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easyrider003
01-22-2008, 08:53
I was sitting around the Fire Station late last night and was just watching videos on youtube of people diving on different wrecks. I noticed in a majority of the videos that all the divers were going in and out of the wrecks. One of the videos was of an airplane wreck. They would just go in one door and out the other or may just turn and go into the cockpit for a very brief period of time. I was always taught that not to go into any overhead environments if your not trained. Now not saying that they werent trained or whatever but could an OW diver still go into something like a small cessna for a very brief period of time and still be ok? I have been on dives before off the coast of panama city and have noticed OW divers doing this very same thing. Just wanting your thought on this. Thanks

mwhities
01-22-2008, 09:03
I myself wouldn't do it as I'm not trained to do it but, a lot of OW divers will go into small "swim through" without proper training. I know a swim through it's "technical" but, there is always a danger that someone could freak out and endanger themselves or others behind them. I know on the Oriskany there are swim throughs and a lot of people do them.

I guess a lot of it depends on your comfort level. Am I comfortable to do it? Sure, I don't think I'd have no problem doing it. Actually I'd really love to do it but, I promised myself (and my wife and child) that I wouldn't do anything I was trained in. So far, I've held up my end of the promise. I know I'm always tempted but, the thought of getting hurt/killed because I did something without proper training stops me.

So, I wouldn't recommend doing anything like that without training but, who's going to stop you? No one.

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
01-22-2008, 10:00
Careful, the dive police will get you. You know, the ones that hang out at 60 feet to keep you from exceeding your training depth limit.

Personally, I'd worry more about the grim reaper. Beside the overhead environment, you also have silt outs, entanglement, entrapment, sharp objects, disorientation, and possibly narcosis to deal with.

It's common sense that some things add very little danger and some things are extremely hazardous. Without experience or training its very hard to know the difference. Some of the dangers of wreck penetration are not obvious. Reading a wreck diving book is a good start. If that doesn't scare you away, then find a mentor or take a course.

thor
01-22-2008, 11:38
Diving is one of those activities where things can get really hairy pretty quickly, and it is only your training and experience that you have to rely on, and hopefully a buddy. Heck, OW is basically just a course on what to do when the S hits the fan. Even though your plan is just to swim thorugh a wreck, and 9 times out of 10 nothing will happen, it is the 10th time that gets you in trouble, or killed.

I was swimming through a wreck and the guy in front of me hit the top of his tank on the ceiling of the wreck. He overcompensated and then hit the floor, cut his hand on something, freaked out, and began spreading a tremendous amount of silt everywhere. We only had about 5 feet to go to get to the opening, but we couldn't see anything. Luckily my buddy behind me happened to have his light out and we could just make out the opening (although the light almost made it worse). The guy in front of us actually exited after us, but we didn't even see him until we all exited the wreck. At the time it didn't seem like a big deal, but in retrospect things could have taken a real turn for the worse.

Kingpatzer
01-22-2008, 11:48
There really is a great danger in going into a wreck if you don't know what you're doing. As was mentioned, it can get ugly quick.

Does that mean if you do it you will die? Of course not. But it does mean you're increasing your risk substantially, and if you don't know what you don't know, you may be taking on more risk than you really want to through ignorance.

ianr33
01-22-2008, 11:51
Its always going to be a judgement call if a particular "swim through" is safe or not. If you dont have the experience and training to make the right call then its better to err on the side of safety.

Even very experienced divers can get it wrong.this article is pretty scary
The Deco Stop (http://thedecostop.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15220)

BSea
01-22-2008, 13:01
Even very experienced divers can get it wrong.this article is pretty scary
The Deco Stop (http://thedecostop.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15220)Man, that's a creepy story. Anyone who has been in a silt out knows the feeling.

coyote
01-22-2008, 16:43
Wow. Just wow.
That raised my heart rate just reading about it.

DivingCRNA
01-22-2008, 18:34
Its always going to be a judgement call if a particular "swim through" is safe or not. If you dont have the experience and training to make the right call then its better to err on the side of safety.

