November 2018

MUD Club
Next Meeting: Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Andrews University, Biology Amphitheater, Price Hall
Berrien Springs, MI

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

November Meeting:   Normal Meeting sequence is as follows:

1. Introduce Visitors.
2. Present Specific Club Information – Club Officer Election Month
3. Identify dive events upcoming or planned. (Dives & Road Trips) – Annual Turkey Dive – Saturday, November 24 – High Noon – Fisherman’s Park (Benton Harbor)
4. Identify & discuss diving-related news important to divers.
5. Present any Show & Tell.
6. Attendees speak about current diving experiences or lessons learned.
Handicapped Scuba Association (HSA) International Skills Training class (West Michigan Adaptive Diving), Wreck-A-Palooza – National Museum of the Great Lakes (Nov 3), and Channel 57 Investigative Reporting – St. Joseph River
7. Open session.

October Meeting Highlights:
There were 14 members at the meeting and no visitors.
Items discussed or reviewed include a letter of appreciation from Niles on the September Ecology Dive, details of the fall Meet & Greet in Gilboa by Bob Sweeney and dives at the Quarry by John Nedoba, Kevin Ailes & Amy Schuring. Mary Beth had a Show & Tell item picked up while kayaking. What appeared to be a Ponds porcelain cream container was actually an old porcelain cheese cup instead, Kevin Ailes brought in a Zeno gum machine cover with a very interesting history that went back to the Wrigley Gum family, several members mentioned they are attending the Adaptive Diver Training in November, Ric Kling mentioned there is an investigation underway concerning the number of St. Joseph river drownings, and it was reported that Marie Daisy is doing much better in her accident recovery.
Meeting ended with Mary Beth’s “Trivia Question”: How old is the oldest active scuba diver?
Answer: Ray Woolley was born in 1923 and started swimming at his local swimming baths aged five. He was a radio operator for the British during World War II and served in the Royal Navy and the Special Boat Service special forces, and he has been an avid scuba diver for the last 58 years. He took up diving in 1960 with the Portland and Weymouth British Sub Aqua Club and when posted to Cyprus in 1964 became a regular diver here. In 1999 he retired and returned to live permanently in Cyprus after diving in locations around the world. Woolley at 94 set a record last year (2017) for being the world’s oldest scuba diver. Then Saturday, at the age of 95, he broke his own record. He dove the shipwreck Zenobia for 44 minutes at a depth of 133 feet off the coast of Limassol Cyprus, where he currently lives.

2018 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 and their web sites 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

Lessons for Life: A Not-So-Smart Night Dive – By Eric Douglas August 17, 2014

When Lenny dropped his smartphone into the water from the lake’s dock, he immediately wanted to recover it as he hoped he could dry it to avoid replacing it. But the dock owners told him there was too much boat traffic to dive safely, and refused to let him get in the water. Lenny complied, but then waited until the dock was closed for the night and returned. He suited up in his dive gear, and a few moments later, Lenny was standing on the bottom of the lake underneath the pier where he thought his phone might be. He wasn’t having any luck finding it. Taking a step backward, Lenny felt something wrap around his foot and he panicked.

The Diver
Lenny was a 47-year-old diver who didn’t exercise often. He dived only occasionally, and while he owned his gear, some of it hadn’t been serviced in a while. Lenny smoked and liked to drink. At his last physical, his doctor told Lenny he had high blood pressure.

The Dive
Lenny was on a fishing trip at a local lake with some friends. The fish weren’t biting, so he ended up drinking more beer than he planned. When the group returned to the dock and unloaded their gear, Lenny stumbled and dropped his phone into the water. He wanted to jump in and look for it immediately, but the dock owners were busy with boaters who were using the dock to get supplies and fuel or to pick up passengers. The owners could also tell Lenny had been drinking and wanted to discourage him from getting in the water.

After leaving the dock and thinking about his missing phone for a few more hours — and continuing to drink — Lenny convinced one of his friends to drive him back to the lake so he could make a night dive and search for his phone. The buddy wasn’t a diver, but Lenny wasn’t worried about making the dive alone. He was confident he could find his phone in a few minutes.

The Accident
When Lenny arrived at the dock and began to assemble his dive gear, he realized he forgot his dive fins. He reasoned that wouldn’t be a problem because he didn’t expect to be swimming much anyway. He planned to walk into the water and make his way under the dock. Lenny entered the water while his buddy waited in the truck. Lenny had a dive light, although he wasn’t carrying a backup.

Like many boat docks, the bottom was littered with debris and valuables people had dropped — phones, sunglasses, coolers, cans and just about everything else. Lenny struggled to walk in the soft sediment of the lake’s bottom, but managed to trudge to the end of the pier. By then he was in 15 feet of water.

There is no way of knowing exactly what happened next because Lenny was diving without a buddy. Lenny’s friend saw him surface and wave his arms, but by the time the friend got out of the truck to help Lenny out the water, Lenny was gone. Fishermen found Lenny’s body the next day.

