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Nasty Topic

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
Hi all, I've been talking to Jon a bit lately, and we touched on the issue of dying during freediving. Now, I've had this thread in my head for a long time, and still am not sure how to present it, but it's been bugging me, so....here goes.
If I die freediving, or for any other reason for that matter, I would like you all to know why all of a sudden I stop showing up here on the forums. I would also like to know if my friends on DBlue have "shuffled off this mortal coil", to quote John Cleese with his parrot.
In Western culture, death is so taboo that there are a lot of problems created by not being able to talk about it, but I don't want to offend anyone.
So what I am proposing is that if you are comfortable with it, you tell someone who cares about you how to log on here and tell us if you have joined the mermaids.
I am very comfortable with death, and don't expect everyone to feel the same, but maybe think it over. I feel that this is a nice community that I belong to, and some cyber-ceremony and words of comfort would not be inappropriate if it comes to a situation where one of us leaves. On the Freedivelist, they post pictures and memoriams for spearos who move on..maybe check it out and let me know if I'm way out in left field.
Warmly and respectfully,
Erik Y.
First I do agree with basco...don't die yet..
I think the idea is great and what you said about death and western culture is true as well. I'll let my friends know how to come and tell you guys if I happen to dive and meet mermaids....and join them...
Still SAFE Diving!
Death While Freediving


It's ok to talk about death but I hope that neither you nor anybody else on this Forum thinks dying during freediving would be a glorious death. It's not, especially to all the friends and family members left behind! I had a friend die here in West Palm Beach, Florida during one of my clubs freedive spearfishing tournaments. As President of the club, I accepted the responsibility for caring for his dive partner who was in town only for the tournament and who had no other friends in the area and also for making arrangements for his family to have a memorial service at sea the next day over their son's death site. It was all horrible and I hope I never have to go through anything like that again! My friend was the only son in a large family and I'll never forget his father's cracking voice as he broke down during the service while saying goodbye to his only son. Don't fool yourself that dying during freediving would in any way be cool. It's not and it only means that you were being stupid and irresponsible!

Scott Turgeon
I agree Scott. I have some wonderful people around me, including my wife, and I have no desire to leave yet!
I'm sorry for what you had to go through in your club. It took a lot of courage to do what you did. I have done a fair bit of individual and group work with suicidal people, and survivors of suicide, and it is very heavy stuff, death is. I always look for the positive though, and when I hear people speaking of loved ones who died, I am usually filled with awe and inspiration at the power and scope of love.
So, no, I'm not looking to meet the mermaids and choose to leave behind this beautiful planet, just acknowledging a foregone conclusion! Tragedy and loss are inevitable parts of life, and I believe that we should honor the lives of those we love, after and during their lives, hence my thread here about memorials.
Erik Y.
Good To Hear


Your last post makes me feel much better! I don't want any of us to die especially those with a family. You're right though, those who practice this sport definitely need to be aware that death is a very real possibility. I accept this fact and believe it helps make me a more cautious diver. Unfortunately, for any of us to be good/competitive at our chosen disciplines (apnea or spearfishing) it is necessary for us to walk that fine line between paranoid and reckless.

Keep it safe.

Scott Turgeon
depth, death and diving

Before everyone thinks that Eric and I are too morbid, let me put the rest of the conversation on here.

We were specifically talking about some of the limits that my wife, and my new mother-on-law, want to put on my diving. Actually my mom, grandparents and even my dog were only too willing to chip in.
I am not a daredevil and refuse to dive with unsafe people, strokes if you will. All of these things come more into perspective now that we would like to start a family. My own father died before he ever reached 40. It was an accident that left a big hole in my life. I would not choose to do the same to any child of mine.

Now for the limits. No trimix, no static breath-holds in the house, no dives below 100- and they don't like it if I ask 100 meters or 100 feet.:D I still haven't convinced everone about nitrox and the grandparents don't like icediving.

The funniest part of one of these conversations was when my mother-in-law stated that my new depth limit was to be the same as my father-in-laws, 100 feet. My father-in-law has been a scuba instructor for a few decades now. I met his daughter when I worked for him teaching classes and on his charter boat. When he heard the 100' limit he pretended he didn't hear a thing. We now just never mention anything that has to do with depth.

