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May 2009    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 24, No. 5   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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from the May, 2009 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

In March, we ran an article from TheTimes in London stating an inquest ruled that a young diver died at the end of his dive because he used all his air, then the tanks became heavier and dragged him under. Of course, it doesn’t work that way - - tanks get lighter -- and our error is that our edited version of that article was not what got into print. I edited the article down, saved it, then did a second version with my commentary. The first version got inserted in the issue and I failed to catch that because I didn’t do my job This is what you should have read:

In December, The Times newspaper of London reported that a 14-year-old boy died while diving with his father because he ran out of air while waiting to be picked up. An official inquest found that he had been “dragged down by the weight of his empty tanks when he ran out of air.” A police diving expert said that, “The air also gave him buoyancy so when it ran out, the weight of his diving gear would have dragged him under.”

Of course, when air in a tank is used, the tank becomes more buoyant, not less. So much for the police expert, or at least for the reporting. Our bet is when the boy ran out of air, he couldn’t inflate his BCD from his tank. And, as a 14-year-old, he didn’t know how to inflate his BCD orally. It took 19 days to find his body. Sad.

- - Ben Davison

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