Even very experienced divers can get it wrong.this article is pretty scary
The Deco Stop (http://thedecostop.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15220)

I have had that feeling once. I thought I was gonna have to wash out the INSIDE of my drysuit when I got to the surface. BTW-I was at 140 ft on open circuit. Thank God I was wearing doubles and had done cavern training. I surfaced with 1700 lb of air left after starting with 2700. It is good to plan by the rule of thirds.

I learned more on that 27 minute dive than I did in the previous 100 dives together.

ReefHound
01-22-2008, 18:47
Technically, any overhead at all is beyond your training and I could not tell you it's OK to enter. Realistically, you have to exercise judgment based on your experience and comfort level. I guess I'd say "if you have to ask if it's OK, then it's not OK".

Gombessa
01-22-2008, 18:54
Is that the famous rebreather silt-out story? That gives chills every time I think back to it. It also makes me want to buy a reel...

cummings66
01-29-2008, 18:39
Thank God I was wearing doubles and had done cavern training. I surfaced with 1700 lb of air left after starting with 2700. It is good to plan by the rule of thirds.

I learned more on that 27 minute dive than I did in the previous 100 dives together.

Tell me, what was it that happened on that dive?

cummings66
01-29-2008, 19:29
By the way, he has other stories equally scary.

Drmike's photos- powered by SmugMug (http://drmike.smugmug.com/Screw%20up%20stories/207736)

whse56
01-29-2008, 19:41
Thanks for the link I won't be sleeping very good tonight.

cummings66
01-29-2008, 21:27
That's why I won't do penetration dives, no matter how good you are bad things can happen. Training will make the risk much less but it's still there and the postings he's made in that link tell you how lucky he's been.

I'm not sure I ever saw dates on them, I would be interested in when they happened. Was it over a period of years? I'd bet it was, if that many bad things happened to me in a year I'd probably hand my tanks up and go home.

Daved
01-29-2008, 22:35
The only penetration that you should be doing is the Hooker.--hehehe! little joke.

I agree with the "if you have to ask" commented above. All the scary stories aside--if you are in doubt--don't do it.!!!!\\

DD

cummings66
01-30-2008, 19:36
I'd go one further, if you don't have the training don't. I dove with a buddy who in our predive plan agreed on we will not go in. What happens when we got down, he goes in. I wanted to kick his a?? when he did that.

DivingCRNA
01-30-2008, 19:55
I'd go one further, if you don't have the training don't. I dove with a buddy who in our predive plan agreed on we will not go in. What happens when we got down, he goes in. I wanted to kick his a?? when he did that.

I would not say that you were in any way obligated to follow him. So, did you?

cummings66
01-30-2008, 21:36
I will not on my own penetrate a cave or wreck, it's not worth the danger. To do so IMO is stupid. You could say for me to risk myself to save that person is also stupid as well.

The whole thing boils down to buddy responsibility. How far are you willing to take it? If you take it as far as reasonably prudent nobody would blame you for not pulling it off. There have been documented cases of divers saving the other person but losing their lives in the process. It goes to the root of humanity. Many of us can't stand the thought of watching somebody die without trying to help, even if we know we may ourselves die in the attempt. Even the pro's goof up and do something they know they can't do but there is a chance and off they go. Sometimes the gamble works and sometimes it doesn't. Look at the WTC and you know the gamble was stacked against them and their training didn't cover that, yet they did it.

I will tell you this much, I have 3 times, almost once a year it seems run across a buddy who deserves to be left to their own devices and luck. I've done the stupid thing and been there for 2 of them. The third I figured I'd let him do it, he had the training but violated our dive plan so I let him go on his own and waited outside for him.

I cussed on each occasion because what they don't realize is that it's not only their life they risk, it's mine if I so choose to help.

I have tried many times to define the point at which I will say you're on your own, good luck. It is the toughest thing a human can do to decide in advance when you won't help, even though you know it's certain death if you don't try.

In your line of work I'd suspect you have some lines you've drawn. I have them as well, but it's not easy to stop at that point when it's time. I crossed mine and drew a second line. I was getting ready to abort and surface when I was able to rescue him. All I could think of was, I told his wife I'd take care of him and I'm not letting him die down here, I remember thinking this is going way beyond what I meant, I'll leave out the foul language that goes along with that.

Do you know what he said to me on the surface?

"That's what buddies are for". He just doesn't get it, and didn't either after we had our talk.

