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BobbyWombat
09-04-2007, 11:34
So what are the rules about diving when it is raining?

Just rain: yes, obviously OK. You get wet, no big deal.

What about thunderstorms with the potential of lighting, or if you see lightning in the area?

I was always taught to get out of the pool immediately. Is diving in a lake any different? What about in the ocean....I can't imagine that you would abort an ocean dive due to lighting (maybe for the big waves accompanying the storm.....).

What say you, STForum??

NitroWill
09-04-2007, 12:00
Always check the weather radar before going diving..

If there are any storms around you pre-dive it's a very good idea to considering aborting because that same storm could be right in your area the 45+ minutes you're underwater doing the dive.

It all goes back to the OW basics of inspecting the dive scene, weather is included. If thunderstorms are near - its not worth risking everyone's life to get in one dive.

Charlotte Smith
09-04-2007, 12:10
Rain only...NO LIGHTNING!

Subaqua
09-04-2007, 12:29
if it's rain only, no problem. But if there is lighthning, you should not dive, just think about how many metallic piece you have on you. Safety before anything.

fire diver
09-04-2007, 12:45
I actually love diving in the rain. It just seems really cool to be floating on the surface before/after/SI when it's cloudy and rain is falling all around.

Lightning, no way! Get out, gear down, get in a car!

FD

divechaplain-sara
09-04-2007, 12:55
I would say no with the lightening and I think it would still apply to an ocean dive. I don't want to be climing up the ladder on the dive boat when lightening hits.

Formerly 45yroldNewbie
09-04-2007, 12:57
Check this link for more info http://scuba-doc.com/lightdive.htm

Also I can't find the thread where I read it so can someone post for me one more time how to format the URL links?

Thanks,

NitroWill
09-04-2007, 13:01
You can highlight the text to be linked, then click the link button and enter the address..or:

[*URL="http://www.google.com"]TEXT HERE[/URL]

just remove the star :)

greyzen
09-04-2007, 13:50
and only a few days ago we linked an accident where a guy got struck right as he got to the boat.

wxboy911
09-04-2007, 13:56
When diving the rain is no trouble for me-I tend to take the thunderstorms pretty seriously though. I pack a weather radio in my scuba bag just in case there could be activity in the area during the day. Can't be too careful when lives are at stake.

BSea
09-04-2007, 14:14
and only a few days ago we linked an accident where a guy got struck right as he got to the boat.
I remember that. I think that was around Ft. Lauderdale. It hit his steel tank & killed him. I guess that should say it all.

scubasamurai
09-04-2007, 14:27
rain no thunder or lightining out of the water. nothing is a big pain in the but when you get hit by a thunderstorm out in the gulf with lightining strikes in all directions and your stuck in the water waiting for some overweight hoho trying to figure out how to get his fins off!!!! the storm came up on us when we were underwater, what a surprise!!!!

divechaplain-sara
09-04-2007, 14:36
and only a few days ago we linked an accident where a guy got struck right as he got to the boat.
I remember that. I think that was around Ft. Lauderdale. It hit his steel tank & killed him. I guess that should say it all.


So aluminum tanks are better!!--just kidding.

Osprey
09-04-2007, 14:40
I think even floating at the bottom of a pool during a rain shower is relaxing.. watching the little dapples of water dimple the surface above

The thought of having my face zapped off however.. not so cool

scubasavvy
09-04-2007, 15:05
totally depends. yes, you can dive in the rain only if it doesn't make visibility unbearable for you. i know that i have been to some spots where if the sun wasn't out, or went in for a minute, the vis changed drastically. thunderstorms and lightning however, are a no go...

finflippers
09-04-2007, 15:25
I have no problem diving in he rain, most of the places I dive requires a light anyways so the vis is about the same at depth. But if thunder or lighting starts I am out and in the car quickly.

BobbyWombat
09-06-2007, 12:42
All, Thanks. Excellent input. Exactly what I was looking for.


I would say no with the lightening and I think it would still apply to an ocean dive. I don't want to be climing up the ladder on the dive boat when lightening hits.


Good point. So a DiveOp would call off an ocean dive if lighting was in the area. Good to know.

Formerly 45yroldNewbie
09-07-2007, 07:25
I was returning some rental gear at my LDS last night and there was a guy there talking about getting caught in our local quarry (Haigh) a couple weeks ago. He and his buddy were diving doubles and while underwater they saw some light flashes. They went up to check it out and found themselves in the middle of some pretty violent thunderstorms that rolled through our area. I mean bad!. They decided it would be safer to stay under the surface than to try and run from the entry ramp to their car with their harness and dbls. The Florida fatality running through their minds. So they ended up laying on the 15' platform for an hour (thank God they had dbls) and watching the light show.

