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Thread: Cocktails & Nightmares!

  1. #1
    Sebastian Chander Deep Smeg is a jewel in the rough Deep Smeg is a jewel in the rough Deep Smeg is a jewel in the rough Deep Smeg is a jewel in the rough Deep Smeg is a jewel in the rough Deep Smeg is a jewel in the rough Deep Smeg is a jewel in the rough Deep Smeg's Avatar
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    Deep Smeg

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    Cocktails & Nightmares!

    Hello All

    I would like to share an incident that happened a couple of days ago.

    The background:
    I used to sport dive full time for about 10 years, the last 5 of which included about 250hrs on CC. When I moved back home and became a commercial diver, sport diving took a back seat, and I used the opportunity to modify and upgrade my original APECS 2.01 Meg to include onboard decompression, better cell connections, BMCLís & chest blocks, and a BOV. This all took about 5 years.

    I did a MOD 1 refresher with Kieran Hatton down in Plymouth at the beginning of April to work any bugs out of my unit and me.

    Last Thursday went for a dive with a friend to continue honing my buoyancy & trim and basic drills, in advance of taking my cave course in Florida in May.

    The dive:
    3 hrs of pre-dive checks the night before using my Meg checklist, re-writing it as I went to include the new mods. All passed with flying colours. Drive to Capernwray with my new buddy Mark. Drop my stages at the waters edge, get kitted up, tell Mark if I have any problems on the unit, treat this the same as any OC rescue, bring me up and call for help.

    Do a Pos & Neg test and Pre-breathe on the back of Markís tailgate before the dive. During the Pos test notice the dump valve at the bottom of the exhale CL is jammed open and leaking. Pull the cord to reseat it, test it with a couple of pulls, redo the Pos test, all is well. Neg test is a good pass as is the 5 minute pre-breath. Letís go diving!

    At the waters edge clip up my stages and weíre away. Weighting is good for me and Mark. Markís trying out a new dry suit and seems happy. The plan is for a slow bimble around the circumference of the quarry, with me doing drills from time to time, and Mark trying his best to look like a poster boy for the Ďfundiesí course.

    During the dive I do bailout drills, hyperoxia and hypoxia drills and practice de-watering the loop. Early on I notice a bit more gurgurling than I would have expected on exhalation but put it down to all the drills. Iím also noticing that when I de-water the loop, sometimes it seems to make the gurgurling worse. I notice the occasional whoosh of bubbles coming from behind me but decide itís just Mark behind me on OC.

    About 70 mins into the dive Iím noticing that on a deep inhalation thereís some very subtle bubbling that is deeper in sound than Ďnormalí and seems to be coming from behind me rather than from my right side. WOB is fine, I feel fine, and so I ignore it. At about 75 mins we go check out one of the helicopters in about 12m of water. I decide I want to swim through one of the windows and test out my profile with side mounted Aly 11ís, I get slightly hung up and pitch head down to unhang myself while backing out of the window.

    ZAP, CRACKLE and POP! I inhale a shot of water that hits the back of my throat and feels like an electric charge has been applied to my larynx. I cough and splutter like a comical old car engine and make the switch to OC on my BOV. Every breath is unpleasant. Cold dry air passing over chemical burns, but my throat hasnít closed and I can still breathe. I want to rinse the mouthpiece out, cough and splutter some more and decide to switch to an off board reg but canít find either of em as they are mounted to high up the outside of my side mounts, BALLS! Oh well I rinse out the BOV put it back in, purge the shit out of it, and itís OK. Not great, but itíll do.

    I turn to Mark who isnít sure whatís going on and seems very surprised when I tell him the unit is f***ed and give him the thumbs up sign. We move to the buoy line that is attached to the helicopter and Iím still trying to settle my breathing down into something remotely comfortable, but each breath seems to burn a little, and I canít help making deep forceful coughs in an attempt to clear my lungs. I realise that more OC gas would be good, and plug my off board whip(which I can find) into the manifold block that feeds my BOV. I also tell my computers what is going on.

    At this point Iím settled down and thinking this would be a good cave exit scenario, so instead of just ascending we swim back to the exit point and get out without further incident. I ditch my stages at the waters edge, we de-kit by the car, and I drink loads of water and eat some food and soup, all of which hurts.

    When I pull my unit apart the can has got a good 200ml of soapy, caustic water in it and thereís a bit more in the exhale CL and some plain quarry water in the inhale as well. The bottom half of the scrubber is a damp lump that I have to dig out with a screw driver. While draining the inhale CL I notice the dump valve keeps jamming. Ta da! Iíve found the problem without even looking. Please see attached photo!



    My voice is wrecked and itís painful to swallow but apart from that I feel fine. I drink about 4 litres of water, get some more food down, take an anti-inflammatory and go see the doctor in the morning. All is well, as long as nothing gets worse, is the official word.