Would I do it again? The logical person says no, I won't risk my life if the odd's are not with me. Will I buck the odd's again? I think I will not.

Kingpatzer
01-30-2008, 22:21
If you pick up the book "Diver Down" you'll find a number of true stories of people who got into situations they weren't prepared for, or where they reacted badly. One of these is the story of a girl who followed her boyfriend into a wreck for a look around.

She died, another dive master was crippled for life, the idiot who decided to start the whole thing lived, if I recall. The simple reality is that you're rarely just risking your own life. People will try and help you.

Like I said up thread -- the problem is not knowing what you don't know. I don't think swim throughs are a big problem, and large open wrecks looking in and swimming right out is probably ok.

But smaller wrecks where you can get snagged, or going into an area where a silt-out is possible, and then the stakes are raised significantly.

If you want to do wreck diving, take a course. If you want to do penetration diving, take a course. Learn what you need to know to stay alive.

WaScubaDude
01-30-2008, 22:35
I was sitting around the Fire Station late last night and was just watching videos on youtube of people diving on different wrecks. I noticed in a majority of the videos that all the divers were going in and out of the wrecks. One of the videos was of an airplane wreck. They would just go in one door and out the other or may just turn and go into the cockpit for a very brief period of time. I was always taught that not to go into any overhead environments if your not trained. Now not saying that they werent trained or whatever but could an OW diver still go into something like a small cessna for a very brief period of time and still be ok? I have been on dives before off the coast of panama city and have noticed OW divers doing this very same thing. Just wanting your thought on this. Thanks

It's an interesting question really. I have done lots of REEF swim throughs with a DM in the lead. My new DB (my wife) won't do them and i honor that and stay with her when diving together. Made for an interesting night dive as we would go over the reef and have to find the group that went thru the reef, but it all worked out.

cummings66
01-31-2008, 10:40
I forgot to say this about the small Cessna. I own and fly one, there is no way on Earth you could pay me enough money to enter one under water. They're a PITA to get in on land, water would be insane.

MLenyo
01-31-2008, 15:08
...Do you know what he said to me on the surface?

"That's what buddies are for". He just doesn't get it, and didn't either after we had our talk...

that's outrageous! people just don't realize the dumb things they do sometimes, i guess.

read the "lost in a cave" story, SCARY!

cbope
02-01-2008, 03:42
I'll admit that on my deep checkout dive (27m) for my AOW cert, my DM and I penetrated a wreck. The wreck was very "open" and at no time did I feel like it was a confined space. The wreck is over 50 years old and a large section of the side has fallen away, plus it was a pretty large vessel to start with. I was a bit hesitant at first, but when I saw how open it was, I didn't have a problem. The hole where we entered was at least 5-6m in length and 3-4 m in height. At no time did I feel I couldn't ascend quickly if needed.

I certainly don't advocate penetrating wrecks without additional training, although I did it while fully understanding the risks. I evaluated the situation before entering the wreck and did not see any significant risks, although I realize that unseen risks could be present. I definitely will not penetrate more confined wrecks without proper training.

Buoyant1
02-08-2008, 17:19
If you pick up the book "Diver Down" you'll find a number of true stories of people who got into situations they weren't prepared for, or where they reacted badly. One of these is the story of a girl who followed her boyfriend into a wreck for a look around.

She died, another dive master was crippled for life, the idiot who decided to start the whole thing lived, if I recall. The simple reality is that you're rarely just risking your own life. People will try and help you.

Like I said up thread -- the problem is not knowing what you don't know. I don't think swim throughs are a big problem, and large open wrecks looking in and swimming right out is probably ok.

But smaller wrecks where you can get snagged, or going into an area where a silt-out is possible, and then the stakes are raised significantly.

If you want to do wreck diving, take a course. If you want to do penetration diving, take a course. Learn what you need to know to stay alive.

I took a simple PADI wreck specialty, and the gist of the penetration techniques stem around evaluating the wreck before going in and STILL using a reel!