A lot of this started when I first moved to my new city and started to work for one of the local dive shops. After watching people run out of gas, both bottom and deco, no less than three times in a two week period while diving to depths of 170'-200' in 40 degree water I decided to quit. The fact that these people were divemasters and instructors who worked at the shop only reinforced my decision. I know not to dive with strokes because I plan on living for a very long time. My wife seemed to be pretty turned off by the whole thing. She now assumes that all deep diving is a daredevil adventure.
My Grandparents have been paranoid about icediving ever since I first tried it. My mom swears that I got my last case of the flu because I was breathing all of those other "gases". And the dog gets excited when I do my statics on the livingroom floor- she starts to lick my face and pull at my hand after about 2 minutes. This, of course, makes it very difficult to go for P.B.'s. My wife doesn't like it when I do the statics either. She thinks it's not natural and starts to jab my in the stomach if I do them when she's around- this really makes it difficult for P.B.'s! The dog also tries to reuscue me when I freedive. She tries to pull me back to the surface by biting, and dragging my by, my fins or wetsuit. This sometimes requires large amounts of wetsuit cement.:waterwork

So we were not talking about some type of grand freediving suicide attempt, but rather redifineing risks as ones responsibilities grow.

Still looking for a training partner in the Wisconsin area to help put my families fears to rest!;)

My opinion

Hi Jon,

I have gone through much of what you have.

You need to approach your relatives from the correct angle.

In general, if you love someone, you will give that person the freedoms they want. Your relatives are actually being very selfish. They are putting limits on your diving mainly because they need you. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but I have found that those who really know how to love properly understand that allowing a person freedom is an integral part of love.

Tell them that the best way they can express their love for you is to give you the freedom to enjoy your life. If they love you then they would want you to be happy, and if being happy requires diving freedom, then that's their problem, not yours.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
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Hi Jon,
You can take this for what it's worth but maybe this will help. I'm not convinced that the limits yourself and others have placed on your diving really diminishes your chance of getting killed. I'm a research diver and an Adv. Dive Medical Tech. As a rule diving is pretty safe and although you may get injured death is very unlikely. Everyday things such as driving your car, and taking a shower are more dangerous statistically. I'm not saying throw caution to the wind but don't live in fear either. I won't get religious, but I believe God has the final say on the number of my days, so I try to live each one to the fullest. Don't sell yourself short. I know a family is a big responsibility and they love you and you them just make sure the percieved risks and the actual risks are the same. Take care and safe diving no matter what your desion.
Seeing the responses from all of you reaffirms why I worked up the nerve to post this thread. I really would like to meet you all some day.
Erik Y.
I have found some flexibility in their thinking under certain conditions.
I now have a cadre of divers that I can actually trust under water. Last year we were approached by a lawyer to document a sunken vessle in 263' for a court case. I was to be the photographer. My father-in-law was going to run surface support on the boat. The other divers I trusted. Since my father-in-law was involved and there was a "reason" for the dive I was allowed to do it. In the end the other side caved when they heard that divers had been retained to recreate the coast guard report, so I never got to do the dive. I did, however, learn that there are loopholes in my restrictions. ;)
WHen it comes to my own family there is no hope what so ever. I have been diving since I was 14 and teaching since I was 18. They have not been able to kill the desire in me yet.They have reluctantly let me do what I want, but they tell me about it all the time.
I finally got a little recognition from them a couple of years ago when I started to get some of my photos published. Now htey will listen to me,but they only want to hear what I have planned once I have finished.
Jay, I feel somewhat the same way about only having so many days. I have also had enough time on, and in, the water to watch some people make some big mistakes. Somtimes I, or others, were able to help them and other times our just got to pracitice my CPR skills for no good reason. I have always felt that I was conservative in my extreme sports, and that is what has kept me safefor so long. There are safe ways to dive deep on scuba, and we are forming a club in the midwest to do just that. Freediving is pretty much unheard of around here, so I am totaly on my own in that department.
Now that we have opended up the subject of fate, I want to broach the subject of setting limits while solo-diving. This might be a better topic for a different thread, or maybe even in private, but what limits do others set upon themselves when breaking this taboo? :confused:

hey everyone,

a morbid, yet important topic... i, myself, am not necessarily afraid of death, i just don't want to be there when it happens. ;)

for some reason, my life has plagued me with the experiences of losing several loved ones. maybe i'm not a good person to meet, erik. ;) i've been out on the blue too many times spreading ashes and listening to eulogies(sp?). the ocean means more to me than just a place to feel one w/ myself.

i've learned alot over my years, and the biggest discovery is this thing called freediving. i want to be able to do this till i'm 90 so i'm not about to take a risk that will keep me from attaining that. however, i will continue to dive into deeper comfort zones a bit at a time.

if i do ever kick it before i'm ready, i expect all of you to share a toast and not a tear. :D

may your bright light always be just the sunshine on the other side of the surface,

Originally posted by andrsn
for some reason, my life has plagued me with the experiences of losing several loved ones. maybe i'm not a good person to meet, erik. ;) i've been out on the blue too many times spreading ashes and listening to eulogies(sp?). the ocean means more to me than just a place to feel one w/ myself.


