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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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July 2014    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 29, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Why Divers Die: Part II

overweighted and overwhelmed, “same ocean” buddies

from the July, 2014 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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While Undercurrent is written for traveling scuba divers (and those of you switching to rebreathers to enhance your photography), some of our readers have been doing more free diving, even taking classes to increase one's time and depth limits. Of course, free diving is neither snorkeling nor scuba diving; it comes with its own unique risks. Here are a couple of unique fatality cases to highlight those risks.

An experienced 31-year-old diver and underwater photographer was alone in a public swimming pool practicing free diving techniques to extend his breath-hold capability. He wore a mask and fins, and carried a four-pound, dumbbell-style weight. About four minutes after he was last seen swimming, a witness noticed him motionless, face-down on the bottom, a plume of bloody fluid coming from his mouth and nose. He was pulled onto the pool deck, unconscious, not breathing and with no pulse. When paramedics arrived five minutes later, they did CPR for 30 minutes, but he died shortly afterwards. One might surmise that shallow-water blackout, a buildup of carbon dioxide from breath holding, was the starting point of this death. Had a friend been watching him practice, he would most likely be alive....

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Those who use the "same ocean"
buddy system must recognize that
they are on their own if something
goes wrong during a dive.

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