Anyone Have Any Close Calls?

@singout (980)
United States
August 12, 2008 6:24pm CST
How many of you scuba divers have ever had a close call or have been in a life-threatening situation? For me it was a dive trip to Blue Springs in Florida. I was with a friend who, I found out later, was a sort-of dare devil. The actual tunnel openings had been dynamited shut by authorities due to many lives being lost when exploring. However, the spring head (which was about 125 ft down) and mouth had been left untouched. My friend wanted to show me that spring head and, at that depth, we only had a few minutes to do it. I don't remember how many millions of gallons a day gushed out of that head, but let's suffice it to say that it was more than sufficient. We rented some rechargeable lights from the local dive shop and made our way to the spring. He warned me in advance to be careful not get our full bodies above the head because we could be pushed swiftly to the ceiling of the cave where we were in danger of hitting our heads. When we arrived at the bottom we turned our lights on because it was pitch dark. My friend motioned for me to place my hand over a spot he was indicating. When I did, I noticed that my hand shook uncontrollably. This was due to the force of the spring head against my hand. That's when I began to imagine what would happen to me if I accidentally got my whole body above that area. Wouldn't you know it? I no sooner got those thoughts out of my brain when my light began to quickly dim, then completely extinquish itself. My friend was having exactly the same problem except all that was left of his light was a faint orange glow in the filament. Great! Now I was afraid to even move for fear of the obvious. I looked in what I estimated was the direction of the mouth, but the mouth was just enough off-center that I could not see it. It was dark! Very dark! I looked around, and there, just within reach, was the orange glow of my friend's, almost dead, flashlight. I reached for the light and then I felt the grasp of his hand on mine. He quickly led me out of the cave. I never went back again. Do you any of you have similar stories? They would make for interesting reading, not to mention that they could be lessons to learn by inexperienced divers. Who knows, you could even save a life by relating your story. The lesson I learned was to never trust a flashlight you didn't know anything about.
1 response
@vegegirl (828)
• Australia
20 Aug 08
When I did my diving course, the first part was in the pool, then the second part was going to be in the Great Barrier reef. The 2nd part kept getting postponed because of the weather so when we eventually went out, the previous training in the pool wasn't so fresh in my mind. One thing you have to do in the course is lose your oxygen and use your "buddies" oxygen until yours can get bac on again. I had been scared of doing this first in the pool, but it had ended up working out fine and wasn't that hard. So when the time came to do it in the ocean I was very confident, but I had trouble putting my oxygen back on - I just couldn't work out the right way to put it back in my mouth. Of course after a few times I panicked and soared to the top (forgetting about stabilising so as not to get the bens). Luckily I seemed to come out of this safely, and didn't get the bens. But it certainly did give me a scare - I was a bit scared I would suffocate in the ocean!
@singout (980)
• United States
20 Aug 08
Wow! Thanks for sharing that story. I know very well what you went through in the training process followed by the open-water test. You probably weren't very deep in the reef or you could have suffered some lung damage. I hope you, at least, released some air on your way up or had no air in your lungs at the time you soared to the surface. You know you should never hold your breath on the way to the top, even in shallow water. Anyway, you must have made it fine or you would not be sending this story LOL. I would dearly love to dive in the barrier reef. But from what I have seen on TV, it can also be a dangerous place as well. Stay safe.