On Knowing When To Abort Your Dive

Even as an experienced scuba diver there may be times when what would seem a simple dive takes a turn for the worse.

Laura King explains how what would have otherwise been a simple and easy dive off the coast of Ft Lauderdale took a turn for the worse.

She noticed a strong rip current as she began her dive from the five boat.  In fact the current was so strong that it pushed her about a half boat length before she began her descent. T hat is when her struggle began to extricate herself from the current.  She swam with all of her might to  reach the descent line.  It took her over 12 minutes and the use of about 1000psi to finally reach the descent line.

Needless to say she was exhausted…

Read on below to see how she dealt with this ordeal

I have been diving for twenty years, and consider myself to be a competent diver, confident in my abilities and comfortable in the water. But as they say, complacency breeds contempt, and I recently got a wake-up call I won’t soon forget. I was diving off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on an absolutely beautiful day and on a deep wreck. When I jumped in the water, I instantly noticed the ripping current. I cannot do a negative descent, as I always need to grab my camera rig from the divemaster. By the time I had done so, the current had pushed me half the boat length back. I started descending at an angle, trying to get below the current, while making my way to the descent line and maintaining a good visual on my buddy. I soon realized that the current was not letting up

Continued  Below…

I soon realized that the current was not letting up and — in fact — worsened the deeper I went. My fantastic buddy, a PADI Instructor whom I’d never dived with before, stayed level with me and kept his eyes on me the entire time. When I got to the bottom, the line was still about 40 feet ahead of me. I was kicking with all my might; my legs were starting to burn, and the line didn’t seem any closer. I weighed my options: I could abort the dive and make my way to the surface, but I knew in this current I would completely miss the boat. There were about 20 divers in the water, on a 45-minute dive. That meant at least an hour of floating on the surface, in a very strong current, about seven miles off shore. And did I mention the 15-foot layer of jellyfish on the surface? I had to get to that line, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. I swam as hard as I could, and used my free arm to try and pull me closer. It took me 12 minutes to get to that line, and when I did, I was exhausted. And I had used up 1000psi during my swim. I held onto the line and signaled to my buddy that I needed to catch my breath. He nodded understandingly and stayed right there with me, maintaining eye contact. In a situation like this, eye contact can be unbelievably reassuring. Once I caught my breath …..

Read the full story here on Scubadiverlife

Do you think it was the skipper’s fault for launching the divers in a rip current?

In the following clip, James of Divers Ready, shares valuable insights about cancelling dives. Whether its environmental conditions such as bad weather, gear issues, physical condition or just bad feelings/ sense of uneasiness.

“Calling It! When and How Should You Cancel A Dive?” – YouTube video by Divers Ready

I guess you can say that if you are thinking about calling the dive it is time to call it.

Images Source: YouTube Clips

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[updated 10/27/2021]

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