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Old 07-17-2016, 09:55 AM   #1
jetty jumper
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: west long branch, NJ and st. Petersburg Florida
Posts: 146
Overhead freediving safety?

When diving springs around Florida what is everyones preferred method of the buddy system?

-One down, one up
-One down, one follows and hangs at shallow depth/entrance to watch closer
-One down, one follows whole dive 15-20 seconds behinds

How does everyone play this game?
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Old 08-09-2016, 11:45 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Ft Myers, FL
Posts: 226
Re: Overhead freediving safety?

shallow cave entrances, we always have someone drop about 20-30 seconds after and wait at the entrance to keep an eye out. Deeper cave entrances and deep sinkholes, we usually time it so the spotter starts down about the time the diver is starting to come up so we meet halfway and surface together. I'm sure someone here has the real stat, but I think the vast majority of SWB's happen in the last 20ft or so of an ascent. So we always try to stay close on the way up.

Freediving in caves is no joke, the overhead environment alone can increase your heart rate until you are really comfortable with a particular dive spot. You have to count on burning up your O2 faster than usual. Don't push yourself in the caves, dive easy and be safe. I personally knew a very good diver who died in a shallow cave in FL because he didn't have a buddy that day. And I have rescued two divers from SWB's in FL springs, people who normally dive 80ft+ in open water having trouble in 30ft deep horizontal caves.
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Old 08-10-2016, 12:25 AM   #3
jetty jumper
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: west long branch, NJ and st. Petersburg Florida
Posts: 146
Re: Overhead freediving safety?

Been using that exact system. Seems to give the most control over a potentially bad situation.
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