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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 12-12-2016, 09:58 PM   #106
Alex cejas
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Re: Advise on spearfishing alone

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Originally Posted by mepps1 View Post
I go out alone more often than not. In the kind of viz most of us hunt , a buddy is more likely for body recovery than for life saving. Hedge your bets any way you can. You might survive a mishap, but you probably will not survive panic.

Have fun. Be careful.
Very well said.
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Old 12-12-2016, 10:04 PM   #107
Alex cejas
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Re: Advise on spearfishing alone

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I would recommend to never dive solo again. Even the most experienced divers in the world are subject to blackouts and since we're on the topic I'd like to share a short story about myself.
I've been freediving for over 18 years now and never experienced a shallow water blackout until a few years ago. Three years ago, Memorial weekend 2008, I was at Ginnie Springs (North Florida) diving with a couple buddies who were joining the United States Navy to become Navy SEALS (candidates). There were four of us, each descending into the cave sometimes in groups of two and other times alone. All of us were pushing ourselves to our limits trying to outdo one another to see who could dive into the cave the longest and farthest. It's what SEALS do, right? Be the "best of the best." Within the last couple years, I was striving to increase my bottom time pushing myself beyond my limits. I was up to a 3:15 bottom time, so I was feeling really good about myself and deep down inside I knew I had these guys beat. I think that's when I made my mistake. I thought I knew my limits, but apparently I didn't know my own limitations. The four of us were diligently gathered on the surface inhaling as much air as one could fathom. We all descended into the cave at once seeing who could reach the gate at the "end" of the cave. As I entered the main cavern, I found myself looking over the first ledge within seconds. At this ledge is a main rope permanently affixed to a large rock, which descends into the abyss as natural light fades away. I proceeded to follow this rope which seemed like eternity to a wall where it was attached to the limestone. Once I got here, I turned around to see who was still with me. No one. I was all alone, with the exception of two scuba divers who were providing some light with their dive lights near the gate. At this point, I was so close to the gate and I thought, "There's no turning around now, I've made it this far. What's another 45ft?" So I proceeded towards the gate where I met the two divers and let me tell you what. When they turned around and saw me down there without gear, the look on their faces was priceless! They gave me a "what the hell look" and a quick thumbs up and were kind enough to offer me air. I was quick to turn it down because in the end I was only cheating myself and this was something I had been wanting to accomplish for some time. After my brief encounter with the divers, I rushed back up to the surface struggling to gain every breath of fresh air and that's when everything happened. Right before I broke the surface everything faded away. My momentum carried my lifeless body to the surface. My friends saw me break the surface, but failed to recognize my body had become limp. After a few seconds of being unconscious, I miraculously regained consciousness somehow and something as simple as kicking to stay afloat turned into the most difficult task. I had no recollection of the moments prior, but only to be rudely awakened with water in my lungs coughing and struggling to stay afloat on the surface. Everything seemed like one giant blur and I didn't realize what had happened until moments later when everything was finally settling in.
So, please learn from my experience and use a dive buddy. If you are diving with a buddy, make sure that person watches you like a hawk because it can happen without notice. I didn't feel any affects prior to my blackout. It happened instantaneously.
I'm not sure if any of you have seen Kyle Hart's video on youtube, but it's a great documentary about his experience and almost fate from SWB.
Kyle Hart's Freediving Blackout - YouTube
That's a great story. but you said it yourself, you were pushing your limits. I've been to the Ginnie Springs, I know that getting to the caves is not an easy task. and I really command you for it. But doing a beach dive solo is not nearly as extreme.
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Old 12-12-2016, 11:58 PM   #108
artiz
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Re: Advise on spearfishing alone

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Originally Posted by Alex cejas View Post
That's a great story. but you said it yourself, you were pushing your limits. I've been to the Ginnie Springs, I know that getting to the caves is not an easy task. and I really command you for it. But doing a beach dive solo is not nearly as extreme.
I'm with you Alex... however I would go further... 'preaching' dive ethics through fear is innappropriate and just not needed... always do this... always do that etc.
Nice to read others experiences but strict codes and pratices are not required thanks. Lets try NOT to take the personal freedom out of spearfishing FFS. Just be safe and get to know your own limitations... if you want to push those limits then its common sense to do it with like minded others.
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Old 12-13-2016, 08:29 AM   #109
Timinator
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Re: Advice on spearfishing alone

Yea, I've been pretty much diving alone since the early '80's. Even when I'm out with people, we're all doing our own thing. As others have said, don't push it. I don't, I always give myself time, probably come up at 70% or so. Watching free divers die for the last 35 years, it's almost always people who push themselves to be the best/longest diver they can be. I don't. I don't even want to be the best/longest free diver. I want to stay alive. I'm the shortest, safest diver, but I almost always get fish because I've always been a hunter first, and a free diver as a means to an end. They've found some the best spero's in the world at the bottom of the ocean with rocks on their chest. Don't try and be the best, there is no room for error in our sport.
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Old 12-15-2016, 06:37 PM   #110
water_moccasin
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Re: Advice on spearfishing alone

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Originally Posted by Timinator View Post
Yea, I've been pretty much diving alone since the early '80's. Even when I'm out with people, we're all doing our own thing. As others have said, don't push it. I don't, I always give myself time, probably come up at 70% or so. Watching free divers die for the last 35 years, it's almost always people who push themselves to be the best/longest diver they can be. I don't. I don't even want to be the best/longest free diver. I want to stay alive. I'm the shortest, safest diver, but I almost always get fish because I've always been a hunter first, and a free diver as a means to an end. They've found some the best spero's in the world at the bottom of the ocean with rocks on their chest. Don't try and be the best, there is no room for error in our sport.
Sage advice. Thanks.
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Old 11-05-2017, 05:20 PM   #111
bushhawk
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Re: Advice on spearfishing alone

I believe a person, capable of operating the boat should be onboard at all times. If a anchor drags or you come up in a rain storm and can't find the boat your in trouble otherwise.
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