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Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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flyboy748

flyboy748

Well-Known Member
Sep 18, 2003
415
58
118
Thanks for the clarification Paul,

All good points. I think when I'm out by myself in the future I'll call it snorkeling, stay shallow, follow my rules ect. I'll also drive the speed limit on the way to the dive site! No need for extra risk in any area of life, however there are some we will take.

I, like you, never heard of "freediving" until recently. I remember heading out "skindiving" with 10lb on my weightbelt and no wetsuit. I was really negitive even on the surface! I would also hyperventalate and dive down to where the scuba divers were ( 20-30 feet max) and see how long I could lay on the bottom ect. All in ignorant bliss. Never felt safer! I realize now that I survived all that through more luck than good management. Same way I survived my teenage driving probably ;-) I am now much more aware of the very real dangers of solo freediving. With a buddy I'll purge, pack and drop down onto the bottom for two and a half minutes, by myself I never purge and I restrict myself to one minute max total dive time. Will this and my other rules (presuming I follow them) keep me safe? Of course not. Will they reduce the risk? Of course they will. Is the risk reduced enough? That is the question I ask myself over and over.

I'll continue to dive with a buddy as much as possible. In the meantime I won't dive deep or long when solo. Hopefully in the future all my diving will be with a buddy. I have way more fun when with someone else anyway!

Thanks again for the encouragement towards a more conservative standpoint. I'd far rather be accused of being too carefull than have everyone putting in bets to see how long I'll last!

Aaron
 
Bill

Bill

Baron of Breathold
Oct 17, 2001
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ÒIt is no secret that perhaps 95% my lifetime freediving has been solo. I didn't know any better. I never heard of anybody blacking out until August 2000, some 45 -odd years after I first took a deep breath and dropped beneath the Atlantic waves. Ò

Your views are very close to mine, Paul. The problem is, the divers that could benefit most from your advice will not read past the first line.
Aloha
Bill
 
flyboy748

flyboy748

Well-Known Member
Sep 18, 2003
415
58
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I read as much as I can about diving when I can't actually dive. Hopefully I'll learn enough to keep me safe. One thing I am noticing though, is that the more experienced freedivers almost all very strongly advocate never freediving solo. I have to at least ask myself if that's the way they got "experienced" without drowning...

Cali, Bill, and Paul (not to exclude others) I respect your views and give as much heed to your advice as I can. I would now consider myself an advocate of always diving with a buddy, albiet a somewhat hypocritical one.

I think I'll just paddle around in my dive kayak until my buddy can make it out. Maybe I won't even do that, it's freezing outside! ;)

Happy New Year all!

Aaron
 
T

Tommy Engfors

New Member
Jul 29, 2003
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Very good posts. Great thread.

I agree with Paul (and the rest of you) 100%. Dive with a buddy whenever possible.

Problem arises when it seems almost impossible to find other local freedivers. What can one do? No good answers to that from a safety point of view I guess... except don't dive of course. Or... dive anyway. At the end of the day, like Aaron says, it seems to become a matter of what risks one is prepared to take.

It also seems that we have two generations of divers here; Those who have been doing this for a long time and have learned by trial and error, and those who are starting with this right now and can benefit from the experience of the veterans.

I belong to the latter group myself and find the info at this site very valuable indeed. Keep it up and maybe these mysterious drownings will at the very least be reduced in occurence (I am sure at least some of the deaths throughout the years are due to ignorance).

Just one little question, to Paul, where the heck is seat 22B located??
 
Jon

Jon

Dairyland diver
Supporter
Apr 7, 2001
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I used to freedive solo as well as scuba dive solo.

I must have at least 1,000 solo scuba dives under my belt in over 20 years of diving, but once my daughter was born that all ended. Actually, it ended before that,once I was married, but having a child put the last nail in that coffin.

I stopped solo freedivng after I attended Kirk's clinic. After watching people samaba right in front of you, one after another, it makes you re-evaulate everything. I now make sure someones around. When I am wreck diving it might be a scuba diver and when spearfishing it's my buddy, Ted.

We have a wreck that we dive on all the time in the Great lakes that sits in only 55'-95' of water. She is a great wreck to freedive and I get to dive her on a somewhat regular basis. She has also claimed at least 4 lives. These were divers of varying abilities. Some were experienced instructors, or trimix divers, while others were newbies. The one thing they all had in common was that when they died they were ALL solo- whether they started out that way or not. It's not a lot of fun doing CPR on a rocking boat deck to some guy you where just talking to an hour ago. It's even harder to watch his finace throw flowers into the water where he died a week earlier.It makes you realize that your not as invincible as you thought.

