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June 2008    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 23, No. 6   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Look Before You Leap

from the June, 2008 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Some basic boat diving rules bear repeating over and over. One of them is to check the water before you jump into it, especially if another diver went in first. Subscriber Donald Rowe (Glendora, CA) was reminded of this the hard way.

On a recent liveaboard trip in the Maldives, the divemasters urged all 16 divers on one dive to get in the water as close together as possible to avoid spreading out due to the current. As the divemasters called out, Go go, go, I entered the water and had descended three feet, when I felt a major blow to my hood-covered head. A very large diver had landed right on top of me. I noted a lump was already forming but otherwise I didnt feel seriously affected, so I continued the dive. But on surfacing and waiting for pickup, other divers noted blood seeping from my hood. When I removed it, I found a very large cut which later took 16 stitches to close.

Luckily, an oral surgeon was on board, and he stitched me up and medicated the cut for several days. But this could have easily been avoided by the errant diver taking a quick check of the ocean before leaping in.

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