Be Wary of Dangerous Scuba Dive off San Diego

Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 08:16 PM
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Be Wary of Dangerous Scuba Dive off San Diego

While there are some nice - relatively routine scuba dives off the Coast of San Diego - such as the Cove in La Jolla (If you don't go deeper than 30 feet you can pretty much dive all day - but always dive with a buddy and really check out local conditions/dive companies) - this is one of the saddest stories I have ever read.

By way of background - the Canadian ship - the Yukon - was sunk back in 2,000 - after it had been tied up at the docks in San Diego - where many of us with an interest in diving had toured it.

They poked a bunch of holes in it - and towed it out to sink - but it proved one very difficult vessel to scuttle/sink - and they had to blow more holes in it - and then - when it finally settled on the bottom - it's at an odd angle. This odd angle/settling on it's side - has caused some real problems over the years (divers can become disoriented) - and this young Marine - Staci Jackson - age 26 - is the 4th drowning victim. (Note - if you dive the deepest part of the ship - at around 100+ feet - you only have about 17 minutes of air before other problems set in.)

Now not only is this dive challenging enough in the best of conditions - on Sat - Dec 1 - the Dive Master was very ill-advised to try and lead a diving group to this deep/dark wreck - in big surf (over 12 foot waves in some parts of SD county) - and very poor visibility.

You can read the article here - http://oceanside-camppendleton.patch...mission-beach# - but this excerpt speaks volumes:

"David Pierce, director of the San Diego Council of Divers, has dived the Yukon site and said it presents dangers.

“The ship is actually laying on its side, it did not go down properly,” Pierce said. “Because it’s on its side, divers can get disoriented in there pretty quickly.”

Pierce said he knew of a diving instructor several years ago who got into the engine room of the Yukon, which had been welded shut. That diver got tangled in the wreckage, ran out of air and drowned.

“The bottom of the wreck is 100 feet down and at that depth you might have only 17 minutes of air time down there,” Pierce said."

And when they found Staci - her legs were mysteriously bound - this also really needs further investigation.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2012, 11:01 PM
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Wow! How sad and scary. Very poor judgement on the part of the Dive Master. I'm not a diver, but DD is and is somewhat experienced - never a problem. However, she had trouble with her most recent dive. I don't quite understand what went wrong, but she had difficulty getting the attention of the Dive Master that she was in trouble. It was a shallow dive and she made it up. Had she been deeper, she might not have made it and was absolutely terrified. She is now not nearly so enthusiastic about diving as she used to be.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2012, 06:12 AM
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tom, i saw this on the local news last night. what a major tragedy. you'd think that after 4 deaths this "ship" would be brought up and scraped.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2012, 08:34 AM
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My husband, who is a rescue diver, got stuck in a kelp forest in the red tide diving off San Diego. There were also great whites in the area. It wasn't pretty.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2012, 09:00 AM
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Amen Nana, and the local paper - the SD Union Tribune - seems to be sticking it's head in the sand on this story - while TV news coverage has been much more concerned.

And JoJo: Being in a Kelp forest can be a big challenge indeed. While I am not even close to the experience level or competence/training of a rescue diver - and greatly admire those guys - my first time diving after being certified - way back in the middle 70's - we were in a kelp forest off Monterrey - spear fishing.

I signaled my buddies that my air was running low and I was going up top to swim on in. The acknowledged and signaled that they were going to head back in underwater.

Well, dang - those kelp forests can be thick - and fortunately - I was young and in great shape - and just pulled myself over the top it for several hundred yards - but that was work, as you kept getting entangled, etc.

And "they" say - if you are in the water off the coast of California - you can be within in a mile of a great white - but they normally aren't dangerous for swimmers - unless they think you might be a food source - such as a diver (or a surfer) looking like somewhat like a seal when in a dark wetsuit.

Bet the pucker factor was very high for your DH on that dive - with the Great Whites milling about.
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Old Mar 12th, 2013, 11:38 AM
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Please note that the article, quite properly, does not attribute this tragedy to the wreck site. Or even indicate a cause. Many wrecks and artifical reefs- like this one- lie off the horizontal and can be confusing to those unfamiliar with wreck diving and that particular site. Depth and other conditions can be issues depending on your training and equipment. But a dive that may be suicidal for some divers could be a relaxing one for others. It comes down to training (please, from something other than the equivalent of McDonalds, 'training the World to dive, one accident at a time') and experience.
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Old Mar 12th, 2013, 02:06 PM
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No idea what/where you normally dive DiveWell, but a Dive Master has also died in this wreck.

Did you closely the full article? It's a deep dive - challenging in the best of conditions, much less in tough conditions, such as big surf, limited visibility.

Diving in bad conditions also puts at risk those who may be called to come to your aid.
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