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Death in the surf

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jan 27, 2005
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San Clemente, CA
Friday night two divers that I know set out on a night lobster dive in Orange County, CA. The surf was big and it was dark at 8 PM so it would have been hard to see an extra big wave coming. Many are questioning their decision to dive. They got knocked down by a wave. One of them made it back to the beach but the other one never surfaced. The Coast Guard suspended the search after 24 hours. The surf is still too big for divers to search without risk. The family is asking those with boats and drones to help. I hope his body washes up sooner rather than later.

This should serve as a reminder that our sport is dangerous and there are ways to die other than SWB.

I don’t know whether this is the right forum for this but we don’t seem to have one devoted to safety in general.
 
Last edited:

Leander

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2017
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Between here and nowhere
Sad news :( but a good reminder to ourselves to keep safety as priority

This is why for myself I have a hard rule: If it's 'one of those days [where stuff just seems to go wrong, starting at burned breakfast]', don't go in. People ridiculed me for this, but so far every close call I ever had was when I listened to others instead of to myself. And with water things are serious.

Stay safe people!
 

intheblue5

New Member
Feb 5, 2021
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U.S
Sad news :( but a good reminder to ourselves to keep safety as priority

This is why for myself I have a hard rule: If it's 'one of those days [where stuff just seems to go wrong, starting at burned breakfast]', don't go in. People ridiculed me for this, but so far every close call I ever had was when I listened to others instead of to myself. And with water things are serious.

Stay safe people!
Great rule my friend, diving is a dangerous sport, but having these ''principles'' as you describe is a great way to avoid taking unnecessary risk. I would often commit the unholy sin of diving alone, but i atleast knew when to jump in and when to call it a day, even thought it sucks in the moment.
 
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oceanwalker

Active Member
Dec 19, 2012
1
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38
Seattle, Wa
Friday night two divers that I know set out on a night lobster dive in Orange County, CA. The surf was big and it was dark at 8 PM so it would have been hard to see an extra big wave coming. Many are questioning their decision to dive. They got knocked down by a wave. One of them made it back to the beach but the other one never surfaced. The Coast Guard suspended the search after 24 hours. The surf is still too big for divers to search without risk. The family is asking those with boats and drones to help. I hope his body washes up sooner rather than later.

This should serve as a reminder that our sport is dangerous and there are ways to die other than SWB.

I don’t know whether this is the right forum for this but we don’t seem to have one devoted to safety in general.
Bill, I read all the posts below of yours as well. Thank you for bringing this to everyone's attention. I tell people your trip to the dive whether freediving or scuba begins at home when you get up. Not when you get to the boat or dive site. Look at the weather, consider how your mental state is, learn to evaluate early. The south seas spear fishermen say if you've had a fight with your wife don't get in the water. It's never to late to call a dive, no matter. Better to go another and not risk injury or worse. All of us have pushed the edge and lived to tell about it.
 

Lobzila

Active Member
Mar 14, 2009
1
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36
Oceanside CA
I know his dive partner and have spoken to him since the incident. As a diver, we have all gone out a time or three when we probably should not of gone out. Most of us will nope not today right out of there. Sometimes you watch an area and it seems calm enough to go, and then a set of waves roll in while your getting out. Or it got rougher while you were out. This was a spot the guys have dove hundreds of times together. They knew it well. Be safe out there.
 

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jan 27, 2005
3,406
1,171
368
82
San Clemente, CA
I know his partner and he has been on my boat once or twice long ago, but I haven't spoken to him.

The surf was very large that day and I doubt it had gotten better that night. It was still big the next day. You know how there can be an occasional set of much bigger waves. At 9 PM it would be hard to see them coming.
 

Dean

Well-Known Member
May 30, 2002
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Seattle, WA
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Friday night two divers that I know set out on a night lobster dive in Orange County, CA. The surf was big and it was dark at 8 PM so it would have been hard to see an extra big wave coming. Many are questioning their decision to dive. They got knocked down by a wave. One of them made it back to the beach but the other one never surfaced. The Coast Guard suspended the search after 24 hours. The surf is still too big for divers to search without risk. The family is asking those with boats and drones to help. I hope his body washes up sooner rather than later.

This should serve as a reminder that our sport is dangerous and there are ways to die other than SWB.

I don’t know whether this is the right forum for this but we don’t seem to have one devoted to safety in general.
Very good post. Thanks Bill.
 
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