    The aftermath:

    Iím doing a thorough cleanup of the unit and testing the lekkies. Ordered a new dump valve for the CL and mentioned the jamming issue with the manufacturer. Through all this, chatting with my brother and girlfriend getting some objectivity on the incident in order to learn the following:

    Simple lessons:
    • If you fix a problem during pre-dive, see if you can replicate it again. If you can, donít dive and thoroughly investigate the issue
    • If you hear a whoosh of bubbles coming out from behind you, donít necessarily assume itís your OC buddy.
    • If de-watering the loop seems to make the exhalation gurgling worse, something isnít right. Either your technique is wrong or thereís a problem with the unit.
    • If you hear bubbling on inhalation, no matter how subtle or intermittent assume your unit is flooded and keep yourself in an upright position, lower your exertion and if in any doubt of the scrubbing capacity of the stack, bailout.
    • Stowing your stage regs neatly is not as important as stowing them intelligently, so you can quickly access your regs and whips when your mind isnít clear.
    • A fast and simple bailout when youíre in the shit is essential. Even if you intend to switch over to an off board reg for sustained OC bailout, a BOV can save you. It certainly saved me.

    The real lesson:
    • The challenge of diving forms a major part of the attraction for me, as well as all the cool stuff to see. Solving problems and situations makes me feel good about myself, makes me feel like a survivor. However a major drawback of this is getting too focused on solving individual problems sequentially and not taking a step back to look at the Ďbig pictureí. I had 1 precursor issue on the surface and 3 underwater, before the main event. While I was happy with myself for managing these and not letting them stop me diving/surviving, I completely failed to notice the build up to a catastrophic and potentially fatal event.

    I remember reading somewhere about the 3 strikes rule that some cave divers use. If you have 3 problems on a dive, no matter how well they are solved, abort the dive and get out of there. These are words I will now be paying much more attention to.

    Thank you for listening. I would like to hear your relevant thoughts and experiences if you would like to share them

    Safe diving

    Seb
    Attached Images

  2. #2
    KISS and rEvo diver Peter Piemonte is just really nice Peter Piemonte is just really nice Peter Piemonte is just really nice Peter Piemonte is just really nice Peter Piemonte is just really nice Peter Piemonte is just really nice Peter Piemonte is just really nice Peter Piemonte is just really nice Peter Piemonte is just really nice Peter Piemonte is just really nice Peter Piemonte is just really nice Peter Piemonte's Avatar
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    rEvo

    KISS Classic, Dolphin

    Re: Cocktails & Nightmares!

    Good report and glad you are OK. As the victim of a caustic cocktail myself, I well know the shock of that first breath....

    Best regards, Peter
    Sermo datur cunctis; animi sapientia paucis

  3. #3
    Sebastian Chander Deep Smeg is a jewel in the rough Deep Smeg is a jewel in the rough Deep Smeg is a jewel in the rough Deep Smeg is a jewel in the rough Deep Smeg is a jewel in the rough Deep Smeg is a jewel in the rough Deep Smeg is a jewel in the rough Deep Smeg's Avatar
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    Deep Smeg

    Megalodon

    Re: Cocktails & Nightmares!

    .... two points to anyone who can name the manufacturer of my CL's from this photo of the crap I just coughed up...
    Attached Images

  4. #4
    Hammerhead CCR diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike's Avatar
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    Re: Cocktails & Nightmares!

    Glad to hear you are okÖ I had a very similar thing happen to me about 4 months ago. Net net is that a BCD dump valve can have some serious reliability issues. When itís used as a water dump on a CCR counter lung the ramifications can be catastrophic. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    On New Years Day I headed off to the local quarry for a swim with some dive buddies. I similarly did all of my predive checks and practiced some skills in the shallows to start the dive off. About an hour into the dive I was getting a little bit of gurgling in a loop hose. No big deal, drop shoulder roll and tilt your head back to dump the liquid into the CL. About 15 minutes later I went relatively inverted to reach something on the bottom and the same thing happened to me. A nasty mouthful of caustic waterÖ yuk yuk bailÖ flush mouth etcÖ An inspection of the rig showed the same issue with a water dump. (BCD Dump) I then proceeded to look at 5 different MFGs of dumps that were used on various BCs and counterlungs. Some were better than others as to the susceptibility to the issue of the plug not seating properly. The issue is when you pull the dump string at an angle itís possible that the plug will not seat properly. For what itís worth, the best designed BCD dump that I found in the comparison is the from DSS. ďThank you Tobin!Ē Regardless none of the rebreather MFGs that I am aware of are using Tobinís BCD dump.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The cause of all of this for me was that I did a quick check that I could reach both of the CL water dumps along with a quick tug on each since they are situated inside the case of the unit that I was diving.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Dive Safe!<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Mark<o:p></o:p>

  5. #5
    Chett Lehrer Chett.L has much to be proud of Chett.L has much to be proud of Chett.L has much to be proud of Chett.L has much to be proud of Chett.L has much to be proud of Chett.L has much to be proud of Chett.L has much to be proud of Chett.L has much to be proud of Chett.L has much to be proud of Chett.L has much to be proud of Chett.L has much to be proud of Chett.L's Avatar
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    rEvo FT / Hollis P-2/ rEvo lll

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    Re: Cocktails & Nightmares!

