September 2013

 “MUD Club”

Next Meeting: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Andrews University, Biology Amphitheater, Price Hall, Berrien Springs, MI

Meetings start @ 7:30 p.m. 
(Every 3rd Tuesday of every month except December)

September Meeting:

 Welcome visitors, present club information & general dive related news, identify upcoming dive

related events, present any Show & Tell, discuss current diving experiences & lessons learned, then Open Session.

Specific items for comment since last meeting:

* MUD club picnic was Saturday, August 24, in Niles Michigan at River Side Park with a river drift dive afterward.   Thanks to those who participated and extra thanks to those bringing grills.

Cheboygan Trash, Treasure & Wreck Diving Weekend was September 6 thru 8th.  Wrecks dove included the Cedarville, Stalker, Sandusky, Saint Andrew, Jenny Lynn, and rubble wrecks the Genesse Chief, Leviathan, and Islander. Grubbing was performed in Duncan Bay and the Cheboygan River.

* West Michigan U/W Preserve presents at “Shipwrecks & Technology” on October 19 at the Spring Lake Holiday Inn. Details at

* Those who have used dive gear please let Mac know what the items are with a price list – people have been asking

Overview of August Meeting highlights:

There were 17 members in attendance at last month’s meeting and 1 visitor. Treasure report identified we are still solvent.  Most of the meeting involved discussing dive related events on wrecks or in local lakes to include City of Green Bay, Ironsides, Ann Arbor #5, Havana, Muskegon, and inland lakes which included Gull Lake at both the Parrieville & Ross Township parks, Eagle Lake, and many river dives in Niles.  Referenced SASS Wednesday dives end in August, that the Havana & Ironsides are buoyed, and Wolfs annual flea market is set for September 14 (Saturday).

Summer is almost over so if You are NOT diving, what’s WAS Your excuse? 

 Lessons Learned: 

Omitted Predive Buoyancy Check Leads to Trouble

Scuba diver survives a life-threatening hazard caused by the omission of the pre-dive buoyancy check.  Reported Story.  The diver is a 51-year old male, measuring 71 inches tall and weighing 270 pounds. His dive experience consisted of 72 lifetime dives up to a maximum depth of 120 fsw. He considered his skill level as intermediate. He reported an incident that occurred on a wreck dive while using a dry suit and compressed air.   Here is his report.

I failed to do a buoyancy check before the dive, and immediately it became obvious that I was over weighted as I entered the water. I tried to swim directly down to the wreck instead of going to the front of the boat and descending along the line that was fixed to it. I got swept in the current and dropped to the bottom away from the wreck. The other divers could not find me. I eventually made a safe ascent, did my safety stop, and all was OK.

A look at the log below shows that I started sinking rapidly. I was at 77 feet one minute into the dive. I added air but began ascending too quickly. My computer issued a rapid-ascent warning at about 60 feet. I started venting but continued ascending until about 45 feet, then I started sinking again. I reached 98 feet in four minutes.

At this point, I was able to see the bottom and look around. I swam over to the wreck and grabbed on so that I wouldn’t be swept away by the current while gathering my thoughts. At five minutes into the dive I was at the bottom at a depth of 102 feet. I hung out there for about five minutes, assessing the situation; then I started swimming toward the shoal, which gradually rises to 60 feet. I noticed the line going up and reached it at about 12 minutes; I followed it up to about 43 feet below the surface. I stayed there for a few minutes to off-gas somewhat. Trying to get my buoyancy right, I was up and down the line a bit until I decided to go for the surface at about 17 minutes. I started ascending too quickly, vented and dropped down to 60 feet. The rest of the dive is up and down, trying to stay down long enough to get my three minutes at 10 feet.

Expert Comment:  
Buoyancy problems are often the root cause of diving incidents. In this case, the diver was at risk of barotrauma due to the rapid ascent, running out of air due to frequent adjustments of the buoyancy vest, overexertion, drowning and decompression sickness. Fortunately, the situation resolved without injury. The need to practice buoyancy-control skills regularly and conduct a predive buoyancy test whenever a new configuration of equipment is used cannot be overstated.

Full article can be found at:


This entry was posted in Club Newsletter 2013, Newsletters and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.