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Two underwater stories

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Again and again, it’s really important how diver can and should think even in 60-70 meters depth. Last time we posted about underwater psychology and these two stories will demonstrate its bright and dark sides!

Sad accident happened in Canada. Experienced diver Shubin and Benjamin, together with beginners Nikkelem and Petersen were diving in West Vancouver. They were planning to descend to a depth of 30 m along the cliff and then climb on its platform. After 12 min at the depth of 25 m Shubin and Nikkel, being next to each other, suddenly saw that the other couple could not support neutral buoyancy. Shubin said that Nikkel was actively working to stay balanced. Senior companion ordered to inflate compensator that Nikkel did, continuing  to drop slowly. Shubin grabbed him and tried to inflate his dry suit, but both were falling with acceleration. At a depth of 66 m Nikkel started to panic, lost all ability to think, react or act. He just hang on  Shubin, but what – that time they were lost from each other, and Shubin’s inflated dry suit took off the top like a rocket, while its junior partner of 23 years of age continued to fall into a black abyss … On the surface Shubin saw how Benjamin came out- also in the fully inflated suit. He was murmuring something, and Shubin cried for help. On the shore Benjamin had cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, but without success – he died.

So, three died, one survived. Looking back, Shubin does not understand why both couples were unable to maintain the neutral buoyancy – the equipment has been tested before immersion. The question arises, why couldn’t they at least hang on the rock? The answer is simple – the panic has paralyzed the ability to think coolly, not only for beginners, but also an experienced diver.

At the same time, the will, resilience and composure has rescued divers even in the seemingly hopeless situation. Example – the history of the Italian trainer Roberto Bagnasko.

It happened in Hurghada in summer of 1996 and with a friend, Roberto decided to dive from a vertical wall-Erg Reef Somaia and explore it to the ground at a depth of 80 – 85 m. The Comrade had planned to stop at 70 m and then slowly climb up, and Roberto decided to reach the depth of downstream. On that day, the weather played out, and the speed increased, which threatened. Comrade proposed to dive at another time, but Roberto was too proud to yield to the weather. Outfit our hero was excellent, and two 15-liter container allowed to stay under water a long time.

At first all went according to the plan: buddy stopped at a depth of 70 m, and Robert fell to the ground and continued the reef slope on the flat sandy bottom. Mistake! At such a depth to the device with the compressed air to float can not be! Roberto swim – be up to 101 meters and looked at the computers: both give the same data for the decompression stops. It is time to return. But due to active swimming quietly came up nitrogen intoxication, and Roberto has lost the ability to talk sensibly. He could not find way back to the reef, as could see only straight ahead – a bright example of tunnel vision as a result of drug intoxication. He tried to find a huge wall of a reef, and focused only on that goal, forgetting how to inflate MP to increase the positive buoyancy.

Roberto Pople again tried to find the lost reef. ( The same mistake! They had to climb out of the dangerous deep zone and then swim to the reef). Each movement of flippers increased anesthesia … remembers Roberto data on the computer screen: 99 meters, 98 meters, 97 meters … and then – bang! – Black and loss of consciousness. Some parts of  brain still moved and wanted to get out of the abyss, but a big part of it was in a vegetative state. Roberto continued to swim and breathe unconscious for some time. He came out – for the alarming sounds of both computers back to a depth of 100 m. They showed decompression time – 99 minutes, the first stop at 24 meters, and aqualung remained only 73 atm. It was the end!

But Roberto did not panic; he inflated the compensator and began to go up quickly only slightly exceeding the computer calculated safe limit. The course identified the submariner in the open sea, and he was in the vast blue of 60 m. The head is clear and Roberto have thought that it would be better: to immediately come to the surface and slowly die from decompression sickness, or fall into the abyss and send all to hell on earth. He went up to 24 meters and made the first stop, despite the lack of air: the deep stop is very important, it is better to skip shallow ones. Computers are still showing decompression period of 99 min. Roberto went up to a depth of 6 meters, and decided to remain there until oxygen doesn’t end. Subsequently, he agreed that could make short stops at 12m – this would have reduced the effect of DSS. But it was still very difficult to think and he was too afraid to stay at depth, without air. The situation created is not the most luxurious: over more than an hour, Roberto suffered from sharp pains in the shoulders and hypothermia, and when viewed in the bottomless blue, then I felt a strong-headed. The future is very bleak, but the main thing it was that he came to the surface, that’s where the boat is…

The captain of the ship knew the course, and when surfacing after a successful first submariner all dates left, turned the boat into the sea. They noticed a red buoy, and thus find our hero. His friend jumped into the water, and Roberto explained what happened. He lowered a fresh 10-liter cylinder, because the air in the old aqualung almost over, and contacted by radio with the pressure chamber.
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So, Roberto Bagnasko remained alive and healthy and continues to dive. This story, cured himself from unnecessary ambitions, will provide an excellent experience for the future of underwater activities. Learn from the mistakes! However, the key to a safe journey was all the same composure and the ability to think sensibly and calmly, even under nitrogen narcosis.


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