A lot of people get weird about swim throughs, but I've been doing them since my cert dives, (tubes, busses, helicptors etc.) the Wreck course gave me more knowledge and a better outlook on where NOT to attempt it...
Now by the same token...Gary Gentiles books...mainly the two about the Andrea Doria, and the two about the Lusitania... tell you to learn crazy stuff before doing it!...nope sorry, I'm not going in THAT far at THAT depth without a reel!

texdiveguy
02-08-2008, 17:28
If you pick up the book "Diver Down" you'll find a number of true stories of people who got into situations they weren't prepared for, or where they reacted badly. One of these is the story of a girl who followed her boyfriend into a wreck for a look around.

She died, another dive master was crippled for life, the idiot who decided to start the whole thing lived, if I recall. The simple reality is that you're rarely just risking your own life. People will try and help you.

Like I said up thread -- the problem is not knowing what you don't know. I don't think swim throughs are a big problem, and large open wrecks looking in and swimming right out is probably ok.

But smaller wrecks where you can get snagged, or going into an area where a silt-out is possible, and then the stakes are raised significantly.

If you want to do wreck diving, take a course. If you want to do penetration diving, take a course. Learn what you need to know to stay alive.

I took a simple PADI wreck specialty, and the gist of the penetration techniques stem around evaluating the wreck before going in and STILL using a reel!

A lot of people get weird about swim throughs, but I've been doing them since my cert dives, (tubes, busses, helicptors etc.) the Wreck course gave me more knowledge and a better outlook on where NOT to attempt it...
Now by the same token...Gary Gentiles books...mainly the two about the Andrea Doria, and the two about the Lusitania... tell you to learn crazy stuff before doing it!...nope sorry, I'm not going in THAT far at THAT depth without a reel!

Yea it is crazy what some folks will try to pull off....if they just would stop and use common sense.....but the lure is to strong for a few and they get in trouble. Wreck penetration diving is serious business and as we all should know can turn south real fast. Without the proper experience level and appropriate gear and the skill to us it, know one should attempt a true wreck penetration. Large swim throws are one thing, but a true wreck is a whole different beast.

doczerothree
02-10-2008, 20:07
A divers best piece of equipment is between thier ears.

SEMPER DEEP

emcbride81
02-12-2008, 19:34
I have read, in Shadow Divers as well as other websites, that hard core wreck divers look at reels as a crutch that can get you killed. With sharp metals that can cut the line, if you do not have the mental "map" you are screwed. It seems that at least some will not use them period. In fact I think in Shadow Divers, the father/son that died were using a reel...even though that was not what killed them.

This is just what I have read, I just did my first penetration on the Mama Vina in PDC and that was just a straight swim through, nothing intense.

DivingCRNA
02-12-2008, 19:38
I just did my first penetration on the Mama Vina in PDC and that was just a straight swim through, nothing intense.

This sentence says it all....


As for the Rouse's... There were about 5 things that could have prevented their deaths. It cannot be pinned down to one thing about the dive. The reel really did not matter.

texdiveguy
02-12-2008, 19:42
I have read, in Shadow Divers as well as other websites, that hard core wreck divers look at reels as a crutch that can get you killed. With sharp metals that can cut the line, if you do not have the mental "map" you are screwed. It seems that at least some will not use them period. In fact I think in Shadow Divers, the father/son that died were using a reel...even though that was not what killed them.

This is just what I have read, I just did my first penetration on the Mama Vina in PDC and that was just a straight swim through, nothing intense.

Progressive penetration was the way it was done in years past in wreck diving. Today the 'line' is the preferred method in conjunction with the skill and awareness of progressive penetration. Special safeguards are part of the protocols followed in laying a line within a wreck....they differ in some part from cave diving line laying because of that risk of line damage/cut. I don't agree a reel/line is a crutch on wreck or any other structural penetration dive.

emcbride81
02-12-2008, 19:53
I just did my first penetration on the Mama Vina in PDC and that was just a straight swim through, nothing intense.

This sentence says it all....


As for the Rouse's... There were about 5 things that could have prevented their deaths. It cannot be pinned down to one thing about the dive. The reel really did not matter.

Yeah, if I remember correctly, they either panicked or were narced...or both, and couldn't find their spare tanks..so they just shot to the surface. That where I really realized that DCS is no joke.