The autopsy showed Lenny had signs of pulmonary barotrauma and intravascular gas, which occurs when a diver ascends rapidly while holding his or her breath. Air expanding in the lungs tears a hole in the lung tissue and escapes into the bloodstream through blood vessels in the lungs. If these air bubbles enter the arterial circulation, the diver exhibits stroke-like symptoms that present almost immediately. An air bubble entering the brain will get trapped and block further blood flow. Symptoms include paralysis, loss of consciousness and cardiac arrest.

The friend theorized that Lenny panicked on the bottom for some reason and bolted for the surface, but we will never know. What is known is that he ascended rapidly without exhaling. Lenny also had a blood alcohol concentration of .17 percent — twice the legal limit for driving an automobile.

Obviously, Lenny used poor judgment, amplified by the alcohol, and paid the ultimate price. Dive accidents rarely happen for a single, simple reason. Rather, dive accidents happen when a small problem occurs that the diver is unable to cope with properly. This can happen because of lack of training, lack of experience in the particular environment, or physical conditions like intoxication. When the diver cannot react to the problem properly, panic ensues and perceptual narrowing begins. In moments, a diver progresses from a normal dive to one in which he or she thinks the only option is to bolt for the surface.

In Lenny’s case, poor judgment and intoxication were the contributing factors that led to his death. It’s likely that entanglement or something else caused him to panic, and then he forgot his training. At that point, the rest was inevitable.


1. Stay sober before a dive. You may think having one or two beers is OK, but it’s better not to take the risk. If you get in trouble, having a clear head may make the difference.

2. Don’t dive solo or attempt a search and recovery dive without proper training and equipment.

3. Practice emergency procedures so you are prepared to respond to a problem when it occurs.

4. Be smart about your diving. Nothing is worth risking your life.


“What exactly do you mean by a “Stage bottle”, “Pony Bottle”, Buddy Bottle or a “Bailout bottle”?

Is not the main purpose of any of them is to provide a separate tank of gas with its own regulator for use in an emergency?

Is your method of attaching a bottle, stage, pony, bailout or side mount connected in such a manner to allow them to be cut off in an emergency?

It has been suggested that there should not be metal-to-metal connections in that bolt snaps, even high-quality stainless-steel clips, have the potential to lock shut. Being able to cut oneself free of a stage bottle (or other item) is imperative and the best practice is that of attaching clips with something that a decent cutting device can make short work of. ;;


Wreck-A-Palooza was the National Museum of the Great Lakes (NMGL’s) 2018 shipwreck program held November 3 in Toledo. There they discussed Great Lakes and Ohio history through the loss of four extraordinary vessels identified below.

“Lake Serpent” by Carrie Sowden:
In the summer of 2018, the National Museum of the Great Lakes and the Cleveland Underwater Explorers mounted an archaeological excavation project to identify the remains of a shipwreck initially thought to be the Lake Serpent. This will be the first time these results have been discussed publicly from the archaeologists.

“Salvage Archaeology of the Black Diamond Canal Boat” by A. Sewell and J. Zink:
In February of 2016, a contractor working on the berm foundation as part of emergency dam repairs at Buckeye Lake made an unexpected discovery: large amounts of timbers that appeared to come from a boat, and not the usual old dock remains and logs he had been finding. Historical research and analysis of the timbers strongly suggest the recovered remains represent material from the wreck of the Black Diamond, a canal boat that sunk in Buckeye Lake in 1850. The wreck represents one of only a handful of historically recorded shipwrecks in Ohio that are not located in Lake Erie, and is the only canal boat wreck formally identified in the state. This paper presents an overview of the context, discovery, analysis, and interpretation of the canal boat remains and suggests avenues for further archaeological research on Ohio canal boats.

“Cornelia B. Windiate – Lake Huron Mystery Ship” by Kevin Magee:
In 1986 Paul Ehorn and John Steele made an amazing discovery off the Presque Isle, Michigan, coast. It was a pristine three-masted schooner sitting on the bottom in 180 feet of water with its name on it – the Cornelia B. Windiate. However, it was in the wrong lake and supposedly sank in Lake Michigan in December, 1875, not in Lake Huron. It was also remarkably intact and is one of the best shipwrecks of this type in the Great Lakes. In 2003 Joyce Hayward organized an archaeological survey to study and document this ship utilizing recreational technical scuba diving volunteers, one of the first projects of this magnitude. This shipwreck continues to amaze, and speculation continues on the final voyage of this remarkable vessel.

“Le Griffon – Fact vs. Fiction” by Ric Mixter:
Le Griffon became the first shipwreck in the upper Great Lakes when it vanished with a fur cargo in 1679. Since that time, fantastical stories have been made up about its loss, from native legends to yellow journalism and baseless TV news reports about the wreck’s discovery. Ric Mixter dives into the mystery behind the wreck and shares some of the most famous claims to its whereabouts- finding many times the quest is more for headlines than it is for archaeology.

When is the last time YOU thought about how to respond to finding an unconscious diver on the surface? Have you ever considered what or how to respond? How is your plan of action different for a boat, shore, or river dive? Never thought of it? If not, Why Not? Plan for the unexpected and think about what you should do in this event.

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

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