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Did you ever get entangled/stuck? Please vote.

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.

Ever got entangled/stuck while immersed during a freedive?

  • No

    Votes: 54 56.8%
  • Yes

    Votes: 40 42.1%
  • Can't remember/unsure/other

    Votes: 1 1.1%

  • Total voters

Tommy Engfors

New Member
Jul 29, 2003
To the best of my knowledge this has not been voted on before.

I was searching the DB forum for posts about freedivers getting entangled (or otherwise stuck) while immersed. Turns out there is not much info. Just found one single thread:Scare of your life

If you haven't read it already (its from 2001), you might want to take a peek. It makes for a bit of scary reading and also touches on one of my diving fears.

If anyone else has ever gotten stuck during a freedive, it would be valuable to hear about it.

Or... if not; vote "No" on the poll above. Just for interesting stats.

Thanks. :)
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Erik goes to like that, but the only time I get kind of tangled was by my snorkel.

Must of the times I turn my head the same side when looking under the edge of a cave, and I use to wear the snorkel the same side... yes, he happened once: he get caught! Not a major, but the mask fully flooded and the unexpected wet sensation on my face kind of push me over for a few seconds :hmm...

Since I'm really careful where I put my snorkel :D ...
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I was snorkeling wiht my friends one day when I found a pretty big whole, I told my friends to watch over me as i dove inside, in the whole my flipper got stuck in betweena a rock... pretty scary
my lanyard once got caught at 55m and i was unable to release it. it eventually released itself after 10-15secs and i surfaced without any problem. we changed our lanyard and rope set-up after that day. :)
Does getting held under by someone count as getting stuck? It happened to me a few months ago! :rcard
Alun, that sounds real scary. I think my first thought when having that kind of mishappen at 55m would be that I'll b/o on the way up (if I'll get on that way that is). I guess that keeping it cool in the face of danger is the most important lesson.

What was the problem with the lanyard? did the rope had knots? was the carabiner too small?

Naiad, a few years back even before I knew what freediving is, when a friend held me underwater against my will I just suddently stopped fighting, and after 20 seconds when he released me and I was floating face down till he had to pull me out the water, he was scarred enough to learn his lesson. :)

Other option is to grab him in a tactical place, he'll give up way sooner than you'll run out of air.:D
i wasn't sure exactly what happened. we only use 1kg at the bottom of the rope (freshwater), because that's enough to keep the rope tight and gives us the option of pulling up the diver and weights by hand - surprisingly effective - we can pull up a diver by hand at nearly 1m/s.

anyway, somehow i think i may have yanked the lanyard sideways making a loop in the rope or something. either that or it scooped under the weight. i'll never know for sure. anyway, the lanyard had a wrist clip which i could normally remove, but i was unable to remove it down there, due to cold fumbling fingers! i gave up trying to remove it and started swimming up with the bottom weight and then the lanyard somehow released itself. for a few seconds i thought i was really up sh** creek :) but by the time it had released and i had swam up to 40 i knew i was going to be ok. i tend to dive pretty conservatively. it's good to have some extra in reserve in case things go wrong. diving right up to your limit means there is no room for error... not good.

we changed the lanyard and i did the same dive again on the following day (or w/e?)... just to make sure it didn't play on my mind. we've never had a problem since.
Originally posted by Alun
for a few seconds i thought i was really up sh** creek :) but by the time it had released and i had swam up to 40 i knew i was going to be ok. i tend to dive pretty conservatively. it's good to have some extra in reserve in case things go wrong. diving right up to your limit means there is no room for error... not good.

Couldnt put it better myself :head

Touch wood Ive never had a problem but that sounds like the mother of them all :wave
Jeff, this brings up in me a combination of terror and laughter!
I think you should dive with a chainsaw instead of a kinfe/shears.

Alun, I almost forgot, you dive in the UK. I have a plausible theory as to what happen there. In the time it took you to turn, the carabiner wasn't moving on the line, and that gave chance to abnormal spontanous hyperbaric crystalisation to occure. It was just stuck in ice till you pulled it out. :D

By the way, this also makes me think of making a better release for the wrist, maybe something that one could open with his teeth.
here is the lanyard i now use...
1m thick strimmer wire crimped onto two steel rings. velcro wrist strap (made for DIY - hanging ladders) with quick release shackle and toggle. the toggle sits in the palm of the hand or between thumb and forefinger. you can release it with one hand without even looking. this set-up has worked very well for us....


