Archive for October of 2005

Rescue Diver Class Scenario #8 (Scene Management and Lost Diver Search) at MacAbee

October 30, 2005
Two divers signaled for help about 110 yards offshore. We immediately donned our gear because, we could not talk them into shore, couldn't reach them with a pole, couldn't throw a ring or buoy to them, and we didn't have a boat or other watercraft available. By the time John and I hit the water, both divers had gone underwater. We swam with our heads up to the last place they were seen. We met John #2 and Susan out there and we decided to do criss-crossing U-turn searches. They would make their way perpendicular to shore and John and I would move parallel with shore moving deeper. Jonathan and Susan descended and started their search. John was having trouble descending with an AL80 tank so we were about to head back in when another search team surfaced nearby. John assisted with the surface BLS and I partnered up with another diver and we started our search. We came up from behind the victim and proceeded with the reaction-test. When the diver did not respond to mask taps, we started a rescue assent. On the surface, we started the rescue breaths and gear removal. Our victim became alert after a few rescue breaths. We swam in together while maintaining contact with the diver.

Rescue Diver Class Scenario #7 (Scene Management) at MacAbee

October 30, 2005
I this exercise, we simulated the coordination of a search-and-rescue for a lost buddy. A dive came on shore without his buddy. He spent the 1 minute underwater looking before making a safe ascent. When he could not find any bubble trace for his buddy, he came onshore looking for help.

Rescue Diver Class Scenario #6 (Non-responsive Diver on Surface using Rescue Breathing and Egress) at MacAbee

October 30, 2005
Here was the physical test that sucked the energy out of me. We were about 85 to 95 yards off-shore. The skill-test breaks down like this: first I needed to turn John onto his back, dump his weights (Weights Away!), remove his regulator and mask. Next was a breathing check for 10 seconds (there is no circulation check while in the water due to the difficulty with the wetsuit)--no breathing, then give two rescue breaths and shout "HELP! HELP!". At this point, we are closer than 5 minutes from shore so the only choice is continuous breathing while towing and removing gear (there is no compressions given in the water--you need a hard surface behind the victim to make useful compressions). Now, every 5 seconds I must give a breath while unbuckling his BCD--one, one-thousand, two, one-thousand, three, one-thousand, four, one-thousand, breath. While counting, each snap, connector and strap are unfastened. While breathing and unfastening, I am kicking toward shore. After his gear is gone, I need to remove my gear while maintaining rescue breaths and moving toward shore. Near shore, I removed my fins so that I could carry John out. I gave two full rescue breaths (I now have 30 seconds to get him onto shore). I moved John into the Pack Carry and walked/jogged out. I laid John down carefully on the beach and gave two full rescue breaths. At this point, it is no different that normal Primary Care and Secondary Care.

Rescue Diver Class Scenario #5 (Tired Diver Tows) at MacAbee

October 30, 2005
How many Tired Diver Tows are there? Ten toes. Hahaha, dumb joke.

John and I practiced the three tired diver tows. First, I started with the Do-See-Do or Armpit tow. This is good for maintaining face-to-face contact, but it is not very speedy. Next I moved on to the tank tow; this is one of my fastest tows, but it lacks the face-to-face contact that is necessary to keep the victim calm. Last, I moved into the diver push (leg push). The leg push is also very quick and maintains some face-to-face contact.

Rescue Diver Class Scenario #4 (Non-responsive Diver Underwater) at MacAbee

October 30, 2005
This test was creepy. When I came upon John underwater, he was not moving, all I could think of when I looked at him swaying with the surge was the dead bait ball the shark divers use to bring sharks close to the boat.

I moved toward John while scanning the surrounding for clues to what has happened. I tapped John on the head and on his mask and received no response. I moved into a position above John and slid my right arm underneath his right arm and secured the regulator in place. I had no air in my BCD so I used his to compensate for both of us. That way both hands are connected to the victim (in some fashion). It takes quite a bit of air in the BCD to counter both of our negative bouyancies. We made a very safe ascent to the surface where I proceeded to remove his mask and mine for the breathing check.

Rescue Diver Class Scenario #3 (Distressed/Panicked Non-responsive Diver on Surface) at MacAbee

October 30, 2005
This involves a diver in panic mode. They will not respond to commands or verbal instruction. The victim will swim toward help only to climb on top of the rescuer.

John was not responding to commands and he started to swim toward me. I popped the reg in my mouth and descended. While underwater, I simulated the removal of John's weights and moved in behind him. To take control of the victim, I grabbed his first stage and cradled his tank between my knees. Then I inflated his BCD. After a successful rescue, John got his shot at me. I struggled when he had my first stage. I can tell you that the tank cradle is very secure.

Rescue Diver Class Scenario #2 (Distressed/Panicked Responsive Diver on Surface) at MacAbee

October 30, 2005
This involves a diver in panic mode, but the diver will respond to commands and verbal instructions.

Shouting out, "Inflate your BCD" to John was all that was required. He inflated his BCD and calmed himself.

Rescue Diver Class Scenario #1 (Distressed Diver Underwater) MacAbee

October 30, 2005
The first dive of the day required us (my buddy was John Callender) to slow down and calm a struggling/panicked diver underwater and then go into a simulated out-of-air situation. To calm John down, I pulled out my knife and jammed it into the sand for us to hold on to while calming him. Out-of-air went smoothly, John grabbed my octo and we made a "very" safe ascent (<0.5 ft/sec).

We descended and switched roles. I was the panicked diver underwater. John rescued me with ease. John has an integrated power-inflator/octo that was difficult for me to get used to. It is very different from my original training. I was given the primary and John took the integrated system.
Yes, I didn't dive for 3 years and 9 months (see Judo {ACL Tear})