    Excellent post thank you!

    Best regards,
    Chett. L

  6. #6
    Richie Burr diverreb has much to be proud of diverreb has much to be proud of diverreb has much to be proud of diverreb has much to be proud of diverreb has much to be proud of diverreb has much to be proud of diverreb has much to be proud of diverreb has much to be proud of diverreb has much to be proud of diverreb has much to be proud of diverreb has much to be proud of diverreb's Avatar
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    O2ptima FX

    Re: Cocktails & Nightmares!

    The O2ptima uses a drysuit shoulder OP Release Valve on it's exhale lung. Perhaps this is a better option than a pull dump valve....

    Don't know if the the thread sizes are interchangeable.

    Richie

  7. #7
    Hammerhead CCR diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike's Avatar
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    Re: Cocktails & Nightmares!

    Its actually one of the downsides to a BMCL set up. Persoanally I really like the dumps on the. Prism CLs. I know in my case there is going to be a design change in the dump. In the mean time I know to simply fully inflate the CLs if I pull either of the dumps during a dive to make sure the valve has reseated properly. The occasional oh S}{#+^{}<*Ä> is good for you to keep you on your toes..

    M

    Quote Originally Posted by diverreb  View Original Post
    The O2ptima uses a drysuit shoulder OP Release Valve on it's exhale lung. Perhaps this is a better option than a pull dump valve....

    Don't know if the the thread sizes are interchangeable.

    Richie

  8. #8
    Sebastian Chander Deep Smeg is a jewel in the rough Deep Smeg is a jewel in the rough Deep Smeg is a jewel in the rough Deep Smeg is a jewel in the rough Deep Smeg is a jewel in the rough Deep Smeg is a jewel in the rough Deep Smeg is a jewel in the rough Deep Smeg's Avatar
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    Deep Smeg

    Megalodon

    Re: Cocktails & Nightmares!

    A member on another forum has pointed my in the direction of the APOC dump valves, which have a mushroom valve inside em to prevent water ingress even if the pull dump jams.

    Not sure how effective it'd be, but if I can get hold of one, it may offer a bit more protection.

    I agree about the occasional oh shit. I've never had a serious problem on CC before, so hopefully this'll shock me out of any complacency I was suffering.

    Quote Originally Posted by diverklondike  View Original Post
    Its actually one of the downsides to a BMCL set up. Persoanally I really like the dumps on the. Prism CLs. I know in my case there is going to be a design change in the dump. In the mean time I know to simply fully inflate the CLs if I pull either of the dumps during a dive to make sure the valve has reseated properly. The occasional oh S}{#+^{}<*Ä> is good for you to keep you on your toes..

    M

  9. #9
    Hammerhead CCR diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike has a reputation beyond repute diverklondike's Avatar
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    Re: Cocktails & Nightmares!

    Quote Originally Posted by Deep Smeg  View Original Post
    A member on another forum has pointed my in the direction of the APOC dump valves, which have a mushroom valve inside em to prevent water ingress even if the pull dump jams.
    In my situation there were mushroom valves but it did not make any difference.

  10. #10
    RBW Member Dan Wright has a spectacular aura about Dan Wright has a spectacular aura about Dan Wright has a spectacular aura about Dan Wright has a spectacular aura about Dan Wright has a spectacular aura about Dan Wright's Avatar
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    Hammerhead Extreme

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    Re: Cocktails & Nightmares!

    [QUOTE=diverklondike;400151]
    On New Years Day I headed off to the local quarry for a swim with some dive buddies. I similarly did all of my predive checks and practiced some skills in the shallows to start the dive off. About an hour into the dive I was getting a little bit of gurgling in a loop hose. No big deal, drop shoulder roll and tilt your head back to dump the liquid into the CL. About 15 minutes later I went relatively inverted to reach something on the bottom and the same thing happened to me. A nasty mouthful of caustic waterÖ yuk yuk bailÖ flush mouth etcÖ An inspection of the rig showed the same issue with a water dump. (BCD Dump)
    Mark:
    Glad you made it ok. You kinda kept that to yourself that day. Tony and I were watching closely.
    Regards,
    -Dan

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