Panic at 2000mm

Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Yesterday was a fun moment for me. It still only ranks as number 2 on the most shit-scared I've ever been list, but I did not enjoy it.

Picture if you will, a bunch of SCUBA nuts going through the usual self flagilation that is emergency preparation manouvres. Stuff like taking your gear off then putting it back on under water, flooding your mask then clearing it, swiming across the pool without a mask etc.

It's been ten years since I last dived, so it was a steep learning curve for me. Things have actually changed in that time.

Anyway, we had gotten to the bit where you motion that you're out of air and take your buddy's emergency second stage (they're no longer called an octopus for some reason). I had already gone through this one with Charmaine the night before, so I wasn't too fazed, even though I have forgotten all but the most rudementary hand signals.

I swim over to the divemaster I am buddied with, and signal that I am out of air.
He just looks at me blankly. I signal again I am out of air and I need to grab his ocky. Again he looks at me blankly, so I just grab it off him. While I am trying to grab it, it's get's snagged on his jacket. He helps untangle it, and I put it in my mouth. By this point I think I am fine and have spat out my 2nd stage. I put the ocky in my mouth, take a breath and...


The bloody thing is malfunctioning and not delivering air! I spit it out, he sort of shakes it and hands it back to me. I am starting to get a bit upset, cause what sort of self-respecting dive master doesn't ensure his emergency air supply isn't malfunctioning?

I put it back in my mouth and try to take another breath. More bloody water!

I take about three breaths of water, because I am starting to get desperate and start looking at the other people in the pool for help: I look at the instructor, my sister, then up at the surface.

We had just finished a 2 hour theory session about how all the worst accidents happen in diving when someone swims to the surface in a panic. I did not want to be that person, but I was quickly coming to the point where I could either risk popping a lung or two, I could stay down with them hoping they get that the ocky only delivered water and I am desperately screwed, or drown.

As you could see, none of those options really appealed to me. It was down to about 5 secs from taking my chances with a popped lung when the instructor realised what was going on. I was desperately trying to recover my second stage, and not succeeding cause it was on a shorter hose than I had been used to, when he grabbed it for me and handed it to me. I was so paniced by this stage I thought he was handing me his ocky. It wasn't until I had ripped through about 10 breaths and could start to breathe normally that I realized it was my own mouthpiece that he'd handed me. The instructor then pointed out with hand signs that I had grabbed the divemaster's ocky upside down, and that was why it was delivering only water.

He then motioned for me to try again. I shook my head quite emphaticly. I then somehow managed to force myself to stay underwater for the rest of the exercises. Ten minutes later, we surfaced, they all looked at me and I said,
I'm just going to sit on the edge of the pool for a while, you guys just keep on doing you thing. I need a moment.

Yep. I almost killed myself yesterday... At least I learnt not to try and breathe through an upside down ocky. Bring on the ocean exercises *shudder*

See ya'll again real soon.

Grim (^_^)


At 9:50 am, Anonymous JD said...

Geez louise mate!! That's a close scrape if I've ever heard (read) of one. Take care big fella!!


Post a Comment

<< Home