THIS WEEK (June 28 - July 6) AT REEF SEEKERS DIVE
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REEF SEEKERS REPAIR DEPARTMENT
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GUADALUPE JULY 31 TRIP IS FULL - We were able to grab two of the final boat spots on the July 31-August 5 Guadalupe Great White Shark trip and it appears that the other spots have now all been spoken for. So if this is a trip you were thinking about, shift your thoughts now to October 21-16 where we have 4 spots available. Obviously, when we get back from the first trip, we'll post pix, videos, and stories to get your interest up. Now if I can just figure out how to get the "Jaws" theme to play each time you open an e-mail . . .
KNOW THYSELF - There's good news coming out of what could have had a much worse outcome. Diver was out diving with some buddies on a fun day and as the dive was progressing, just felt that something wasn't right. He ended the dive a little early and came back to the boat where one of his other friends thought he didn't look well and asked if he was feeling OK. Diver said, "No, something's wrong." They chatted a bit more, put the diver on oxygen (which they had on board), called the Coast Guard for help, and the diver was evacuated and taken to a hyperbaric facility for evaluation. Most likely the issues were cardiac-related but he was chamber-treated as a precaution as well plus there were other tests scheduled as follow-up to get a better handle on what happened. Many GOOD lessons come out of this. One of the things we've seen over the years and something we put into all of our accident lectures is that it's usually not the first problem that gets you and maybe not the second but the third or fourth or whatever as things pile up. So the lesson is that when ONE thing seems out of kilter, stop the dive and fix it. In this case, the diver did just that (in terms of stopping). On top of that, if you observe something that doesn't seem right, SAY something. And the other diver did that by asking what was wrong. Then when they decided things were not as they should be, rather than just sitting around and going "Maybe it'll get better" they went into full-rescue mode with oxygen and a call to people with more experience to help deal with things. Also a very good thing to do and that's why they're all there. And finally when the diver was taken to a proper medical facility, they acted on the side of caution and treated hyperbarically. If there WAS something wrong bubble-wise, that would help. If there were NO bubble issues, a chamber ride wouldn't hurt. So kudos all around because this is the way it's supposed to be done.
A LITTLE BIT MORE ON THIS - It also turns out in the course of things, that this diver has some other pre-existing medical problems. They may or may not be related to what happened on the dive but they merit consideration by physician trained in hyperbaric medicine. And sometimes the medical issues may be such that the decision you'll have to make is that your diving days are behind you. I don't know what the outcome here will be. But I do know that, as I've said for years, you never get hurt on a dive you don't make. And just because there's a doctors signature on a medical form doesn't mean there are any guarantees. I'll remind everyone that one of the cases we presented this year during "Why Divers Die" was of a diver who had had a previous heart attack, his physician (not sure if it was a diving cardiologist but my guess is that he wasn't) signed off on the medical and three days later during a dive, the guy apparently had another heart attack and this time didn't make it. So just because a doc says it's OK doesn't always mean it really is. Whether you're a diver or a diving professional supervising people, listen to those little voices inside your head.
SPEAKING OF VOICES INSIDE YOUR HEAD - Went to see "Inside Out" last week, the animated Pixar movie that focuses on those voices inside your head. Really well-done and funny. Highly recommended.
AND YOU THINK I'M CRABBY - Haven't heard much this week but we've been getting inundated the last few weeks with Tuna Crabs, which look like little red lobsters. I seem to recall something similar back in '82-'83 which preceded that season's El Nino. Perhaps they're a sign of things to come. But here's what they looked like when they washed up around Newport Beach:
LOOKING FOR A D200 CAMERA & HOUSING? - Now that I'm set again with my D750 camera and housing, I'm looking to sell my D200 housing and camera. It's been a great workhorse for me over the years and the reason I went to the D750 is that I wanted to go full-frame. But if you've got a D200 a need a housing (they don't make these anymore) or want to trade up to a nice DSLR from what you have now, we should talk. I've also got some lenses and ports as well so we can make a package deal. Call me at 310/652-4990 if you're curious/interested.
ONE MORE GOOD DIVER-PREPAREDNESS STORY - We'll end with this one and steal a line from the ABC show and ask: What would YOU do? Diver is doing a routine dive and roughly ten minutes in hears a BAM!!! beside her head. She realizes (or later realizes) that the hose to her regulator has sheared off and she now has no air. Because she was very shallow, she quite calmly made a free-ascent to the surface, exhaling all the while, inflated her BC, and ended the dive. All's well that ends well. (No clue as to why the hose blew, either. Equipment was well-maintained and in seemingly good condition overall.) But the point is to ask yourself, would YOU have been able to react the same way? Or would you lose it because you entered the water never thinking something could go wrong and hadn't practiced things like buddy breathing or free ascents or other drills since your basic class? The point is that you have to be ready, at any time during a dive, to take the proper actions that could save your life or that of your buddy. And if you don't at least run those scenarios through your head as well as practice them, those critical skills might not be part of your muscle memory in the unlikely event that they should be needed. Dive safety isn't a burden and it doesn't take long to think about these things and run some scenarios in your mind so, as the wonderful NAUI saying goes, you're ready to respond.
And that'll do it for now. Have a great week and a happy and safe Fourth of July and let's go diving soon!!!
Owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.