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DivingAnarchy.info
03-09-2009, 01:17
Yesterday I lead a dive in shallow water. The bottom right under the boat is at 15 meter / 45ft and consists of a thick layer of silt, viz is normally bad, around 3ft. Here you can't see the bottom and you barely feel it as it is really soft silt. When swimming a compass course we would eventually arrive at a shallow reef at around 20 ft where it get's interesting and the viz is a lot better. I've done this dive several times before and I think crossing this distance over the bottom instead is a good training excersize as you have to rely on your instruments, there are no other references.

We jumped in the water and I suggested to go down to the bottom and swim a compass course over the bottom to the reef. I've done this several times before but this time I got really uncomfortable while decending.
We decended and at 15ft it got quite dark, when we were at 30 ft I started feeling really uncomfortable and I was thinking about taking my reg out of my mouth (???), like I was in some sort of halucination. I acknoledged the fact that I was having unreasonable thoughts and decided to ascent after signaling my buddy. We went up and swam on the surface to the reef were we continued the dive without any problems.

I can't understand why I felt so bad as I have done this before and there were no reasons to panic. My gear felt good, my buddy was fine, I was fit etc. I just don't get it and feel a bit dissapointed about myself.

DarinMartell
03-09-2009, 07:22
You did the right thing. How was your next dive when you got to the reef? Was it a new buddy? How many dives do you have in? Where you using any new equipment (task loading)? Something similar happened to me and I realized it was my first dive alone (no one else even on the lake and it was a new lake) with the buddy I was certified with. In the past I always dove with someone more experienced than me (I only have 19 dives in) and he is not as safety minded as I am so I felt a large load of responsibility. plus I had a new BCD, new wetsuit (that I didn't seal right and was cold) & it was my first time pulling a float / flag with me. I felt what was happening and stopped the descent to the platform. Instead we stayed at that depth. We stayed shallow for the next couple of dives and it was better each time. Bottom line is don't beat yourself up. Be proud of yourself for not "pushing through" bad things could have happened!

boates
03-09-2009, 07:37
who knows what spurs intuition....I had a similar thing, Hfx harbour, 4 divers 2 inst's, start the decent(6 friends out for a fun dive), and instantly I had a no go response. I returned to the boat, after letting everyone know. So, this leaves me, the captn, and his young son onboard. Within minutes the seas had turned from the usual 4' swells to 10! The boat breaks its mooring, the recoil below narrowly missing a diver, and the boat got pushed quite far from the divesite before the captn could return to look for them. The next frantic moments were spent throwing ropes to divers and hauling them to and onto the boat like harpooned tuna! Even the 2 instructors were really rattled by this trip. Some liesure dive!! The only thing missing was Moby Dick!! So, I never question these feelings, I respect them.

3rdEye
03-09-2009, 08:08
it's kind of freaky when you're in a spot where the viz isn't great, and you're deep enough so that it's hard to tell up from down...no visual reference whatsoever...sometimes when I'm diving the quarry, swimming between some of the sunken attractions at 50ft is just like swimming through a field of blue/green nothingness, and it's a little weird. Like you said, you have to rely on your instuments, as it's the only reference you have. I agree though, it can be a little unnerving if you think about it too much. I feel like in that situation, you just have to trust your instruments and your skills.

DivingAnarchy.info
03-09-2009, 08:17
The weird thing is that I am quite experienced in this area. Approx 40 dives at this very dive site. I've done the exact same thing before. My gear was absolutely fine. My buddy was less experienced and probaply a bit nervous but nevertheless good enough for this kind of dive. I have been under boats cleaning hulls in less than 2 ft viz. I knew that it couldn't have been deeper than 45 ft but I panicked.

The only reasons I can think of is that I felt pressure because I was supposed to lead, the fact that I smoked cigarettes before the dive (I know I shouldn't but you know how things go when you're addicted)
And I just don't like to hover in the dark green without reference points.

Once at the reef I was completely fine and back into the role of the responsible, experienced leader.
At the moment we ascended after my panick I told the buddy that I decided to swim over the surface in order to safe air... Hope he's not a member of this board...

Vercingetorix
03-09-2009, 09:08
I had a near-panic situation last Aug. So, I know how you feel about beating-up yourself for something you "shouldn't". I, too, was leading a newly-certed diver. We surfaced. I talked it through with my dive buddy. Beat myself up (internally, not voiced). Got calm. Dropped down and finished the dive and the next. You have my empathy.

Heavy D
03-09-2009, 11:41
You definitely made the right decision so don't beat yourself up too hard. It could have been any number of things that led to that feeling. It could have been the residual effect of the cigarettes causing something similar to narcosis. It could have just been intuition, but regardless you did the right thing. The only thing that I disagree with is that you didn't let your buddy know what was going on. Who knows, if it had been something serious there could have been problems when you continued the dive on the reef. At least that way he would have had a heads up and could have even been a little more alert should an emergency arise.

CompuDude
03-09-2009, 14:09
Don't ignore those feelings. If something feels "off", there's no shame, EVER, in thumbing a dive, for any reason. This is a hard and fast rule among everyone I dive with.

Flatliner
03-09-2009, 14:33
I understand feeling bad but you shouldn't. The last time I ignored the "feeling" I came home in an air ambulance. (not a dive trip)

crosseyed95
03-09-2009, 18:40
Don't ignore those feelings. If something feels "off", there's no shame, EVER, in thumbing a dive, for any reason. This is a hard and fast rule among everyone I dive with.

CompuDude has it right. Everyone I dive with here has the same rule as his and it shouldn't be ignored.

crosseyed95

DivingAnarchy.info
03-09-2009, 21:28
Thanks all, much appreciated!


You definitely made the right decision so don't beat yourself up too hard. It could have been any number of things that led to that feeling. It could have been the residual effect of the cigarettes causing something similar to narcosis. It could have just been intuition, but regardless you did the right thing. The only thing that I disagree with is that you didn't let your buddy know what was going on. Who knows, if it had been something serious there could have been problems when you continued the dive on the reef. At least that way he would have had a heads up and could have even been a little more alert should an emergency arise.

I agree Heavy D. The reason I kept my 'cool' was that I was supposed to be the 'leader' who took the rookie out. But I absolutely agree with what your saying: a simple heads up would have been the right thing. (altough not always that easy to do...)

CODMAN
03-10-2009, 07:14
I'd like to congradulate you (and you should too:smiley20:) because you made the right decision! You should be proud of it rather than beat yourself up! There is a huge psychological component to diving and the panic reflex and it is not that well understood really. You called it right to avoid this potentially life threatening situation! Three thumbs up to you!!!:smiley20::smiley20::smiley20:

DivingAnarchy.info
03-10-2009, 19:54
Thanks! I must admit that all your comments make me feel better about it all.
Cheers.