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October 2003 Vol. 18, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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The Belt Goes First

from the October, 2003 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

In our June issue, John Knight, M.D., noted that a diver, sitting on the gunwhale of a boat, wearing a weight belt but without scuba gear or fins, is flirting with disaster. "Had he fallen backwards, his only hope of survival would have been immediate release of his weight belt. Unfortunately, few divers drop their weight belts before they die underwater."

Sadly, that's what happened September 29 in the Florida Keys. Diver Terry Zobel, diving with his brother in law, took off most his dive gear, then slipped back into the water, still wearing his weight belt. He was carried 25 feet away by the current, while sinking to the bottom. His brother in law, who had taken off his gear, dove into the water and reached him on the bottom. But he apparently could not release Zobel's weight belt and pull him to the surface.

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