September 2018

MUD Club

Next MeetingTuesday, September 18, 2018

Meeting starts at 7:30 p.m.

(3rd Tuesday of every month except December)

September Meeting:

Normal Meeting sequence is as follows:

  1. Introduce Visitors.
  2. Present Specific Club Information.

Finalize details for the Ecology Dive September 22

  1. Identify dive events upcoming or planned. (Dives & Road Trips)
  2. Identify & discuss diving-related news important to divers.
  3. Present any Show & Tell.
  4. Attendees speak about current diving experiences or lessons learned.
  5. Open session.

August Meeting Highlights:

There were 12 members at the meeting

There was limited discussion on current diving by members present but a goodly number of club members continue to be active during these dog days of summer as evident on the club face book site. The most frequented wrecks appear to be the Ironsides and the Havana which are reported to be buoyed but visibility on the shallower wrecks has been limited. It was previously noted that Big John is going to the dark side with a Kiss Side mount and expecting to get in some extensive quarry dive time in the near future.

For those looking for a dive buddy remember to review the SASS site for Wednesday evening dives as well as Hart City Scuba weekday dives. Check in at the MUD Club Facebook site to check on the MUD Thirsty Thursday dives.

Discussed the Safety Article on “Experienced Diver Dies Under the Ice” and could You have let this happen to YOU!

Meeting ended after Mack’s “Trivia Question”:

Other than the German Minelayer, the UC-97, what other submarine has visited Benton Harbor/ Saint Joseph MI as part of a bond drive?

Answer:  It was the Japanese mini sub HA-19 used in the Dec 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. (USN Photo)

Japanese mini sub HA-19 used in the Dec 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

As shown below it was paraded thru Benton Harbor to help sell War Bond’s on July 23, 1943. (HP Photo’s)







The Japanese Navy’s midget submarines were ~78-feet long, weighted 46-ton submerged, had a crew of two and was armed with two 450-millimeter Type 97 torpedoes with 800 pound warheads.  They could sprint up to 26 miles per hour submerged, but could not dive deeper than 300 feet. More importantly, the Type As had no engine and ran purely on batteries. This gave the diminutive vessels a maximum endurance of 12 hours at speeds of 6 miles per hour. The subs often ran out of power much faster in real combat. A larger submarine mother ship had to bring the Type As close to the target area. With the battery limitations it was unlikely the midget sub could make it back to safety. Each one had a 300-pound scuttling charge as a self-destruct device. The midgets were loaded onto the backs of five large Type C-1 submarines, the I-16, I-18, I-20, I-22 and I-24. / blog/ the -buzz/the- other -pearl-harbor -attack-nearly-everyone-forgets-about-18666 ?page=0%2C2

2018 Diver Related Events:

Thursday evening dives. As always, please keep updating the club site on Facebook for “Time & Place” for Dives.

September 22: Ecology Dive- Riverview Park, Niles, MI.

October 5-7 for the GLWC Fall Meet & Greet, at Gilboa Quarry!

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

Divers Corner:       Lessons for Life

Here you are continuing to read about many different events which resulted in a diver dying. As you read the accounts what do you see as the root cause of the drowning and ask yourself if YOU could have been one of those divers. What simple actions can help to prevent these fatal events? Prepare to talk about a couple of these events at the next dive meeting.

Pushing the Limits Leads a Diver to the Chamber

How an aggressive diving schedule and over dependence on his computer led to DCS for one diver.

By Eric Douglas – July 9, 2018

Every year during the Florida-­lobster mini season, Greg got bug fever. He had already invited friends and family over for a cookout the next day, so he needed to catch his limit — he wanted to wow them with his lobster grilling. He wasn’t having much luck ­finding good locations with legal-size lobster, though. That meant he had to keep ­diving. He wasn’t going to let ­everyone down.

The diver: Greg was 37 years old and dived ­nearly every weekend. He was in good shape and didn’t take any medications. He was experienced, with more than 10 years since his certification.

The dives: Over a 14-hour period, Greg made six dives from a private boat with a ­couple of buddies. He claimed to be using a 32 ­percent nitrox mix on all of them and used a dive computer to track his status.