I don't have a group to train with so I don't push things in the pool. I don't have a group to deep dive with, so I don't. I know that I am capable of greater depths, but refuse to try without proper back-up, which I don't have at this time. So now I just wait until I can cultivate at least one more freediver and get my diver recovery sytem up and running.

This past week has seen record high temps for us, over 50 degrees in December, but since Ted has been sick I have elected to go ride my bike instead of chancing it. I know that I could stay shallow and probably be Ok, but I also know that I can wait for another day. Hopefully Ted will be healthy enough for a Newyears Day dip.

There's an old saying that goes " There are old divers and there are bold divers, but there are NO old, bold divers". I think that applies to freediving as well as scuba.

Just my $0.02

Jon
 
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neshamah

CFD Group
Jun 2, 2003
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hi

The problem is not only to dive solo-- I did that a lot -- but the time your are going to spend in water and diving at certain ( profundidad).without resting.time ...there is to many factor than can provoque a ( trajedia) or black out- the lack of food- so you can become fatigue......todo estos factore pueden provocar una trajedia ....

Page atencion to your body ... and to every movement you do in water....never go to your limited..and know when is the time to stop diving and go home

saludos

safe dive

Daniel.
 
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cjorca

cjorca

New Member
Nov 8, 2003
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Hey Paul, hope all is well, long time no hear from :)

Keep in mind everyone, while I know we're all itching to get our time in the water, there are other ways to train. Yes, I know its not as fun or rewarding, however, they are just as effective in keeping the "training going" ( Dry static, cardio workouts etc. ) There are times when I can't find a buddy either, hell I live with one, and I havn't been able to get him to dive once since we've been home from Cayman!!!!!!!( 7 months ago)
My mom use to always tell me " you can drown in a teaspoon of water, as long as it covers you nose and mouth"
Shallow or deep, I really feel free diving should not be done solo. Would you do static solo? Most wouldn't even consider solo in-water static training. Why should shallow constant ballast be any different? For those of you that consider solo freediving, I'm not saying thats its any more or less dangerous than other activities, but lets face it, if we can make one of our acivities a little safer, why not, However, if solo diving is something you just have to do, there's another activity out there you can do thats just as effective in your chances of death. Anyone heard of Russian Roulette?
Safe and Happy New Year's to everyone
Cali
 
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flyboy748

flyboy748

Well-Known Member
Sep 18, 2003
415
58
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Thanks for the imput all.

My views are definatly changing. Good point about the wet statics Cali, probably no-one (I hope no one!) does those solo.

Jon, as usual from you, some great points and good thinking. I've got 3 little ones that really want me to make it home at the end of the day. My little guy wants to start snorkeling in the open water next summer. I owe him that chance.

To those of you who continue to freedive solo, take it easy and continue to give it lots of thought. Take Jon's approach and try to convert some of the local scuba people! Even diving with a buddy on scuba is better than solo in spite of the fact that they may be less able to assist.

Once again, thank you all for your efforts to caution those of us who are new to the sport. I believe I'm beginning to see things a bit more clearly.

Aaron
 
C

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
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Hi all,great thread,

At risk of sounding like a maniac, it seems like we are going overboard a little, at least as far as most divers are concerned. Bill and Paul gave a hint, both been diving many years without even even hearing of a blackout. I started about the same time, experianced a couple of sambas in very shallow water as I got a little bit competent (several buddies, all of us way to agresssive, experianced the same) and had only seen one bo (in 15m) by a guy who we all knew was grossly pushing his limits.

The truth is, for most divers, a bo is incredibly rare. Most free divers in my part of the world are diving in a lot less than 15m with average bottom times of less than a minute. They don't train and their c02 safety margin is accordingly pretty wide. This is doubly true if they are aware of the possibility of bo and dive conservatively. I was in this group for many years and thousands of pounds of fish, only I wasn't conservative. Way too many times,down way way too long. If bo was much of a threat, I (and a bunch of my buddies) would not be here.

The problem arises in the category of diver where depth, skill and training start to rise. At that point, bo gets a lot more common and a lot less predictable. Members of this forum are either in that category or have the strong desire to be. For us, the hard ass attitude, don't dive alone period, makes a lot of sense.

Of course this raises the question of how to tell where a diver is at. I have no answer, but realize the reality of diving for most divers is not what most of us do, at least in this part of the world. It would be very interesting to get some idea of the skill level, average bottom time and depth for divers experiancing bo.

