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  • Hi Guest - just to let you know that we performed some work on the forums recently. You may use this thread report any issues you encounter.

Have you experienced a Shallow Water Blackout?

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.

Have you had any experience with SWB?

  • I had blacked out myself.

    Votes: 42 26.3%
  • I was the buddy for someone who blacked out.

    Votes: 16 10.0%
  • It happened to someone I know personally.

    Votes: 29 18.1%
  • I have never experienced it nor heard of it happening to anyone I know.

    Votes: 73 45.6%

  • Total voters
    160

elementalphotos

New Member
Apr 10, 2002
4
0
0
Ok, first of all, I'm not saying SWB doesn't exsit like in this thread:
http://forums.deeperblue.net/showthread.php?threadid=16379&perpage=15&pagenumber=2

Quite the opposite, I just had a SWB a couple weeks ago, and I'm just looking for people with similar experiences to share.

How did the SWB affect you, psychologically or physically? How did it affect your friends and family? Did you change the way you dive after the incident?

I was diving with a buddy when I blacked out, that's what kept me alive today. I haven't dove since, because I lost my mask in the rescue and haven't replaced it. But I don't think I'll have any trouble getting back in the water, we will see once I get a new mask. On the other hand, I scared the hell out of my buddies, not to mention my family. They'll probably think twice about going freediving now. How did you cope with the emotional scars on your family and friends?
 

icarus pacific

Human-in-training
Nov 7, 2001
2,880
212
0
61
Originally posted by elementalphotos
I scared the hell out of my buddies, not to mention my family.

You ought to hope you've scared the hell out of yourself.

Hi el,

I know I've had a SWB once and am pretty sure I've had another one or to, but came to before anything drastic happened to make me go, "Whoa!"

Pysc-wise, it only really occured to me later, years later when I lost a very close friend to what was probably a SWB. My occurance wasn't the big wake up call that it should have been, but served notice that I better watch my p's and q's. Nowadays, I give myself quite a bit more time between dives and really pay attention to my fatigue level as well as passing up on shooting on the way up. Sometimes.

Friends and family-wise, their either divers too or know that it's what I do. I worry about someone hitting them in their car as much as they worry about me getting popped by a White. Bravado and bullshit aside, it's the price of the game and as with most games, the more you play, the better you get, along with the certainty that you'll lose if you screw up.

sven
 

Erik

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
4,731
753
218
How did the SWB affect you, psychologically or physically? How did it affect your friends and family? Did you change the way you dive after the incident?

--I have had a fair few at home on the couch, and many sambas.
-- I had a good BO at my first competition last year, but there was safety everywhere, and Kirk brought me up and around.

I was diving with a buddy when I blacked out, that's what kept me alive today.

--Glad to hear that!

But I don't think I'll have any trouble getting back in the water, we will see once I get a new mask.


--Also glad to hear that :)
Plus, now you get to buy a new mask!

How did you cope with the emotional scars on your family and friends? [/B]


--My family and friends, like Sven's, know what I do and accept it, and they know that there is no evidence that BO has a detrimental permanent effect. They also know that I don't push it without safety around. In competition, it's a risk, and there will always be sambas and BO's at competitions...it's the nature of competition, just like some guys will crash their bikes in the Tour de France, except it's safer to BO (in comp).
I can understand the effect if you were alone, or your buddy didn't see you in time and you had a near-drowning or drowning experience, certainly. I hope your family is supportive and ok with what you do :)
Cheers, and welcome to DB,
Erik Y.
 
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elementalphotos

New Member
Apr 10, 2002
4
0
0
Re: Re: Have you experienced a Shallow Water Blackout?

Originally posted by icarus pacific


You ought to hope you've scared the hell out of yourself.


Thank you all for the replies.

Sven,

I was pretty cautious before in properly weighing myself, not hyperventilate, giving myself plenty of rest between dives, and not push myself too hard to prevent black out. But since I did black out, then I guess I did push myself too hard. This incident had taught me to be even more careful from now on. But honestly, it did not scare me, as it should. I know I definitely learned from it, but since I was out during the whole thing, I only have the feeling of waking up from a long dream, versus what my friend had to go through - seeing your buddy floating underwater and convulsing, white faced and blue lipped. I think the whole experience was more traumatic to them than to me. Hopefully, this event taught them what it taught me, if not more.
 

bluelq

New Member
Apr 9, 2002
18
0
0
43
Samba

I got samba once. My first and only 100 feet dive. I didnt exactly get scared but its left its effects as I am still coping with getting rid of the fear element in deep dives. Specifically it hits me when I get negative buoyancy, but the fear is subconscious more then anything else as I feel jittery. The feeling of trying to breath with no hope is a feeling probably known to everyone to some extent.

