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Diver Lost in Ft. Ross?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Apr 6, 2001
I just heard from a buddy of mine that was an ab diver was lost up in Ft. Ross, CA on opening day (01 April 01). Has anyone heard any information about what happened? If it's true then I'd like to suggest to Cliff that the website start an "In Memoriam" section for our fallen comrades. This could also serve as a "Lessons Learned" section to help prevent similar incidences in the future. If it is true- Here's hoping your in a better place bro, where the seas are calm and the viz is always great!
Sorry about your friend

Please accept my condolences. Loss like this is extremely hard on friends and family. It sounds as if he loved to dive, given that he was out there first day of opening season. "It's a better place down there"...Enzo, in The Big Blue. Cheers, Erik
Condolescence and support

Sorry to hear of the loss of a friend. I agree that it would be nice to have memorial sections and lessons learned such as flight programs have.
We're on it

My condolences, it is never easy to have a friend depart this realm.

A "lessons learned" section sounds like a good idea, but we'd have to be very careful on how we'd approach this as not all families/friends want their close-ones names published...

I will look into it and talk to Cliff to see if what he thinks.
This is my personal opinion, so please take it as such.

Although the loss of this diver is a tragedy, to recognize the loss in such a way is a disservice to the sport.

Each one of us counts the cost of participating in the sport of freediving as a pastime.

Calling them a "Fallen Comrade" conotates a loss during war time. This was a personal decision made by the diver to participate, not an obligation such as serving in the military for one's country.

I appreciate your sensitivity to the loss, but to be honest, I think it glamorizes the sport to an extent that some would participate with the idea that if they lost their life doing a marginal dive, that their egos could get in the way of making good judgement calls in a dive scenario.

It would reduce the uniqueness of the sport.
Reply to Cliff

Hello Cliff, I agree with your comment on the "fallen comrade" statement and the unnecessary drama of manly bravery in the face of doing battle. One of the things I love most about freediving is the requirement of being calm, flexible, gentle, and cooperative. I don't go into the water to do battle with it. I have run accross many males who are attracted to the machismo more than the beauty and grace of a perfect dive and avoid diving with them because they are dangerous to the flesh and to spirit of love for the water. But I am confused as to the rest of your point or if there is more than that. Are you suggesting that we don't remember lost friends? Or that we don't examine how injuries or deaths occured so that we can all be safer in an inherently dangerous undertaking? I do want to understand what your are trying to share because I think that there is something very important here. Your willingness to present a cautionary note in this context takes an admirable level of ethical strength that in itself is important. Thank You
I can see where my response may have been lost in what I was trying to get across.

Like you said, many participate to show off some type of machismo than to actually participate in the sport for sheer joy of it.

I am not opposed to remembering our fellow divers in a loss of life, but there are many who would use their loss of life as a triumph in some sort of unhealthy display of egotism - the "even if I die, I will get recognition" syndrome.

IMHO - it could lead to porr judgement calls regarding how safe a dive would actually be if that diver wasn't given an opportunity to too his own horn about some attempt he made and died.

I'm still not sure I am getting across what I want to say, but I think you may get the general idea about it.
Firstly, I need to make clear an error in my first statement. What I meant to say was "I just heard from a buddy of mine that an ab diver was lost up in Ft. Ross." I did not know the person that was lost and I sincerely apologize for the confusion my typo caused. Also, Cliff, I agree with you, "comrades" is a poor choice of words. What I was trying to convey is that, even though I'm new to this sport, I feel a sense of community with other freedivers. I'm not sure where that comes from- maybe it's because non-freedivers really don't understand why we do what we do. I think the outpouring of condolences to my misstatement only confirms the fact that freedivers have a natural connection with each other. I think it would be an honorable thing to show our respects to those that have been lost engaging in our sport.
Further Information

I've had an interesting email from watermarko@aol.com who has given his/her further information on the lost diver.

I can't check the validity of the claims at the moment, but I offer it here as a means of discussion...

l. he wasn't 'lost;' A warden watching divers from land with binocs saw him diving with buddy(s), from whom he separated at some point. Warden saw him go down. Twenty minutes +- later, warden saw him floating on the surface; called for rescue. Sheriff's helicopter, beefed-up fish and game patrols and other
park officials in heavy presence routinely on opening day. Oh, and he'd become separated from the divers he'd started out with.
2. Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported, quoting rescue crew---sheriff's dept and rangers etc.---that diver was wearing short-legged wetsuit and NO fins and had started out in 6 ft. water. And was wearing weightbelt when found. (and mentioned that majority of fatalities in the area still are wearing weightbelt when body is recovered.
3. Not big swells running, but 25+knot winds and full white-capped ocean made for less than ideal conditions.
4. In what has really become almost a 'broken record', local authorities again and again and again refer to the hazard (labelled by some the 'Sacramento Syndrome'---Sacramento is a couple hours drive from the coast ab
diving spots)of those driving a couple hours who are ABsolutely going to go diving because they got up early and drove a long way and it's the first day and they ARE GOING TO GO DIVING NO MATTER WHAT...even if the water conditions dictate the more intelligent course might be to pass on diving for the day.

Bring a fishing pole. Bring a kite. Bring a book. Bring binoculars. Bring a picnic. Bring common sense. If the water sucks, pass on a day of diving so you can come back again.

My bumper sticker version of the San Francisco Examiner article:

The diver was wearing a spring suit and no hood. Surface water temperatures recorded around mid 40's (F). His dive partner barely made it to shore because of hypothermia.

The Examiner article archives will tell you more accurately - I read it about two weeks ago and it is my bedtime...
Researching past fatal mistakes to be safer at is important. The American Alpine Clubs does an annual report of North American climbing accidents. Anyone aware if anything similar is/has been published for freediving??
Ft. Ross Lost Diver

I went to Ocean Cove on April 9th, and saw an ambulance, and CHP all over the place, they had a chopper flying around in the area also. My son and I got to Ocean Cove a little before 9am, took a look at the conditions and decided it was a "walk away day", the surge and current were very heavy. On our way back, the CHP, ambualnce, and chopper were still there, one just above Ft. Ross, and one at the entrance to Ft. Ross camp ground. The chopper was at that time going up and down the coast.
Sorry about the loss of your friend
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