Which only makes me want to meet you more than ever.

Erik Young
Hi Everyone,
In the Winter 2002 issue of Spearfishing Magazine there is a article by Mauricio Solis on his great day of shooting Ulua in Hawaii. At the end of the article there is a short message from his girlfriend. Unfortunately the message announces Mauricios death from SWB in Grand Cayman, where they had moved in Nov. I think the feelings and emotions she expressed is very pertinant to this discussion. I would recopy it but after my last run in w/ the copyright police I'm sure I'd be breaking a law somewhere, But I encourage anyone that is interested to pick up a copy, it may be on line. Take care.
I have relatives who think diving without scuba gear is just suicidal....I have not expalined or even tried to explain what it is all about...I think that they would not understand, as they do not dive or they are not going to as far as it is up to them..

Originally posted by Jon
Now that we have opended up the subject of fate, I want to broach the subject of setting limits while solo-diving. This might be a better topic for a different thread, or maybe even in private, but what limits do others set upon themselves when breaking this taboo? :confused:

Well about limiting your own diving....when doing solo.......I would like to only dive with a buddy, but when for some reason I am diving alone I usually dive only shallow no-contraction dives...which is about -15m max for me...

I remember some psychologist told me that people appreciate life 70% more when they have been on the "edge"....so I think we sould all respect the gift of life given to us...I am sure we all do so:)
Safe diving to you all!
Phew, this is a thread to put a lump in your throat isn't it? (it did for me).....

I also have lost people very close to me, friends,parents (I don't like cancer much...), and others too.....I call those days the black days.....

I turn these things over in my head sometimes too, there are a million and one questions aren't there?

What if......
What if......
What if......

I try not to think too much, but I know that these things / thoughts are valid because Freediving is not 100% quantifiable, many things could happen to you during a dive, be it at 5m or 50m.....so it's a risk, of that i'm sure, we can mimimise that risk through education, which we do every day.

What am I trying to say.......We do something different that we care passionately about, but unfortunately run the risk of dying in doing so.....

In terms of safety, and the knowledge of - BE THE BEST THAT YOU CAN BE!!!

And then be better!!!!!

(Crispin can't stress the above 2 points enough!!!!!!!!)

Freediving is also a small world, and if any of us should be lost with our brethren in the blue, I have no doubt that we would know about it.......You guys would surely get to know if anything happened to me.....

It's good to know we care - it's this sort of vibe that keeps the world going round :)
After seeing/reading the replies so far I feel like a total idiot. What I "said" does not come out the way I meant. We have lost quite a few highly experienced divers (both free and scuba) here in the last year. Almost all have been a result of diving (or freediving) alone. Personally I believe that quite a few would have been averted if there had been a "buddy" with them. I just did the PFD course in Miami and the one major thing that I came to realise was how lucky I am to still be alive after all my years of solo spearfishing.
God bless
i have been watching this thread since the beginning and waiting to write, watching others write and thinking about what to say

being that im only 15 most of my activities are controled by my parents :head. they have set some limits on many things i do so i guess im used to it and the limits are there for my protection so i appreciate them but like many of you i find them to be to restrictive, so what i did was "lure" my dad into the sports that i did (my example for this is biking they set limits on the freeride stuff that i could and couldnt do, like drops over 5 ft.) and then he began to understand that what i do is quite safe and the limits were changed to more resonable ones, but sometimes(like last summer) freak accidents happen(my friend broke his ankle and leg in 3 places) and then they re-examine what it is i am doing and they see that i am safe so the limits are only tightened slightly,

now relate this back to the people who have trouble with their family understanding this. think of anyone that has paid great attention to your stories or anything else you have said about diving and try to get them to come with you on a short and really easy day, try to lure them into the sport so they begin to see that its safe. this will greatly help your cause to get some of the limits reduced

on the subject of death however i dont have much to say, i agree that there is a high risk of dieing compared to baseball or the other "normal" sports but thats a risk that we accept everyday we dive, and as long as we try to minimize that risk we should only go when the one almighty (whoever it may be for you) decides upon it)

this is one of the best threads yet,
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