January 2019

MUD Club

Next Meeting: Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Andrews University, Biology Amphitheater, Price Hall
Berrien Springs, MI

Meeting starts at 7:30 p.m.
(3rd Tuesday of every month except December)

January Meeting:

Normal Meeting sequence is as follows:

    1. Introduce Visitors
    2. Present Specific Club Information
      2019 DUES are DUE!
      Pay at the meeting or send your dues to:
      Ric Kling, 5191 Territorial Road, Benton Harbor, MI 49022
      Make the check out to Ric and note it is for 2019 MUD dues.
    3. Identify dive events upcoming or planned. (Dives & Road Trips)
      • January 16: Michigan Maritime Museum
        South Haven: Maritime Lecture Series: Truscott Boats: International Manufacturing Marvel on Lake Michigan
        Speaker: Jennifer Richmond-Ananbeh, Collections Manager, The Heritage Museum & Cultural Center.
        6:30 – 7:30 – Adults $8
      • February 16-17: Our World Underwater
      • February 17: Niles Library Display
      • March 2: Great Lakes Shipwrecks
      • TBD: Ghost Ships
      • TBD: Sportman Club
    4. Identify & discuss diving-related news important to divers.
    5. Present any Show & Tell.
    6. Attendees speak about current diving experiences or lessons learned.
      • Mystery Shipwreck (Whitehall, MI)
      • Diamond Lake Wreck Dive
      • Cold Water Pre-dives
      • New Year Midnight Dive
      • Gilboa Quarry Jan 1st Dive
      • Lake 16 Dives – Michigan Maritime Museum Lecture (South Haven)

7. Open session.

NOVEMBER Meeting Highlights:

There were 14 members at the meeting and no visitors. Primary event was the elections for 2019 Officers. There were no write-in or email voting/submittals for the club positions received.

The Officers for 2019 are:

  • Mary Beth Thar – President
  • Richard Curtis – Vice President
  • Ric Kling – Treasurer
  • Don McAlhany –  Newsletter/Club Website

Other items discussed or reviewed included:

Feedback by several club members who attended the three-day Handicapped Scuba Association (HAS) Dive-Buddy training course (DBC) held in Grand Rapids at Moby’s Dive Shop. Then, additional input from those that participated in the West Michigan Adaptive Try-Scuba program hosted by Mary Free-Bed at the East Grand Rapids HS pool. (https://www.hsascuba.com/body/dbc.php)

It was also noted that mud club member Kevin Ailes, current President of the SWMUP, has been elected as Vice President of the Michigan Underwater Preserve Council.

Karen Mann attended the “Wreck-a-Palooza” Ship Wreck Program in Toledo, Ohio that was put on by the National Museum of the Great Lakes (NMGL). Karen provided details of the program.

The club’s annual November “Turkey Dive” was discussed, but with conflicting schedules only three individuals were interested in participating and subsequently canceled. No firm details were finalized for the club’s annual New Year’s Gathering and dive. Follow-up was to be done during December.

2019 Diver Related Events:

For those looking for a dive or dive buddy, keep checking in and updating the MUD Club Facebook site for “Thrill of the Chill” dives.

Check out these dive shops that Muddy Divers use:

  • Wolf’s Marine Dive Shop, Benton Harbor, MI
  • Sub Aquatic Sports & Service, Battle Creek, MI
  • Divers Inc., Ann Arbor, MI
  • Hart City Scuba, Elkhart, IN
  • Just Add H2O, South Bend, IN [Michiana Divers]
  • Altek Sports – West Michigan Adaptive Diving, Zeeland, MI

Divers Corner:

Lessons for Life:  How To Deal with a Panicking Scuba Diver Underwater (and on the Surface)

Since panic contributes to 20 percent of diver deaths, it is important to recognize the signs in others — it may save a life.  The most dangerous situation for a diver isn’t schooling sharks, the bends or running out of air — it’s panic, which accounts for at least 20 percent of all diver deaths. Someone in the grip of a panic attack doesn’t think rationally. They can bolt to the surface, discard their regulators or harm other divers.

One of the most important skills to have — usually learned through Rescue Diver and Divemaster courses — is how to safely deal with these situations. For an idea of what it takes, here are five tips for helping panicked divers.

  1. Learn to recognize panic: It’s best to diffuse anxiety before it becomes a full-blown attack. Divers on the verge of panic often display predictable signs including “wide and unseeing eyes,” meaning their eyes are open very wide in fear, but they don’t recognize your hand signals or attempts to help. Pre-dive, pay special attention to those who seem agitated about minor details of the dive plan or fixated on their equipment, which are common ways of compensating for feelings of unease.
  2. Make a cautious approach: When you recognize panicked divers, approach them carefully but confidently with your arm outstretched and your palm up in a “stop” signal until they recognize you’re there to help and they acknowledge your hand signals. Stay at arm’s length, however, because they may harm you in a struggle.
  3. Use eye contact and deep breaths: A hand on the shoulder and direct eye contact is one of the most effective ways to calm a panicked diver. Once the person is responsive, signal him or her to look you in the eye, then hold the person by the upper arm or BC strap and encourage him or her to take slow, deep breaths while maintaining eye contact. Panicked divers often hyperventilate, but a few deep breaths can bring them around in seconds.
  4. Take charge: For a panicked diver on the surface who is non-responsive, the safest approach is to place a floatation device (like an inflated BC or life ring) between you and the victim. If underwater, swim behind the diver, hold him or her firmly by the tank valve, make sure the regulator is in place, then make a slow ascent, inflating his or her BC once you reach the surface. If needed, continue holding the tank valve as you both move toward the boat.
  5. Know when to back away: Never sacrifice your own safety for a panicked diver; that can cause you to be another potential victim. Proper rescue techniques are designed to help you help other divers, while minimizing your own risk. However, if the diver is far larger, or actively fights you, it may not be possible to get him or her to safety without endangering yourself. In this case, the best option is to get free and back away.

By Travis Marshall – April 22, 2016


When is the last time YOU thought about how to respond:

  • To a diver not returning to the surface as planned?
  • Ever wonder where the rebreather diver(s) is/are?
  • Having a diver surfacing and mention’s they just do not feel good?

Have you ever considered how to respond? Never thought of it? If not, why not?
Plan for the unexpected and think about what you should do in this event.

ANYONE can call off a dive at any time. It is always OK to say “No.”

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