The reason I got samba was because at that time 100 feet was barely in my limits, yet some mistakes occured and I stayed a few seconds longer then I expected. It felt so wonderful to finally achieve the deph that I forgot to go up. A lung convulsion (I think thats what they are called) woke me up, next thing I know I am rushing up, but it was in a cave as well, on my way up I hit the corner with my arm so on top of everything I was bleeding, still have the scar. Indeed a lesson learning experience. I train for the day I will be able to go down to that depth again. The feeling I felt was one of the most calming experiences I had.

:head
 

Ben Gowland

Aplysia gowlandicus
Apr 4, 2002
365
41
118
44
I've only had 1 BO in the water, but a multitude of samba's in dynamic (although not for a few years now).

The time I BO'd was doing static in a swimming pool, with my wife (then girlfriend) spotting me. I got to the end of my breathold (having over-ventilated in the prep) and was pushing it really hard. I could no longer hold air back with my mouth during the contractions and started spitting bubbles. Suddenly I was stood up looking at my wife who looked very scared. So I started shouting 'WHAT!?!' at which point it looked like she was going to cry so I shut up.

She then told me that I had exhaled almost all my lungful of air and had sunk to the bottom of the pool (0.6m) and she then decided that 'this was not normal' and so pulled me up the surface. As soon as my face came out of the water - I woke up.

So I lost about 5-10 secs in time.

It was a very good learning experience, and both me and my wife (who is becoming an extremely good freediver) firmly believe that having the occasional BO or samba is good for teaching you your limits.

Ben

:t
 

proteus

New Member
Mar 16, 2002
1
0
0
black out

hello

i was breath holding whilst watching TV, just doing nothing, and about 30 seconds into it i got up to go and put the kettle on and i could not feel my body when i stood up? I momentarialy got tunnel vision and everything went darker and i had no sense of balence and then i came to lying on my side with ringing ears !!

Most odd, i have never had anything like it before or since, it felt like all the blood when into my head and knocked me out. Probley just a strong head rush.

One thing i dont get though is that if that had happened to me under water in an SWB i would have drowned, now do people surive SWB, whilst under. would'nt their bodys start to breath again when they were out, therefore drowning them ?

Now long can you do Static for, anyone ?
 

icarus pacific

Human-in-training
Nov 7, 2001
2,880
212
0
61
sounds to me like you had a bout with a quick change in bloodflow to the head from standing up quick. Happened, well, still does if I get up quick.

sven
 

elementalphotos

New Member
Apr 10, 2002
4
0
0
Re: black out

Originally posted by proteus

One thing i dont get though is that if that had happened to me under water in an SWB i would have drowned, now do people surive SWB, whilst under. would'nt their bodys start to breath again when they were out, therefore drowning them ?

I'm by no means an expert in this matter, I know there are a lot of people on this board with more knowledge about freediving and anything freediving related than I do. But here is my take on this based on what I've read about black outs.

The people who survives black out either wakes up shortly after they blacked out and was able to swam to the surface, or they were saved by their buddies. Either way, if you wear a weight belt, it is important to weigh yourself so that you're positively buoyant above 20 feet.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember from reading somewhere that when you black out, your body will automatically start to breath. Of course when you're underwater you will be sucking in water. Once water enter your airway, your body will start an automatic relax in contracting your diaphragm, forcing the air out from your lungs to expel the water. You will be seen convulsing. But once you run out of air in your lungs, you will stop convulsing, and water will flow rapidly into your lungs, at that point you drown.
 

squip

New Member
Mar 26, 2002
44
5
0
37
Just had a SWB...scary stuff!!

Had I serious Shallow Water Blackout, Thursday at poolworkouts(Don't know if its a SWB or a BO though). Pushed me at bit too far...

I wanted to make it passed 50 meters dynamic without fins, after some good solid runs at 50 meters.
But I guess I hyperventilated a bit in the eger of beating my PB, resulting in a SWB.

Luckely buddies and lifeguards pulled me up from the water(at that time I was all blue), I have them to thank for my life.

I wasn't breathing when I was dragged upped from the water.
Was on resperator for 2 days, then another 3 days of recovery at the hospital, and now I am home again, with a experience richer.
My memory is blank from they time we went in to the pool, untill the 4th hopital day.

You guys(or girls) who have experience SWB: do you have any good advice for furture diving. i.e some strange side effects, I could watch out for? How long should I wait untill I get "back in business", after such a serios SWB?

One thing I can say for sure: scary stuff!
 
