DESCRIPTION OF INCIDENT
Good rescue skills put into practice.
A comment from Gareth Leyshon First Class Diver
His training took over, he aborted the dive, switching to Robins AAS for a controlled and relaxed ascent to the surface.
Whilst a minor issue, it is pleasing to see that the time spent practicing rescue skills, gave him the confidence to abort the dive and switch to Robin’s AAS.
“It is much better to be on the boat wishing you where in the water, than in the water, wishing you where on the boat!”
This was the second dive of the day. The party consisted of two sets of Buddy Pairs. Pair 1 was Robin and Bradley, and pair 2 was Luke and Leigh. Each pair had submitted their plans and each pair had completed buddy checks. The divers entered the water at the Bus Stop and proceeded in a southerly direction to the Cockpit. From the Cockpit we proceeded to the wall and descended as a group to the bottom 18m. After checking each other we proceeded in an easterly direction along the base of the wall. Each buddy pair was responsible for that pair, with me as lead checking on the whole.
About 10 minutes in to the dive and on reaching the Wessex, Bradley indicated with hand signal that he was not comfortable and wanted to ascend. Securing my equipment, I made contact with him and informed the other buddy team to continue their dive. We ascended to the surface from 20m in around 2 minutes. During the ascent I made my alternate air source available to Bradley. On the surface we inflated his BCD. This was not an out of air situation as air was available for inflation of his BCD. I did notice however what was the evidence of a flow from Bradleys primary regulator. I isolated his cylinder and then re-opened it. The release stopped.
We made a return back to the ramp where Bradley left the water. I also left the water and we both de-kitted from our SCUBA gear. On questioning Bradley, he indicated that he had a slight ‘free flow’ from the primary regulator and that when he breathed in there was water in the air. A preclude to this incident was that during the surface interval he had brought to me the ‘purge assembly and front cover from the primary. It had come unscrewed from the regulator body. I had replaced it and tested the operation of the regulator which seemed OK. At the ramp I also went back into the water with Bradley’s kit and tested both 2nd stage regulators. In these shallow conditions they seemed to be working correctly.
I asked Bradley at this point if he felt up to completing his second dive and the required skills for Ocean Diver. At no time was he pressured and gave me assurance that he felt comfortable. I changed his cylinder with a full (200bar) steel that I had brought along with me, and my second set of APEX regulators. By this time the other buddy pair had completed their dive and acted as surface cover and assistants to kit up. My dive plan was twenty minutes and a decent to 18m and back up the wall if Bradley was OK with that. Skills would be performed on the training platform at 6m.
Upon entering the water at the slope with a stride entry. We went down to 5m and checked each other. We descended the wall with me facing Bradley at all times. He was very comfortable and gave the OK signal when prompted. We checked air, swam for a few minutes, before once again ascending the wall in a controlled manner. Throughout this exercise Bradley performed well. On reaching 6m we proceeded to the Nautilus where we swam around and check buoyancy control (refer to video). At the platform we performed skills and completed the dive with a CBL (me victim) and tow. We exited the water with a weight belt jettison and deep-water exit. Time of dive 18m (logged).
The regulator has been returned for service, and an incident report submitted to HQ. Please remember, even minor incidents should be logged and reported. The reporting of incidents has a part to play in reviewing diver training. It is also an aid to identifying potential equipment faults and has been know to result in manufacturers issuing equipment recalls.
Incident reports can be submitted directly by members, and anonymously if they prefer.
We all learn from our own and others mistakes. The reporting of incidents is not to start a finger pointing or an excercise in hind sight. No matter how slight you believe an incident may be someone will learn from the information provided.
Contact your Dive Officer who will guide you through the correct process in reporting an incident.