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The importance of visibility

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Pinniped72

Pinniped72

Well-Known Member
May 18, 2013
404
217
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Hello all, I had a close call today and am passing it on so others can avoid the same situation. I was swimming, not diving but as you will see the situation has relevance here. I was in a mainly black wetsuit with a blueseventy black and orange neoprene cap and black brightly coloured orange lensed triathlon goggles. I was out a fair way when 6 jet skiers came zooming along in my general direction, I waived my arms they saw me, altered course so no problem at all. Then I was coming in about 100m from shore when I noticed the local life boat had launched, initially I wasn't too worried thinking they must have seen me, but it got closer and closer and I realised that they didn't have a clue I was there. For those that think they would just dive down or move out of the way, trust me at full speed and not knowing what course they will take, it really is largely a matter of luck and today my luck was in, the boat sped past me about 6 feet away, the wash tore my goggles from my face and left me bobbing like a cork. I carried on swimming for a bit going back out again and then came in, as I was walking past the boat station, a window opened from the observation room and a chap asked me if I was ok and apologised. I said I'm fine and just said I got lucky this time. The sea has taught me one thing over the years, you don't often get away with making the same mistake twice!! It was choppy, I was mainly in black, in my opinion I should really have been towing a swimming bouy, which I will be getting before next weekend! To sum up, if you can be almost ran over by a lifeboat, then anything can run you over, keep visible and keep safe and enjoy the sea.
 
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SubSub

SubSub

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2015
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Thanks for sharing. I had a similar experience in Greece a couple of years ago. Can't say I was wear any high viz gear exept my shiny white (read whiter than snow) scandinavian skin after a long cold winter.

Was a bit out from shore when I saw some tourists in approaching a rented boat. I could clearly see them paying attention to the beautiful island, all of them looking towards the shore and just momentarily looking ahead. I realized quite quickly that they were not going to notice me, so I waited untill they close enough, dove down 5m and waited until they passed right over my head some 30secs later.

It's really difficult, if not impossible, to judge position and distance of a approaching boat while under water. My adrenaline was pumping and it was pretty scary not knowing when of where they would pass, fortunatly things went as I anticipated and I got away with only a scare.
 
C

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
4,067
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Ditto on the difficulty of judging where an approaching boat is when you are underwater. Its essentially impossible.

I'm lucky enough to dive in places where pretty much nobody else goes, but still have had my share of close calls. Last summer, diving within 50 yards of my boat, did not even hear the other boat till I was underwater. I saw him pass directly over me, went by my boat within 40 ft at something like 30 knots. Nobody else within miles. Another time I saw a boat coming, submerged with plenty of time for him to go by, listened to him as he approached, then slowed down and didn't go away. I had no idea where he was, other than CLOSE! Waited as long as I could and surfaced to see him doing circles a short distance away. When he saw me, he came over and said he was looking for what he had seen in the water. The guy had no clue it was a diver. Floating bouys and dive flags are fine, but don't think you can really protect yourself from idiots.
 
seaflower

seaflower

Well-Known Member
May 13, 2013
38
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goodness. These stories are nightmares!
And it's not just boats that seldom look out.
Surfers go at really high speeds. They can decapitate anyone unlucky enough to be at the surface in their path.

I have had some run-ins with morons who didn't know or care about the buoy, so when I'm diving now anywhere with boats, jetskis or surfers, I ask a friend to paddle in a small rowing boat at my side.
Although I try and only swim/dive where those are all not present, like smallish lakes.

I also tried to find a wetsuit that would be highly visible, preferably a neon pink or orange or just white.
Sadly, no matter where I looked, all warmer suits are black, black, and black.

Soooo annoying!
There is a Japanese manifacturer who supposedly makes any colour suits on demand, but they never responded to my inquiry.
 
C

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
4,067
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There are some red and blue suits out there, worn by last years US team. Not sure who made them, but it should be easy to find out.
 
sharkey

sharkey

Well-Known Member
Nov 22, 2013
409
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Two of my closest friends have been hit & critically injured by boats. Being eaten by a shark is far less of a risk than being run over by a boat in my part of the world ( Sydney). Our associations code of practice is to always tow a float & for it to have the "alpha" (diver down) flag. Even if a spearo is using a reel, they must still have a float & flag, this has no doubt saved me & countless others many times, however the stupidity of some boat owners can be infinite so vigilance is still needed. The float also serves as a safe & convienient place to carry our fish 30m or so behind us, & its great for fighting & landing large fish if one is lucky enough. I wouldnt consider swimming or diving without one.
16426162 416684078674846 7705990821600326106 n
 
Davos

Davos

Member
Apr 7, 2017
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Two of my closest friends have been hit & critically injured by boats. Being eaten by a shark is far less of a risk than being run over by a boat in my part of the world ( Sydney). Our associations code of practice is to always tow a float & for it to have the "alpha" (diver down) flag. Even if a spearo is using a reel, they must still have a float & flag, this has no doubt saved me & countless others many times, however the stupidity of some boat owners can be infinite so vigilance is still needed. The float also serves as a safe & convienient place to carry our fish 30m or so behind us, & its great for fighting & landing large fish if one is lucky enough. I wouldnt consider swimming or diving without one.
View attachment 43278

Ugh man, some boats are the worst. I'm in Perth and the amount that I see coming into restricted areas pisses me off to no end. They come in and fish right on top of kids snorkelling in the shallows, completely ignoring signage. There are collisions with swimmers or divers every week during summer.

I actually nearly got hit recently. I was surfacing and a boat came straight over my head as I was hitting about the 10m mark. Scary stuff.
 
GrandeBleu

GrandeBleu

Member
Apr 29, 2017
15
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Luckily boats rarely come in to the coves where I like to spend time, a canoe is about the biggest thing that typically passes by, but on the neighboring beaches there are a lot of surfers/surf clubs. I don't usually bother hanging around the beach areas, because of them, unless it's super early in the morning.
 
Chantae

Chantae

Member
Dec 14, 2016
7
1
13
31
I've started diving with a buddy and a boogie board when there's any risk of boats nearby. It really helps to even hold it up in the air or splash with it to be seen.
 
Manny_OCF

Manny_OCF

Member
Nov 2, 2017
46
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Two of my closest friends have been hit & critically injured by boats. Being eaten by a shark is far less of a risk than being run over by a boat in my part of the world ( Sydney). Our associations code of practice is to always tow a float & for it to have the "alpha" (diver down) flag. Even if a spearo is using a reel, they must still have a float & flag, this has no doubt saved me & countless others many times, however the stupidity of some boat owners can be infinite so vigilance is still needed. The float also serves as a safe & convienient place to carry our fish 30m or so behind us, & its great for fighting & landing large fish if one is lucky enough. I wouldnt consider swimming or diving without one.
View attachment 43278

Big hello from another Sydneysider!
Some dive spots are much worse than others. dumb boat operators and jetski riders are a massive danger to us!

I completely avoid bare island on weekends - way too many jetski riders there
 
sewin

sewin

New Member
Sep 22, 2017
8
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I surprised surfers are an issue, normally waves are in relatively shallow areas and the wave action reduces the viability, so I normally end up avoiding area where there is any surf, but maybe that is just my local area
 
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