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Fatality at Peacock Springs, FL
OcalaJim - 7/15/2010 11:54 AM
Category: Training
Replies: 4

A woman (who I personally know and dove with in the past) has died from an avoidable mishap. Here is the article: Click Here

I hate to be like this, but, this woman exhibited this same behavior a few years back before she started into cave diving. Once in the Bahamas on a live-aboard, she drifted nearly 15 miles away from us because she did not stay with a buddy. On another occasion, on a 70-80fsw night dive on another trip to Bimini, she shook her light and started swimming off in the opposite direction. My buddy and I grabbed her and got her back with us, but, she did it 2 more times and we ended up making her abort the dive.

It’s sad that she passed, but, with the horrible buoyancy and how stubborn she was, I find it hard to believe she even received her intro to cave cert.
Greg - 7/15/2010 3:31 PM

I hate to hear bad news like this. I hope the best for her family.

As divers, we can all learn from this. Here are two excerpts from the article:

"He looked back, and she was swimming off in the opposite direction"


"Even her partner wasn’t sure what happened," he said. "I don’t know anybody ever will."

While the actual reason for her death may be’s pretty clear what led her in that direction. She separated from her buddy and went off on her own...IN A CAVE.

As an instructor for many years, I can’t stress enough how important it is to stay with your buddy and to stick to your dive plan. I’ve seen way too many situations that have been avoided thanks to divers sticking together (ie: entanglement, low air, anxiety). Once you venture off on your own...YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN! You need your own backup air supply, you should be GREAT at buoyancy control, you need all the extra gear required for a solo dive and in this case, cave diving.

Be smart everybody. Plan your dive...stay close to your buddy (within one fin kick), watch your air supply, follow your dive plan and don’t do anything stupid.

That’s my two cents.
SCUBASMITTY - 7/15/2010 3:55 PM
you can buy a LIFE with those two sense !

apathy gets the better of us the more we dive,NEVER take a routine dive as routine, praise good dive habits and scold bad ones!

thats the reason I have the HUMAN REMAINS sticker on my reg box, to all ways remind me dive safe !
tstormdiver - 10/13/2010 3:15 AM
When I write this, I mean no disrespect for the decesed,it was certainly a tragedy. I have read on several boards that have pointed out that some of the main "rules" of cave diving were broken by the buddy pair. 1. is exceeding their training. Both divers were "Intro to Cave" level divers. This level limits the diver to 1/3 of their air supply in a single tank or 1/6 in doubles & also limits the divers to staying on the main guideline (no navigation off the main line). 2.This buddy team decided to take 1 of the main tunnels, then "jump" to a crossover tunnel that runs between the main tunnel & another main tunnel that parallels it back to the main entrance; thus doing navigation off the main line. 3.The pair also did what is called a "visual jump" meaning they did not run a reel between the main lines & the crossover tunnel’s line to maintain a constant guideline to the surface. Even with very experienced divers, there is lots of controversy about doing visual jumps. I have done this exact path the dive team was trying, as an "Intro" diver working on my Full Cave Diver certification, under the supervision of my instructor. My air consumption isn’t the best, but its not horrible either. Just to make both jumps to complete the circuit, takes 1/3 of my air supply (max gas consumption that full cave divers are allowed to use to penetrate). I would hazard a guess, since they were wearing double cylinders, that unless they had absolute stellar air consumption rates, there is no real way they could have done this on 1/6th’s. Already here are 3 basic rules of cave diving broken 1. Diving beyond one’s training, 2. no continuous guideline & 3. monitoring one’s gas supply. No one may ever know what started the cascading events that caused this accident, but it sure seems likely that breaking these rules certainly sealed the divers demise. The one thing that learning to cave dive has done is to teach me the proper respect for that environment. Basically, if you screw up,.... you will likely die. Please forgive me if this seems harsh, but it is a harsh environment.
OcalaJim - 10/13/2010 6:56 AM
I don’t think you were being harsh - I know there were lots of errors being made... the ultimate price was paid.