Thanks

Connor
 
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cjorca

cjorca

New Member
Nov 8, 2003
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A large chunk of the black outs I have witness ( or experienced ) have occured while diving relatively shallow without pushing bottom times, whether they were students or experienced freedivers "out for fun". After recovery, all said, the felt they were not pushing their limits, and felt great throughout the whole dive.
As for my own experiences, on 1 dive, I'd felt great through the whole dive, my breathup had gone well ( it was a 6 min breathup after a 5 min recovery from a previous dive ) my kicks were smooth and relaxed, and yet about 15 ft from the surface, I knew I would I would need help. I calmly shook my head to my buddy to let him know I wouldn't make it. I had a BO after surfacing. I'm thankful I had a buddy there for that, oh, I'm being conservative, but just in case senario. I guess what I'm trying to say is no matter how conservative you are, a bo can occur anytime.
as alway dive safe, or as safe as your willing to make it,
:D
Happy New Year
Cali
 
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Tommy Engfors

New Member
Jul 29, 2003
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After reading these last posts about some not pushing it and still having a BO, I am beginning to think maybe some are more prone, I mean a lot more prone, to BO than others?

Only real analogy I can think of is those guys on americas funniest home videos. They stand there along with whomever is getting married, and suddenly one of them just topples over... yet, all the others who have been standing still the same amount of time, still stand...

Could there be a similar thing with in water BOs?
 
cjorca

cjorca

New Member
Nov 8, 2003
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I wouldn' t say the some are more prone or have a predisposition to blackouts. I think is just shows that everyday is different and any psycological or physical difference may affect that days dives.
On a liter note, Its snowing like crazy out here in Vancouver:D
caio
Cali:friday
Enjoy your New Years, have a safe one.
 
C

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
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Very interesting thread,

What is the pattern? I know from experiance that bo's are pretty rare for some types of divers, obviously not for others. Is there a pattern? Is there some minimum where bo is rare? for example, 10 m and 1 minute bottom time?

cjorca, you have seen far more than I, what do you consider a shallow dive and short bottom time? You bo was on a dive, how deep, how long? What is the miniimum bottom time for a bo that you are aware of?

PaulK, you have seen a lot of bo's in the last few years. any general idea of depth and time, or any other pattern? How about minimum depth or time?

Here is an scary thought. Is it possible that I and lots of other divers have been having sambas that we don't remember? It has been 35 years + since I knew I had one. Maybe I just don't remember them.

Thanks for the input.

Connor
 
Paul Kotik

Paul Kotik

FreeDiving Editor
Oct 21, 2003
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BILL, WHAT ?

Bill, I want my words to be read ! Please tell me why nobody will read past the first line. I'm a bit thick sometimes. Is it because they do the math, figure out I'm almost and old guy and dismiss it as the rantings of a senile booby ?

Or, does the first line somehow read (NOT AS INTENDED !!!) as though I approve of solo diving ?


Help ! I'm a writer and need to be understood !


Thanks, Bill.


Paul
 
C

Chris M

New Member
Nov 23, 2003
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It's obvious reading these posts that there is a huge absence of varifiable data, actual numbers, and stats [vs. "a big chunk of..." or the vast majority of...] relating to the topic. Also the circumstances of these 100s of blackouts need to be looked at. Obviously, after attending a short clinic on "freediving safety" or as a carry-over from the scuba-diving buddy system, a lot of people put implicit faith in the security of the buddy system. This sense of security whether justifiable or false [depending on the actual training and experience with real as opposed to simulated situations of the "buddy"] will naturally lead certain trusting individuals to truly "push" their limits, and the result is a higher number of bo's. OF course, we lack actual data, but the anecdotal even in this thread bears this out. Also, there has been more than one occasion of two experienced buddies, simply vanishing [presumably into the depths way below negative buoyancy] in scuba; I don't know about free diving, it's still relatively new territory. Human error or lack of judgement isn't by any means disqualified by the buddy system. Those of you that have made "hundreds" of saves are among a very small minority. Your proficiency will thus be far greater than someone fresh out of a clinic. ETc. etc. more variables without substance... Don't forget to have fun out there! And stay out from under falling aircraft.
 
C

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
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Chris,

You are right on target regarding the lack of analysis of bo, how it occurs in the field, and the patterns that must be there somewhere. I was hoping that this thread might illuminate some of those patterns, maybe it still will. Unfortunately it is a hot button isssue where people have (understandably) strong opinions, makes it hard to discuss the subject. Anyone who could do a careful analysis of the hows and whys of bo would do the freediving community a real service.

Connor
 
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