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Status Reports

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Under en längre tid har jag skickat "Läges Rapporter" till vänner och bekanta. Sedan har bekantas kompisar och släktens vänner ochså velat "prnummerera" och nu har jag fått förfrågan från ett flertal medlemmar här på dykarna att lägga dom här också.

Så här komer den senaste. Hoppas det är ok att den är på engelska.

Status report Egypt 6.7

Good morning!

Teaching diving is something that I don’t often get a chance to do in this day and age, with the exception of the occasional Nitrox course. Then again, that is more theoretical- than practical application and doesn’t really include any “in water skill training”. Hence the smile on my face when I received the news that I was to teach the Rescue Diver Course and the Dive Master Course to an English girl called Ashleigh. My only concern was how I would manage to fit in the training parallel to guiding certified divers on liveaboard trips. Fortunately we had a week on land due to lack of bookings, so the theory and confined water training was easily completed with help from Theresa (my colleague on M/Y Rosetta) acting as a victim. We had a great time and since Ashleigh worked as a life guard at a swimming pool, prior to coming out to Egypt, she also had some interesting input for us to pick up.

The next week we were taking a group of 13 divers from a Dutch Harley Davidson bikers club to dive the wrecks north of Hurghada plus a few days spent on Brothers Islands and Elphinstone. I thought to my self: “How difficult can it be to get these people to act as victims for an 18 year old, very cute, English girl and get the final scenarios acted out?” And as I expected every one was happy to help out. The first day on Abu Nuhas the group was diving with Theresa on all the four wrecks while Ashleigh and I was finishing the preparation training. As I had planed the whole thing we could after this have some divers go “missing” and divers popping up “unconscious”.

First dive went excellent and I have to say that Ashleigh is a dream-student who is really keen on learning this stuff as well as clever enough to understand what’s going on. We exit the water and as we are climbing up the ladder to the dive deck I see three Zodiacs on top of the reef. This is worrying because when the wind is strong from the North the waves are breaking over the reef right next to the wrecks and this to get swept over the reef is potentially very dangerous. Due to the distance I couldn’t make out if it was our Zodiacs or if they were from some of the other liveaboards moored up next to us. This question was answered within minutes when Imad, one of our crew members, and Ian one of our guests, came speeding towards the boat. As it turns out, a massive random wave had taken, not only our Zodiac drivers; Imad and Montassar with surprise but also one from the next boat, and sent the three inflatables over the edge of the reef and landed them in a big pile. Imad was swept overboard in the pandemonium and had cut a piece of flesh out of the bottom of his foot when trying to regain his balance in addition to the control over his bumping vessel. Ian had been the first one out of the water and had managed to stay onboard. Montassar stayed to wait for the remaining guests to resurface while Imad and the guest now were back on Rosetta. To be served this kind of action on a silver plate while teaching a Rescue Diver course is not common. Consequently Ashleigh got some really good hand-on experience taking care of Imad's wounded foot. Even if you never wish for things like this to happen I have to admit I give fate at least 10 points for the timing… Excellent!

Having put this behind us together with our lunch break, it was now time for the second dive. The group headed out in the Zodiac (after a fairly explicit briefing on the subject of avoiding getting swept on top of the reef) to make the second dive for the day, this time on the wreck of the steam-sailor Carnatic. At the same time Ashleigh and I kited up and this time we were going to practice “Respond to Unconscious Diver on the Surface”, “Exiting the Water with an Unconscious Diver” plus “Treating Decompression Illness – Administration of Oxygen”. Everything goes according to plans with the in-water skill practicing but as we’re hanging on the surface, debriefing the dive, one of our Zodiacs are back with only one guest (Ian again) onboard… Hmmm… I look up and Montassar, who is driving the Zodiac, gives me a look that in a nano-second tells me: “Hey Mr. Samaka, Can you come back to the boat please. We have a problem”. I’m thinking “Huston, forget that other thing”! Ashleigh and I are both back on the platform in 20 seconds. It turns out that the poor guy (read clumsy guy) got entangled in the line while deploying his Surface Marker Buoy and got dragged to the surface from 5-6 metres with a speed way quicker than the recommended 18 metres/min. This is not a life-threatening situation but tagging along the modus operandi “better safe than sorry” we administrate oxygen. Ashleigh gets to participate in a sharp situation that we otherwise would have to act out. Even if you never wish for things like this to happen I have to admit I give fate at least 10 points for the timing… Awesome!