But back to the point, yeah the reel had nothing to do with it at all..I was just mentioning something I had read from other wreck divers. Honestly, I would want that line to return with in a real penetration.

emcbride81
02-12-2008, 20:02
Progressive penetration was the way it was done in years past in wreck diving. Today the 'line' is the preferred method in conjunction with the skill and awareness of progressive penetration. Special safeguards are part of the protocols followed in laying a line within a wreck....they differ in some part from cave diving line laying because of that risk of line damage/cut. I don't agree a reel/line is a crutch on wreck or any other structural penetration dive.


I hope to be a wreck diver when I get more experience, and it makes me feel better knowing that is how the penetrations are done! I agree that you should be able to have that map in your head as much as possible, but that reel seems like it would be very important. I don't think I would want to do a serious penetration without one.

How do the lines you use stand up to being cut? What are they made of?

CompuDude
02-12-2008, 20:35
I have read, in Shadow Divers as well as other websites, that hard core wreck divers look at reels as a crutch that can get you killed. With sharp metals that can cut the line, if you do not have the mental "map" you are screwed. It seems that at least some will not use them period. In fact I think in Shadow Divers, the father/son that died were using a reel...even though that was not what killed them.

This is just what I have read, I just did my first penetration on the Mama Vina in PDC and that was just a straight swim through, nothing intense.

Lots of old ideas have been improved upon in the intervening years. Many of those same people used to think that deep air was a good idea, too.

CompuDude
02-12-2008, 21:18
I hope to be a wreck diver when I get more experience, and it makes me feel better knowing that is how the penetrations are done! I agree that you should be able to have that map in your head as much as possible, but that reel seems like it would be very important. I don't think I would want to do a serious penetration without one.

How do the lines you use stand up to being cut? What are they made of?

Heavier line, for one thing. Think #36 or even #48 instead of #24. Other techniques you can learn best in your wreck course. :) (not referring to PADI's wreck specialty, btw... a real wreck course)

texdiveguy
02-12-2008, 21:29
Progressive penetration was the way it was done in years past in wreck diving. Today the 'line' is the preferred method in conjunction with the skill and awareness of progressive penetration. Special safeguards are part of the protocols followed in laying a line within a wreck....they differ in some part from cave diving line laying because of that risk of line damage/cut. I don't agree a reel/line is a crutch on wreck or any other structural penetration dive.


I hope to be a wreck diver when I get more experience, and it makes me feel better knowing that is how the penetrations are done! I agree that you should be able to have that map in your head as much as possible, but that reel seems like it would be very important. I don't think I would want to do a serious penetration without one.

How do the lines you use stand up to being cut? What are they made of?

The line is a min. of a #36....this is standard and allows for some pretty extreme conditions. I hope you do get to the point in your diving were wreck penetration is part of your activities.....start with a good recreational level wreck class and/or a good cavern class, as one of these two will be required as a preqt. to advanced level wreck penetration training....and this is were you will learn your base skills and some line tech. plus safety issues just to mention a few topics. Not required for advance wreck training but sugg. by most instructors is at least a min. of entry level technical courses in Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures.

emcbride81
02-12-2008, 21:54
I hope to be a wreck diver when I get more experience, and it makes me feel better knowing that is how the penetrations are done! I agree that you should be able to have that map in your head as much as possible, but that reel seems like it would be very important. I don't think I would want to do a serious penetration without one.

How do the lines you use stand up to being cut? What are they made of?

Heavier line, for one thing. Think #36 or even #48 instead of #24. Other techniques you can learn best in your wreck course. :) (not referring to PADI's wreck specialty, btw... a real wreck course)

Not to start a huge debate on agencies, but who has a good wreck/cavern/advance wreck cert?

texdiveguy
02-12-2008, 22:05
I hope to be a wreck diver when I get more experience, and it makes me feel better knowing that is how the penetrations are done! I agree that you should be able to have that map in your head as much as possible, but that reel seems like it would be very important. I don't think I would want to do a serious penetration without one.

How do the lines you use stand up to being cut? What are they made of?

Heavier line, for one thing. Think #36 or even #48 instead of #24. Other techniques you can learn best in your wreck course. :) (not referring to PADI's wreck specialty, btw... a real wreck course)

Not to start a huge debate on agencies, but who has a good wreck/cavern/advance wreck cert?

