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    September 18, 2005

    Logged Dive #147 – Safety Diver, Casino Point, Catalina

    Casino Point, Catalina, CA

    Dove with Instructor John and his two advanced students.

    In With: 3100 psi
    Out With: 900 psi
    Max depth: 95 feet
    Waves: 1 to 2 feet, insignificant
    Visibility: 25 feet
    Water Temperature: Cool, cold at depth
    Total Bottom Time: 50 minutes

    This was our after lunch deep dive.

    The beginning students were excluded from this dive.

    We swam to the edge of the park, to the right of the stair case and submerged to 95 feet.

    We followed John to the Sujac.

    John started digging around in the crevices at the bottom of the boat – for what, I don’t know.

    The advanced students were suppose to take a compass heading before submerging and bring us back to the stairs.

    We followed them until it was apparent they had missed the stairs.

    John checked everyone’s air, then lead us to the barge.

    John went through the opening in the barge, the students followed and then me.

    The student ahead of me got caught on kelp or couldn’t find the exit; I backed up.

    I found out later he had to cut himself free.

    We ended up covering the entire park – the Sujac to the barge.

    We exited with no problems.

    Logged Dive #146 – Safety Diver For John’s OW Class

    Casino Point, Catalina, CA

    Dove with Instructor John and his Open Water students Pedro, Leeza, Cheech and his two advanced students.*

    John’s wife Rebecca came along to bubble watch.

    In With: 2000 psi
    Out With: 1200 psi
    Max depth: 60 feet
    Waves: 1 to 2 feet, insignificant
    Visibility: 25 feet
    Water Temperature: Cool
    Total Bottom Time: 15 minutes
    *Student names have been changed.
    Notable Event: Dealt with a tired and panicked diver.

    The idea was to go to the barge with the group.

    I went down first, the rest followed.

    Cheech was a little lost getting down, it took him a little over a minute.

    John lead, I took up the back.

    Leeza’s fin fell off; I put it back on.

    We followed John through some kelp down to a sandy portion of the floor at 60 feet.

    Leeza just stopped, kneeling on the sandy bottom.

    She didn’t seem panicked, maybe just tired.

    I gave her the “Are you OK?” sign.

    No response.

    I asked again.

    No response.

    She opened her eyes a little, looked over, raised up her middle towards me and gestured “up” – maybe she was just giving me the finger?

    I grabbed her by the BC shoulder strap and started slowly dragging her towards the surface.

    I had to kick hard, but was happy to see the bottom get smaller.

    It seemed like the longest swim to the surface that I can remember.

    Once we broke the surface, I noticed we were outside the park.

    I told Leeza to put air in her jacket; I thought she did.

    I asked her if she wanted to go in – that was a stupid question!

    I won’t ask next time in a similar situation.

    “Yes, let’s go in,” she said.

    The class had continued without us.

    I lifted the buoy line up and towed Leeza under the park’s border.

    I then continued to tank tow her to the stairs.

    “We need to go in right now!” she yelled.

    I said calmly, “We’re going there; it’s just going to take a few minutes.”

    As we approached the stairs, the rest of the class was climbing out.

    “John!” I yelled.

    He looked over, as he was looking for us.

    “How’s Leeza?” John asked.

    “She’s really tired.”

    We helped her out and up the stairs; she was exhausted.

    Leeza later explained that she was nauseas.

    The only thing that she had to eat was a cup of coffee for breakfast.

    John thinks she’s hyperglycemic and is requiring her to eat before she dives from now on.

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