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Thread: Hypercapnia lessons learned

  1. #1
    RBW Member TCVA is an unknown quantity at this point TCVA's Avatar
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    O2ptima

    Hypercapnia lessons learned

    Iíve always been in favor of full disclosure in hopes of creating some valid lessons learned. So here is my story, and there are no feelings in debriefs.

    I had a great weekend of diving lined up. 2 160ish fsw dives on day one, a 235í five on day 2 and a 235í five on day 3. Day one and two go as planned...hot drops on wrecks with uneventful bottom times and deco. Day one fresh scrubber. Day twos dive was on a fresh packed scrubber...84minutes.

    On day 3 I decided to reuse the scrubber from day 2. I had gone upwards of 4 hours on a scrubber before, in similar conditions with no issues. We hot dropped on a wreck and hit the deck at 190í (top of the wreck) in 1:40. The current was stiff, but not overly so. We dropped to around 220í and looked for a place to tuck out of the current. I noticed an OC diver moving by me towards where we planned to meetup at the end of our bottom time...and this diver was on a mission. What struck me as odd initially is that the light on the divers GoPro was flashing sos(sola light).

    I followed this diver up to the top of the wreck(in the current) and noticed the diver clawing their way to the meetup point...this is 13 minutes into a 25 minute bottom time. I try to catch up, but have to pull and pull along the wreck to make any headway.

    Iím breathing hard...too hard, and start feeling like my WOB is impossible. While trying to assess the OC diver, Iím realizing I am taking a CO2 hit. I flush the loop and the WOB returns to normal, but within 5 breaths Iím back to sucking on an empty bag(like my counterlungs are empty).

    I plug in my Offboard bailout and go SCR...knowing that going completely off the loop while trying to assist an OC diver isnít going to end well. The loop is manageable, and the WOB is still elevated, but is getting much better at this point.

    I managed to shoot a bag and get the OC diver and myself up to the first deco stop where all symptoms ceased for me...the OC diver was still shook up. I stopped running SCR at about 90íand we finished deco with no additional issues.

    What went wrong:

    - I reused a partial scrubber on a deep ocean dive knowing that currents are unpredictable. The day prior was nearly no current...that rarely happens.

    - I overbreathed the scrubber. I knew I was over breathing it and could do almost nothing to stop it.

    -I didnít bail to OC to get my shit together. I may have been able to bail early on, but was scared to death of getting off the loop. I literally thought that if I left the loop we would both die.

    What went well:

    - going to SCR worked...well enough anyway. I spent plenty of time in my initial CCR class and during cave, that I felt comfortable doing it for an extended period of time under significant stress.

    - the OC diver was seriously panicked. We talked after the dive and the OC diver was thankful for the help, but completely unaware that I too was having an issue.


    Lessons learned:

    -Bailout valves have some merit. If I had one I probably could have bailed and dealt with the OC diver more effectively.

    -I have worked hard in current and flow before. Stronger current than what I experienced that day. That being said, I believe strongly that my mistake #1 was not starting that dive with a fresh scrubber. I wonít make that mistake again.


    I put this out there for yíall to hammer. Me about, because I feel that if one person can learn from it, then I could care less about being beat up a little. My ego is damaged, but Iím still here.

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Dsix36 has a reputation beyond repute Dsix36 has a reputation beyond repute Dsix36 has a reputation beyond repute Dsix36 has a reputation beyond repute Dsix36 has a reputation beyond repute Dsix36 has a reputation beyond repute Dsix36 has a reputation beyond repute Dsix36 has a reputation beyond repute Dsix36 has a reputation beyond repute Dsix36 has a reputation beyond repute Dsix36 has a reputation beyond repute Dsix36's Avatar
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    rEvo

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    Re: Hypercapnia lessons learned

    Kudos for having the balls to post about your screw up. I wish more people would put away their egos and share like this.


    Glad everything worked out for you and you lived to learn from it. Hopefully this post can help someone prevent the same problem.
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    Hybrid Meg

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    Re: Hypercapnia lessons learned

    Wow! Thanks for sharing and Iím glad all worked out for both Divers. Any idea what was wrong with the OC Diver (just curious). Thanks again

    Rob

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    O2ptima

    Re: Hypercapnia lessons learned

    Quote Originally Posted by diverrob  View Original Post
    Wow! Thanks for sharing and Iím glad all worked out for both Divers. Any idea what was wrong with the OC Diver (just curious). Thanks again

    Rob
    Panic, induced by what? I donít know. I suspect narcosis.

  5. #5
    RBW Member PeterVICEG is a glorious beacon of light PeterVICEG is a glorious beacon of light PeterVICEG is a glorious beacon of light PeterVICEG is a glorious beacon of light PeterVICEG is a glorious beacon of light PeterVICEG is a glorious beacon of light PeterVICEG is a glorious beacon of light PeterVICEG is a glorious beacon of light PeterVICEG is a glorious beacon of light PeterVICEG is a glorious beacon of light PeterVICEG is a glorious beacon of light PeterVICEG's Avatar
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    Meg

    Fenzy PO68 Dolphin

    Re: Hypercapnia lessons learned

    Thanks for posting this. Over breathing the loop on a scrubber that should have been changed out could happen to many of us.

    It should be noted that you were very generous to help the OC diver under the circumstances.

    Your presence of mind and scr skills have me thinking that you are a very good diver.

  6. #6
    RBW Member TCVA is an unknown quantity at this point TCVA's Avatar
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    O2ptima

    Re: Hypercapnia lessons learned

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterVICEG  View Original Post
    Your presence of mind and scr skills have me thinking that you are a very good diver.
    Thatís debatable...lol.

  7. #7
    RBW Member EngelenD is a jewel in the rough EngelenD is a jewel in the rough EngelenD is a jewel in the rough EngelenD is a jewel in the rough EngelenD is a jewel in the rough EngelenD is a jewel in the rough EngelenD is a jewel in the rough EngelenD is a jewel in the rough EngelenD's Avatar
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    rEvo III rMS

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    Re: Hypercapnia lessons learned

    Thanks die sharing!!!!!!


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    RBW Member evandroairton is an unknown quantity at this point evandroairton's Avatar
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    Inspirovsky (Inspo AV1)

    Re: Hypercapnia lessons learned

    Excellent post!

    For a newbie like me, who's working through MOD2 this kind of lesson is great to read!

    And congrats for being humble and having the balls to take it out of the ego closet, and share.

    Regards

  9. #9
    RBW Member njdiverjoe is an unknown quantity at this point njdiverjoe's Avatar
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    Re: Hypercapnia lessons learned

    I wanted to pop in and give my thanks for sharing -- it's very helpful for those of us with less time on the loop!

  10. #10
    RBW Member dwiedmer is an unknown quantity at this point dwiedmer's Avatar
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    Re: Hypercapnia lessons learned

    Thanks for sharing!

    I'm wondering why the scrubber got exhausted so early?
    Have you ever done similar depths and heavy breathing with a fresh scrubber that were no problem or is the design of the scrubber possibly not sufficient? (I don't know what kind of CCR you are using)

    Only 90 min on a scrubber that has lasted for 4h previously should in my opinion leave enough scrubber to work also under the described conditions.
    Did you pour out the scrubber after day 2 and refill the old sorb for day 3 or did you leave everything undisturbed?
    Did you find a lot of moisture / water in the scrubber?
    Something else?

    All the best for all your future dives
    Dominik

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