Most of your recreational agencies offer a basic wreck course...PADI has a good one......cavern courses again are offered by a number of technical agencies, TDI probably has as good an advanced wreck program as anyone....NAUI has a nice one from what I hear....ANDI also has one for both rec and technical wreck diving.

Find an instructor regardless of the agency that has real-world experience in wreck diving....this is very important....someone you can mentor with over time.

I recommend TDI for mixed gas deco dive training, though other agencies also offer good programs.....again interview the instructor about their training methods and experience.

CompuDude
02-12-2008, 22:16
I'd look to TDI and NAUI for a wreck class before PADI. No experience with ANDI's courses.

dannybot
02-16-2008, 08:05
[QUOTE=BouzoukiJoe;123275]Careful, the dive police will get you. You know, the ones that hang out at 60 feet to keep you from exceeding your training depth limit.QUOTE]

Do they take you away in the PADI wagon?

emcbride81
02-16-2008, 11:10
Do they take you away in the PADI wagon?


That's funny...:smiley36:

BouzoukiJoe A.K.A. wrecker130 AKA Chuck Norris AKA joeforbroke (banned)
02-16-2008, 13:05
[quote=BouzoukiJoe;123275]Careful, the dive police will get you. You know, the ones that hang out at 60 feet to keep you from exceeding your training depth limit.QUOTE]

Do they take you away in the PADI wagon?

:smilie39: +1

I love it.

St.jimmy
02-17-2008, 16:33
Officially;
NO!!!You'll silt up and gash your leg and get entangled and DIE! Your wife and children will become emo and grow up without a father in poverty!!! Your wife will have your baby (btw she's pregnant when you leave) And the baby will be a serial killer because it had no father!! THINK ABOUT THE BABIES!!!!!!eleventyone!!!
Realistically;
I don't recommend it, but it's all about how good you feel. like my firt cert dive was on a wreck in 65 deg water in high chop at 65'. I was just fine.
But wreck training is still a good idea.

CompuDude
02-20-2008, 13:02
Officially;
NO!!!You'll silt up and gash your leg and get entangled and DIE! Your wife and children will become emo and grow up without a father in poverty!!! Your wife will have your baby (btw she's pregnant when you leave) And the baby will be a serial killer because it had no father!! THINK ABOUT THE BABIES!!!!!!eleventyone!!!
Realistically;
I don't recommend it, but it's all about how good you feel. like my firt cert dive was on a wreck in 65 deg water in high chop at 65'. I was just fine.
But wreck training is still a good idea.

ON a wreck is quite different from IN a wreck.

texdiveguy
02-20-2008, 16:22
Officially;
NO!!!You'll silt up and gash your leg and get entangled and DIE! Your wife and children will become emo and grow up without a father in poverty!!! Your wife will have your baby (btw she's pregnant when you leave) And the baby will be a serial killer because it had no father!! THINK ABOUT THE BABIES!!!!!!eleventyone!!!
Realistically;
I don't recommend it, but it's all about how good you feel. like my firt cert dive was on a wreck in 65 deg water in high chop at 65'. I was just fine.
But wreck training is still a good idea.

ON a wreck is quite different from IN a wreck.

You are correct....and sometimes the outside of the structure and its unwanted overtime 'additions' can be dang as bad as the inside ... just depends on the wreck site.

St.jimmy
02-20-2008, 16:33
Officially;
NO!!!You'll silt up and gash your leg and get entangled and DIE! Your wife and children will become emo and grow up without a father in poverty!!! Your wife will have your baby (btw she's pregnant when you leave) And the baby will be a serial killer because it had no father!! THINK ABOUT THE BABIES!!!!!!eleventyone!!!
Realistically;
I don't recommend it, but it's all about how good you feel. like my firt cert dive was on a wreck in 65 deg water in high chop at 65'. I was just fine.
But wreck training is still a good idea.

ON a wreck is quite different from IN a wreck.

You are correct....and sometimes the outside of the structure and its unwanted overtime 'additions' can be dang as bad as the inside ... just depends on the wreck site.
Well, yes, I know, What I was saying was that out first dive was outside the "recreational" limits. Some limits are based on how comfortable you are in the water. BTW you should at least get the PADI specialty before you wreck dive Op.