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Scare of your life

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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take a breath and relax..
Apr 26, 2001
Hi all
Just thought Id let you know what happened to me the other day,
I was diving away (spearfishing in fact) My buddy was on the surface, I shot a bass only about 10m down, he turned back on me then swam round between my legs, I was tangled.
Damn, to be fair I panicked, I ended up cutting the line and swimming back to the surface. I saw stars when I finally hit the surface. Needless to say I was scared! My buddy 'thought I was fighting the fish' Thankgod I had my knife, and didnt panic tooooo... much. Anyway Im here to tell the tale so for all the people who think, it wont happen to them, or its all a load of rubbish, think again it can happen to us all, even if you take all the precuations ;)
It hasnt ruined my enjoyment of the sport, in fact I think I enjoy and understand it that much more now.
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Reactions: Erik
Live scary movies! Good thread. Glad the fish didn't win.
I know I'm not known as a great prophet of safety procedures, but one thing I have learned and stick by is never diving without a knife that I can get to in a hurry. The only time I'd ever go in without one is if there is no fishing involved, I'mnot going to be entering anything or touching anything. Even so, you can run into fish line or net. Glad you had yours handy there.
(And how many times do we hear beach idiots asking if we have a knife because we are planning on fighting sharks?)
speaking of fighting off sharks, a friend of mine in hawaii just told me he had to fend off a tiger for over a half an hour last weekend! he was diving off the beach and had no boat to get on.

i'm trying to come up with a bayonette type rig for the end of my gun cause the sharks always come around when your spear is already in another fish.

i've never had to use my knife in an emergency yet, but i'll never get in the water without one.
Ditch the weigth

Hi, the biggest mistake you can make is to keep your weigth on when in trouble. so if you get all entangle, ditch your weigth, you'll go balistic to the surface where you can take your time to solve the problem. Even when scubadiving, it's easier to recover from DCS than Death. Most of the time, you'll be able to get your weigth back anyway. In your story, it would have save you a rope.
True ditching my weights would have helped me but it wasnt the first thing into my mind! Any one else find in a panicked/dangerous situation your mind focuses directly on the problem not a way round it? Dumping weights = clever cutting line underwater = not so clever in my case!
Anyway had my line been attached to rocks etc it may not have helped a great deal, I remember my uncle telling me about a time he dived and was caught in discarded line... first thing he did was dump his belt the extra bouyency tightened the line around his calf, and we all know what mono can do.. he still bears the scar... next problem he was still 15m down and his knife was on his belt... DOH! luckily he had an aware dive buddy who cut him free, but it could have been worse. Guess theres a reason if ever there was one to keep your knife somewhere accesible even if you have to dump equipment.
P.S An other story from Sat dive to follow!!
Saturdays Dive

Yet again I was in the water on Sat, the conditions looked good but turned out terrible.... I dived a new spot unsure of the depth, and couldnt tell the vis as there were no stuctures nearby, dived down my line, 5.... 10.... 15m then at about 16m I hit the bottom.... literally head first...OUCH :duh ! Ive taken to diving down hands by side and returning to the surface with one hand above my head, maybe I should rethink this strategy! Anyway the sea bed appeared at about 15.9m giving me no time to stop, needless to say I left a bit dissapointed with a bump to show for my efforts. The highlite of the trip was during one of the following dives while I worked on bottom times... I heard bubbles.... two bubble blowers came into view, they seemed quite surprised to see a bloke with no gear sitting casually 15m under water!... I even got to see my first scuba diver make an uncontrolled acsent, wonder if they train you for coping with the shock of being waved at by a prat holding his breath!!!
Joe ;)
Knife VS cutter

When you get entagle, finding the line is not always that easy, and the more you move, the worst it gets. So when you ditch your weight, you go up and you see very soon what's holding you. You can then reach down and cut it.

When in panic because you've got entangle, waving your edgy pointy knife around may not be the best thing to do. Especially if your buddy try to come to your help and you stab him.

One other problem with knife is that they loose they're edge very fast when you use them as pryer to open sea shell and stuff like that. So you have to dive with two knife, one for cutting loose and one for heavy duty.

So instead of second a knife, a line cutter like the DACOR Claw & Rigger and Line Cutters could be more usefull. Does anyone use such item?

Wow sounds scary..I havent got a knife I have never dived with one, I have not felt like I need one, but I guess it is a safety issue after all.. I like to dive with people who know what to do if I black out and all, but I haven't really thought about a knife...Are they expensive?
Well I gotta take look at some in the scuba store near by..
I have found out that bubble blowers rarely know that people can dive under 10m as all who I have met underwater have been amazed to see a person with no gear down to a 20m or something..
Knives shears cutters etc!
I know what you mean about waving pointy things about, and its true a cheap knife does lose its edge very fast, especially if its used to dispatch fish or for filleting etc. Heres what I do now, I did at on time carry just one 3inch knife but recent events have changed that! I carry a 3in knife on my belt for dealing with fish etc when spearfishing, it has a line cutting section for emergencys. On my chest in a neoprene pouch I carry a pair of 'sea snips' or heavy duty scissors. If any ones ever tried to cut Kevlar line or steel trace with a knife you'll know why. Someone once told me to think of everything that may tangle me underwater, find an example of it and try to cut it (on land!) I did this my 'trusty' knive managed thin mono and net, but couldnt cope with thick mono or kevlar or steel trace easily, the scissors can, also they can cut several strands at once.
As for should you dive with a knife, ask yourself this, do you actively avoid SWB? Do you look out for your buddy? Do you use a float/flag in busy areas (boat lanes etc) If you answer yes to any of these then you worry about the dangers of diving, then ask, do I dive where fishermen have been, do I dive where boats may have been? If yes then the best idea is to have an ability to cope with the additional danger of underwater snags. For the UK especially in areas near exeter Id say always have a knife or shears, its a popular area but with low visibility so you may find somthing your not ready for.
A good knife need not cost more than £20 you dont need anything huge, your not Rambo! A better general bet I think is shears/scissors ask at the dive shop these cost the same if not less.
Better you spend £20 and never have cause to use it than nothing and wish you had!
I never use my diving knife for filleting, etc. In fact, I almost never use it all--it's like a parachute or fire extinquisher, just supposed to be there. I use stainless steel blad so it won't rust, since the quicker dulling of a stainless blade is not a factor. I expect a knife to have a quick-release sheath, a serrated edge, and a sharp "hook" in it to make slashing line quicker and more fail-safe. A blunt tip is a good idea, but I've never had one.
I like a very small, light knife, not those big honkers the scoobadoods use. The Tekna type, one-piece steel ones are what I like, and I generally pick them up for under $20 when I need them. I often customize the knife by dipping the handle in plastic coating goop. I like the ones with a big hole near the pommel, because if I have the knife in my hand I sometimes stick my pinky in that hole, providing a secure grip without use of lanyard.
The drawback of knives like this--and MANY current knives--is the use of plastic flanges for the straps. I have nylon web straps with fastex buckles that I use, and I will sometimes cut the strap flangest off the sheath and replace them with steel loops, epoxied into ´place. That way they don't break if you hit something.
I haven{t figured out how to modify plastic masks so they aren't vulnerable to breakage, by the way. I think losing your mask is the probably the single most dangerous thing that can happen to you when you swim in breaking water or among rocks. I've had two break on me, both from impact on the dippy little plastic tabs that hold the straps on.
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