Personally I think if I were already underwater and a storm came up, depending on air, I would probably go down to around 30' and try to wait it out. My thinking is that the current would hopefully dissipate wide rather than deep. Otherwise wouldn't there be a bunch of fried fish after every storm?

pnevai
09-08-2007, 15:16
Physics would suggest that, you would be safer under water than near the surface. Electrical current follows the path of least resistance. This would suggest the lightning would flash across the surface in all directions until the energy was spent and in a ocean environment there is plenty of water molecules even in the first inch of water so the current has little resistance to propagate deeper. A pool or quarry and any smaller body of water obviously has less surface area with which to conduct away the energy so the water colum would have a greater electrical charge. One needs to consider this birds land a sit on electical high voltage lines all the time you do not see them droping like flies. This is because for electrical current to flow it needs a path to ground. So long as the current does not need to go through you to get to ground you are fairly safe. In the case of water the water is the path to ground. A human body has a greater resistance than water so if you are submerged in the water column and your body has a higher resistance than the water around you then like I say physics suggests you would be safer than if the lightning had to go through you to get to the water such as on a boat.

The only first hand experience with this was a a couple of occasions while diving in Malaysia. We get in the water only to surface around an hour later in 3 foot waves and rough seas, making getting back on the boat hazardous. Squalls in the tropics are common and can appear in minutes. A few time I was told "Hey you just missed the fireworks" meaning thunderstorm. 40 feet down we were blissfully unaware of the degraded surface conditions.

Capt Hook
09-08-2007, 16:18
There have been a couple of divers killed this year by lightning in Florida!

texdiveguy
09-08-2007, 16:22
So what are the rules about diving when it is raining?

Just rain: yes, obviously OK. You get wet, no big deal.

What about thunderstorms with the potential of lighting, or if you see lightning in the area?

I was always taught to get out of the pool immediately. Is diving in a lake any different? What about in the ocean....I can't imagine that you would abort an ocean dive due to lighting (maybe for the big waves accompanying the storm.....).

What say you, STForum??

Use COMMON sense!!

WV Diver
09-08-2007, 18:14
Check this link for more info http://scuba-doc.com/lightdive.htm

Also I can't find the thread where I read it so can someone post for me one more time how to format the URL links?

Thanks,Lightning can strike the water and travel some distance beneath and away from its point of contact.

I copied and pasted this from the NOAA recomendations listed in the link provided by 45YON. I am so glad this came up as my colleagues and I were pondering this very question the other day at a dive site and I was, and still am, going to contact NOAA for more details regarding this very concern.

I work (dive) in rivers alot, nearly everyday in the summer months. We often get passing lightning storms that come through and pass in a matter of minutes with clear blue skies on either end. Sometimes we pull our divers out of the water two or three times just to finish one dive because of these storms.

Having worked in fisheries in a previous position and with electrofishing surveys where we purposely introduce electricity into the water to capture fish. I know that the electricity does not travel a great distance either out or down. The details are far more complex than I will get into in the scope of this post. Basically lightning has alot of voltage and electrofishing involves amps. Amps kill you and volts piss you off, tazers and the like use volts. Obviously a direct lightning strike involving direct contact with water is a very serious and deadly matter indeed and should not be taken lightly.

But the question we were pondering was this. Knowing the fatal danger of a diver being hit by lightning it would make sense to get them out of the water asap, on the other hand knowing that the storm will pass quickly and clear up and knowing that at least certain types of electricity in water only travel a very short distance out or down, is it better to leave them at depth or get them out?. If we leave them at depth they likely will not even know the storm went through on the other hand when we see the storm coming and begin the process of getting divers out of the water they are many times on the surface during the actual passing of the storm and thereby more likely to be hit or in "range" of the strike? Actually the storm will pass many times before we have been able to extract all of our divers.

So should we leave them alone onder these circumstances or risk having them on the surface and climbing metal ladders and touching metal boats while the storm is present?

I hope I can get a straight answer from them,, if they have the knowledge to give me concrete facts concerning the dangers.
Of course saltwater has its own set of concerns.

Kidder
09-08-2007, 18:24
I have friends that happened to be in the water when a lightning strike hit the lake fairly close to where they were swiming (exactly how close I don't know I wasn't there). They said that they felt it and it didn't feel good, but they didn't think anyone was in danger and got everyone out of the water. The "not feeling good" is enough for me though.

WV Diver
09-08-2007, 18:27
I have friends that happened to be in the water when a lightning strike hit the lake fairly close to where they were swiming (exactly how close I don't know I wasn't there). They said that they felt it and it didn't feel good, but they didn't think anyone was in danger and got everyone out of the water. The "not feeling good" is enough for me though.I see what you are saying, believe me, but how would it have felt if they were on the surface is my question? Would they have walked away at all? How deep were they?
In other words, were they spared because they were at depth and not on the surface?

Kidder
09-08-2007, 18:30
They were actually just swiming. Not diving. Again I'm not sure how far they were from the strike.

WV Diver
09-08-2007, 18:32
They were actually just swiming. Not diving. Again I'm not sure how far they were from the strike.
Oh I see, so they were on the surface. Very interestng. I'd say they were very lucky. So they weren't wearing anything metal like tanks?

Kidder
09-08-2007, 20:14
They were actually just swiming. Not diving. Again I'm not sure how far they were from the strike.
Oh I see, so they were on the surface. Very interestng. I'd say they were very lucky. So they weren't wearing anything metal like tanks?

I agree that they very very lucky. No they didn't have any metal.