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    April 30, 2008

    How Not To Plan And Execute A SCUBA Dive

    The diving world was praying for the safe return of eight Taiwanese divers who were reported missing from “Seven Star Rocks” off the Southern most tip of Taiwan.

    They called each other’s names to keep themselves awake and drank rain water to survive.

    They had drifted about 60 miles until they were rescued by the heroic act of the Dive Coach Ting Po-ling, 32, who had swam 11 hours to shore, after waiting in vain for help, after they drifted for 24 hours.

    Ting made it to shore at night and yelled to a fisherman for help.

    The fisherman, who initially thought Ting was a ghost, called the authorities to let them know where the other divers were.

    Another search was launched, but it was still difficult to to find the other divers.

    Thanks to one of the divers clicking a camera’s flash, the helicopters were able to spot and rescue them after the other seven had been adrift for more than 40 hours.

    All were severely dehydrated and had low body temperature.

    Rescued Taiwanese Diver

    One female diver promised her mother that she would never go diving again because “It’s just too dangerous.”

    So, What Went Wrong With This Dive?

    They dove off of a private boat, with no Dive Master on board; no big deal, it happens all the time.

    But, it was an off shore reef, and the only person who knew exactly where it was went diving.

    The agreement with the boat Captain apparently was, “I’ll meet you back here in an hour to pick you up.”

    Well, an hour went by and the boat Captain went to pick them up.

    Either the current took them, the Captain couldn’t find the reef or it was a combination of both.

    They were reported missing, and the search started from there.

    The boat, as planned, left the dive area to return to pick them up.

    If there would have been problems during the dive, no boat would have been available to assist.

    Since the boat wasn’t there, it could not judge potential current, nor follow a current buoy or signal sausage.

    So, yes, recreational diving is still pretty much safe!

    Accidents still happen, but don’t be influenced by the lack of someone else’s common sense.

    There would be no way I would have gone on this dive if I knew how it was planned.

    Stay safe everyone!

    Links To The Articles:

    Rescued divers describe near-fatal lost-at-sea scuba diving accident

    Miracle rescue for Taiwanese divers

    All divers saved after 40 hours

    April 27, 2008

    Logged Dive #284 Long Point Beach Dive and Barbecue Party

    Long Point (aka The Old Marineland), Palos Verdes, California

    Solo Diving

    In With: 3000 psi
    Out With: 800 psi
    Max depth: About 45 feet
    Waves: Small swells, almost as flat as a lake
    Visibility: 8 to 10 feet, but with a lot of silt
    Water Temperature: 54 degrees at depth, warmer on the surface
    Total Bottom Time: About 45 minutes

    Reverend Al had to go find the guard to have him unlock the parking lot; apparently, the
    guard did not know that was one of his duties.

    So, running 30 minutes behind schedule, I geared up and took the torturous walk down to
    the rocky beach.

    It was really low tide, and I almost slipped a few times on the exposed slimy rocks.

    The air temperature must have been 90 degrees – I was sweating profusely from the walk
    down and entering the cool 54 degree water felt really good.

    Me off of the Terranea Resort.

    The Terranea Resort is in back of me; it’s getting larger by the week.

    I submerged and followed my compus heading to 120 reef…

    120 Reef Off Of Old Marineland

    120 Reef Off Of Old Marineland

    120 Reef Off Of Old Marineland

    120 Reef At Old Marineland

    There was a lot of silt in the water, but everyone who dives here knows the old saying,
    “When the visibility is low, go macro.”

    120 Reef Off Of Old Marineland

    At 45 feet, the reef ended, so I started heading in; there’s big patches of sand
    between reefs.

    A starfish eats.

    A starfish prys open it’s next meal.

    A Nudibrach

    A Nudibrach!

    A colorful reef.

    I had a small air leak from my first stage, so I had to cut the dive short; however, I
    was getting cold, so I don’t think I could have gone on regardless.

    Visibility was really crappy in the cove; I made an easy and uneventful exit.

    Dripping wet with cool water, the walk up wasn’t bad.

    Now, for the party!

    Ed and Paul

    All I have to do is announce free food, and my brother shows up; Ed showed up, too.

    I barbecue, Ed drinks.

    We just had hotdogs; otherwise I would have brought my real barbecue.

    Lars was back in town diving with others; he walked up from the beach in full SCUBA
    gear, dripping wet.

    Ed asked him, “Did you dive this morning?”

    “No, I just walk around in SCUBA gear to keep myself in good shape,” Lars responded.

    I couldn’t help but laugh.

    Old Marineland Parking Lot Party!

    Beer, hotdogs, ocean air and cool people… or as Jane puts it, “Barbecuing in a parking
    lot like we’re homeless.”

    Not many women can handle the walk down fully geared; so regular female divers here are a
    rarity.

    Reverend Al asked, “Where’s all the chicks? This scene resembles a gay bar?”

    Reverend Al and his group went off The Point and reported 30-foot visibility.

    I don’t like entering The Point at low tide; the boulders are too slippery.

    “Debriefing” lasted a couple of hours until the beer ran out.

    Rebel’s Bar In San Pedro

    Me, Ed and Paul ended up at Rebel’s Bar in San Pedro – the nicest neighborhood bar in San
    Pedro.

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