back to retrieve them...how do you guys go about doing that and how frequently do you go back to retrieve them to find nothing but a fish head or empty/bent spear?

Awesome thread...these stories are unbelievable.
By "tethered," I was referring to the cutting device. A lot of guys will bring down cable cutters and keep them mounted on their wrist or in a BC pocket. If you need them, chances are that you are in a bad situation, and you might be a little jittery, so it's worthwhile to keep them (cable cutters) either clipped to your BC with enough line for them to be usable or with a loop so you can wrap around your wrist prior to using them. if you drop them they are gone because effectively there is no bottom...either because it's too murky or too deep or both. I've lost about 3 dive knives due to this...one of them I chased for about 50 feet or so and i was keeping pace with it but couldn't catch it.
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Old 05-16-2008, 09:25 AM   #75
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Re: 100 Ways for a Rig Diver to Die

Another problem I've seen is diving with too much cable. The gun should have enough cable to make your farthest expected accurate shot, and not more. I prefer two turns around both cable anchors. I know a couple guys who do one turn, and get closer on all shots or don't shoot.

Excess cable simply gives the fish more to strap you to the rig with.

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