Diving is not a forgiving sport and we do enter a hostile environment every time we jump in the water. There is also an infinite well of more or less likely problems to scoop from. This can include easily handled situations as cramp, badly trimmed buoyancy or simple equipment failure. The more serious problems can embrace passive- or active panic or out-of-air-situations. While Theresa took our guests for the third dive of the day, on the wreck of Giannis D, Ashleigh and I had planned a dive with a combination of skills to practice such circumstances as malfunctioning equipment and out-pf-air. We jump into the water and start our descent. After a few seconds I turn to look at Ashleigh and notice a vast amount of bubbles surrounding her. She still acts unruffled and aware of the fact that her alternate air source is free flowing. Normally this problem is solved simply by turning the mouth piece down and let the membrane fall back in to the right position but this is clearly not working. Hmmm… Slightly discombobulating…Tapping the regulator with her hand she still gets no result and as I look at her pressure gauge I see that she already lost about half of the air in her cylinder. This is not yet a life-threatening situation but tagging along the modus operandi “better safe than sorry” we start our ascent. I am holding my alternate air source up in front of her face as to say “No worries Ash. I’ve got plenty of air… for sale…” We turn her air off and practice the use of the alternate air source. To get this action during your Rescue course is of course not usual and even if you never wish for things like this to happen I have to admit I give fate at least 10 points for the timing… Blinding!

We move on to Brothers, sailing over night. The weather is not too bad and we have a smooth ride. 05:30 we wake the guest up and Theresa goes out in the Zodiac to make a current check. Considering the conditions we decide to go for a dive on the wreck of Numidia on the north tip of Big Brother. On this dive I ask Ashleigh to observe my behavior and spot small problems that might grow into bigger problems and that she take actions accordingly. Just as we reach the point to roll in and I’m asking the group: “Everybody ready?” I feel my tank fall out of the strap that’s holding it to my BCD but there is no time to fix it now so I continue: “Roll in on three then… One… Two… Three” and we all roll in simultaneously. We make a negative entry, swim down, and regroup on 5-6 metres… Before I even get a chance to turn around and see if Ashleigh has noticed my tank swinging above me she’s on it and has reattached it to my BCD. Normally I would have just taken my BCD off and fixed this myself but this time it fitted quit well with what was planned for the Rescue Course. Of course you never wish for things like this to happen, but I have to admit I give fate at least 10 points for the timing… Brilliant!

In the early morning hour the next day we move to Little Brother where we look forward to to dive with sharks. Two Oceanic White Tipped Sharks, size 180 cm, had been playing around the boat most of the night and the enthusiasm amongst the guests to get in the water was obvious. We wake up at 05:30 to beat the other boats to the north plateau, where most of the shark action normally goes on at a depth of about 40 metres. However, the wind has now picked up to the point where the north plateau is no longer an alternative and the current will give us no option than to drift the north east side where the waves are breaking over the reef with such ferocity that it would be very difficult, if not impossible to get back in the Zodiac. I decide to cancel the first dive, tagging along the modus operandi “better safe than sorry”. All guests agree with me after I explain the situation and we sit down for breakfast. The wind keeps picking up and after serious consideration involving a discussion with the guests Captain Mustafa and the crew let the moorings slide and we head towards more merciful dive sites closer to land. I feel that there is no need to push our luck. The scenario that might be the outcome of diving in these conditions could be a little bit more than we desire for the Rescue Course. It’s time to leave The Brothers Islands, 10 points to me for good timing.

Situations like this are exactly why the rescue course is so important. To know that you can handle potentially dangerous circumstances and make decisions according to conditions. This will make your diving safe and more relaxed. Ashleigh completed her Rescue Course with flying colours. There is no doubt in my mind that she is capable of handling a sharp situation. Maybe it’s not 100% according to PADI Standards to give credit for real incidents as oppose to acted scenarios but hey… What happens in Egypt stays in Egypt… It’s like Las Vegas… It’s like the bloody Bermuda Triangle!

You can run out of air… and die.
You can go to deep… and die.
You can ascend too fast… and die.
You can slouch on your couch… and die.
Get off the couch!!!

Dive Instructor / Philosopher / Dirty Old Man

Anders Jälmsjö
Anders Jälmsjö 2007-10-02 12:40:27
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Huvudinlägg Status Reports Anders Jälmsjö 2007-10-02 12:40
svara Sv: Status ReportsLinda Normark2007-10-02 17:20
svara Sv: Sv: Status ReportsAnders Jälmsjö2007-10-03 15:00
svara Sv: Sv: Sv: Status ReportsFredrik Astlid2007-10-04 18:24


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