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Pekka

neoprene dreamer
Aug 22, 2001
790
60
118
41
nearly....

when diving on one coral reef in Egypt I nearly blacked out, I got all dizzy and felt like I was falling..
The thing that I feel is weird is that when I felt like that it had more to do with lack of proper breath up and short surface time, since it was only about 20m dive...
I have never had a blackout in water but on land several....I have alvaways felt good after them, like waking up from dream, exept when I blacked out because of pain...that was not a nice experience..
 

lgdeep

New Member
May 2, 2002
5
0
0
I experienced swb while ascending fron only 15m after exploring a wreck for 2 minutes. I was near surface and snorkelers watching me pulled me out. I didnt even know it happened was in same wreck 3 days later.:p
 

Ben Gowland

Aplysia gowlandicus
Apr 4, 2002
365
41
118
44
I find a lot of these replies very disturbing - due to the lack of knowledge on BO situations and physiology. This just re-iterates the need for serious education for this sport. Too many of the above need to learn a great deal more about how and why and how to deal with it - sorry, but it is true.
 

Jay Styron

New Member
Aug 31, 2001
500
48
0
54
CONFUSSED

It was a very good learning experience, and both me and my wife (who is becoming an extremely good freediver) firmly believe that having the occasional BO or samba is good for teaching you your limits.

Ben

I'm not sure I follow you're logic here Ben. It seems that in your other thread you advocate more training to prevent SWB but here you believe that its a great training tool. :confused: I personally think it's something to be avoided but if it happens then learn from it. I think your statement could be sending mixed signals to anyone reading this. Forgive me if I've misinterperted this whole thing.
Jay
Sorry I haven't figured out how to get a quotation from another post yet.
 

Ben Gowland

Aplysia gowlandicus
Apr 4, 2002
365
41
118
44
Fair point Jay, I shall clarify:

The occasional BO in training with good the safety of a well trained buddy is a good learning experience. However, having such experiences, without prior education as to the physiology behind BO (as I did) is bad because it is dangerous.

That should be a bit clearer.
 

icarus pacific

Human-in-training
Nov 7, 2001
2,880
212
0
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yeah, real clear...

...that's like saying if you're going to crash a car, make sure the tow truck is nearby.

I know where you're trying to come from Ben, but saying that participants should experience a SWB, samba or other circumstance just to gain a little education or appreciation is a bit simple.

I was told not to stick a fork in an electrical outlet, lest I get shocked, so I took that and never thought to "try it for the betterment of my psyche". Same with SWB's and the like- I don't put myself in the positions to have to go through it or them. And I say this having had at least one SWB that I can definitively identify, I went over it here in another thread.

While I can say I have had that occurance, I don't consider it a learning experience per se, indeed I think I'm a pretty lucky guy for waking up face up, (I think). That said, I've gone over the ingredients of the hit with my kids and much as with the electrical outlet, I'm hoping that they'll just accept that shooting for a SWB is not something to strive for, be it education, bragging rights or a bigger fish than Dad.

sven
 

Pekka

neoprene dreamer
Aug 22, 2001
790
60
118
41
learning your limits...

I know how long I can stay underwater, I know how fast I can drive and still be safe, I know what is too much when drinking???:duh :duh :duh Yeah right...
But after some time I'll learn one way or the other....
I would never want to experience SWB, or BO when diving and I will try my best not to experience it...
and meanwhile try not to put the fork into electrical outlet:t..if I can resist such interesting experience..:confused:
 
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Abriapnea

New Member
Jan 16, 2002
678
43
0
58
In 24 years of spearing and 3 years of competitive freediving I have only had one very mild samba . I recognize the fact that to improve one sometimes pushes the envelope , but I guess I have had enough time to learn to listen to my body .
Have lost 3 good spearing buddies to SWB and rescued one . As Sven said : the best remedy is don't put yourself in that position .
We teach ourselves to control our bodies with our minds but don't stop heeding those messages .
 

the impailor

New Member
Aug 5, 2002
5
0
0
20
don`t die a legend!

some scary stories and eye openers huh?

The best freediver is not always the one who goes the deepest or holds their breath the longest...

Obviously for serious competitors and people who train to their
limits in a safe environment with others then sambas/black outs will always be a part of freediving. But for alot of
people and this may come as a BIG shock to some of you free diving is about swiming in and enjoying the ocean just because...

Often rightly or wrongly people will dive alone that how it is, for these people or spearo`s one samba/blackout/ learning experience will be GAME OVER

Lots of people who are starting out in your sport read this and many of these coments are helpful, some ain`t. I`m always alarmed at new comers to free divings acceptance of swb as part of the deal. We must be giving duff messages new scubies don`t think getting bent is cool!
(step down off soap box) ;)
 

cjborgert

Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2001
401
30
118
Re: yeah, real clear...

..that's like saying if you're going to crash a car, make sure the tow truck is nearby.

Smooth is as smooth does . . . Not that I could say it as smoothly as sven, but he is absolutley right (IMHO) . . . SWB and samba should both be regarded as freediving MISTAKES.

Learning from a mistake is intelligent; learning not to make a mistake is wise.
 
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