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i should point out that it doesn't meet the requirements for AIDA competitions.... but i don't care about that :)
Ditto Jeff's reply. Even three times on one dive just a couple of weeks ago (in a dive line, don't ask.:duh ). As I was explaining to Jeff, freediving is a great way to learn how to stay calm in potentially life-threatening/stressful situations. Has worked wonders with my parenting skills :) .
Velcro from a DIY store, was wondering where to get one. That strange black strap with the nice blue ornament thingy in the middle is also available in the DIY store? ;)
I guess it is all laid on a hard work surface, from the scratches on it, I guess you usally cut vegetables on it? :D

What line is it? looks very low drag. Does it hold you? (I bet you checked:))

It doesn't stand for AIDA rules since you have a ring instead of a clip? and why is that actually? I'de say cliping being simpler...
i dive in a slate quarry.... mucho scratchos.... :)
i just put the D3 to show off my fancy toy :).... no just to give some scale.

strimmer wire. it's really strong stuff. we've tested the system by pulling up a diver from 40m.... works great. i think i could hang on the lanyard in air! it would hurt though so i'm not going to try!

yes, no karabiner around the rope. i think this is better personally. the detachment point is in your hand at all times. you don't have to search for the end of the lanyard to release. best to have something smooth, light and perfectly round around the rope. the crimps ensure that the wire comes away from the ring at right angles and doesn't wrap around the line etc. yes, it's very low drag, the steel ring seems to sink at the same speed as the diver too.
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Was'nt teasing you about the scratches, those are expected. It probably takes more to scratch my mileniums than your WW, and they are just as scrtched, if not worse.

It took me some while to figure what strimmer wire is..:duh babylon didn't have it, google had. Now if they had made a wire as tough, rigid, low drag AND elastic, it'll have everything! :)

muchos gracias!
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I have had various entanglements, I can't even remember them all. Once I swam into a wreck some distance, and tried to exit through a different hole. Unfortunately my monofin was FAR too wide to exit the hole, and it jammed. Eventually I had to go back into the wreck and find the original entrance.

Another time, I went into a cave -- barely worth calling a cave, it was only about 1.5 feet tall, but about 4 feet wide. It took forever to slide inside (stupid move), then I realized there was not enough room to turn around. The only way out was feet first, the way I came. Of course, pushing the mono feet first causes the end to go up or down, which of course caught in the ceiling/floor. I took ages to get out, making inches at a time feet first, trying not to catch the mono as I slid through the 1.5 foot tall tunnel.

Many times I've had my lanyard 'fall' around my neck on the turn-around at the bottom. This prevents a normal mono stroke, endangering my return to the surface. It can be very hard to correct the problem with cold gloved hands.

I've also had muscle cramps right during the start of my ascent on deep recreational dives with no line. Plus, I used to lose the line really deep in the old days of lesser safety measures.

Once, I was using a scooter and I was ascending super fast from a wreck. There was an overhanging beam off the wreck which my head plowed into -- could have knocked me out completely if I had been less lucky -- after than I ascended slowly always looking up. Normally a freediver doesn't ascend fast enough to 'knock himself out' from an impact, but you motor super fast on the scooter. Actually, during my first few dives with the scooter (ascending far too fast), I would be dizzy when I got to the surface. Kirk told me it was because the inner ear cannot de-equalize fast enough on the ascent.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada

Hehe... sorry, but I have to ask - what on earth possesed you to get into that cave?!

I sometimes manage to get myself worked up by just thinking I am surrounded by water!

Would never ever enter a submerged entrance of any kind.
Re: Lots of obstacles

Originally posted by jeff.richardson
I mostly dive spring caverns and caves, and there are lots of things to get caught up on: tree branchs, ledges, ropes and cables. I've been caught many times, as has Scott, especially when he carries his camera :) Sometimes you follow the wrong passageway, and it gets too tight to fit through, so you have to back up and find the right one.

Are you never afraid you are going get lost just long enough to run out of air?

I have read many stories of scuba guys getting lost or running into trouble in caves and then ending up drowning. To enter a cave without even a tank...

Also amusing and scary to hear about your encounters with the local scuba divers. You seem to have the ability to keep a cool head when things go wrong. Very valuable (goes for others in this thread too).
Hi Jeff,

Interesting thread, spooky stuff. I'll add your experiance to the next time I come up to Blue Springs.

I've never been snagged by lines or anything like that, but have gotten my hands stuck in a fish's gills with it stuck in a hole, more than once. After several instances of very bloody fingers, I learned to use gloves that the gill rakers wouldn't penetrate and that I could slip out of.

Re: Lots of obstacles

Originally posted by jeff.richardson
.... even after we had stopped sinking together, he kept holding on to me until I asked him to please let go of me. He heard me clearly underwater, and finally did get off of me.

(OK, maybe I didn't say "please"...)

Erik Y.
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