His dive series included: 1) 85 feet of seawater (fsw) for 50 minutes; 2) 75 fsw for 50 minutes; 3) 75 fsw for 35 minutes; 4) 70 fsw for 50 minutes; 5) 85 fsw for 50 minutes; and 6) 70 fsw for 50 minutes.

Overall, the divers recorded four hours and 45 minutes of bottom time throughout the day, but did not record their surface intervals. Instead, they followed their computer’s recommendations. From the beginning of the first dive to the end of the last, they spent approximately nine hours and 15 minutes out of the ­water. Greg was finally done for the day and ascended to the surface for the last time at 10 p.m.

The accident: About a half an hour after Greg and his buddies made it back to the dock, he noticed a pain in his upper left arm. The pain was in both his biceps and triceps; he described it as three out of 10, with 10 being the worst pain imaginable. He thought it was probably just muscle strain from carrying tanks and his dive equipment.

The pain persisted for another half an hour, and Greg realized there might be a bigger problem. He began breathing 100 percent oxygen using a demand valve, and a friend drove him to a local hospital. The hospital happened to have a ­hyperbaric chamber.

The treating physician conducted a neurological assessment and didn’t find any problems, but the pain continued. Greg told the doctor that the pain was different than anything he had ever felt before. There was no way he could move or hold his arm that made it feel any ­better, or worse.

The doctor gave Greg a U.S. Navy ­Treatment Table 6. Two and a half hours after Greg first noticed the symptoms, he entered the hyperbaric chamber. When the nearly five-hour treatment ended, Greg’s pain was almost gone. He did have a slight burning feeling in his chest that was new, but that was attributed to the exposure to high concentrations of ­oxygen. It relieved itself later that day.

Greg’s doctor told him to wait six weeks before returning to diving. The residual arm pain lessened over a few days, and a week later, Greg realized it was gone. He has since returned to diving, although now he doesn’t do as many dives in a single day as he did the day he was hurt.

Analysis: Greg made an aggressive series of dives, but he stayed within the limits of his dive computer. He should have been fine, right?

Wrong. Dive computers are ­wonderful tools that have revolutionized the way we dive, giving us more bottom time and making it easier to plan multiple dives in a single day. However, they are simply mathematical algorithms, just like dive tables. The advantage they give is they recalculate your depth and time on a ­regular basis, essentially giving you a custom dive table every minute or so. The downside to this is dive computers cut off the ­built-in safety margin that square dive profiles on a dive table provided.

Most dive computers also do not ­analyze your heart rate, hydration level, fitness level, accumulated blood gases in your body, or any of the other factors that could contribute to decompression illness. Following them blindly, or diving aggressively using a computer, still leaves the possibility of a ­diving-related injury.

As a side note, after his treatment, Greg admitted he wasn’t sure what his breathing-gas mix had been on the day of his injury. He dived as if he were on a 32 ­percent nitrox mix, but he wasn’t analyzing each tank before each dive, so he wasn’t sure how much nitrogen he was in fact inhaling.

That is a serious mistake. Nitrox can give divers additional bottom time on ­every dive because they are ­absorbing less nitrogen with each breath. Greg put himself at risk by not analyzing the tanks. If they were filled with air, or a lower oxygen mixture, he was diving beyond the limits of his breathing gas. If they happened to be filled with a higher concentration of oxygen, he risked the possibility of an oxygen seizure.

Greg likely had a case of what is called Decompression Illness (DCI) Type 1 or Pain-Only DCI. DCI is a blanket term that includes Type 1, Type 2 Neurological DCI, and Arterial Gas Embolism. Pain-Only DCI exhibits as pain in the body, typically in the extremities and generally in joints like shoulders and elbows, that you can’t otherwise explain. It doesn’t change no matter how you move the extremity.

The doctor’s neurological assessment indicated there was no problem, so nitrogen-gas bubbles had not formed against a nerve, which would have caused numbness or tingling. In the worst cases, neurological symptoms can cause paralysis or death.

It isn’t a definitive cause of decompression illness, but most experts agree that dehydration is likely a contributing factor. Greg spent 14 hours on the water on a boat diving. He made six dives and rested between each one. Diving ­itself causes a diver to become dehydrated through immersion diuresis.

In short, water ­pressure forces blood in your ­extremities into your body core. Your ­kidneys recognize that you have too much fluid in your body and choose to eliminate it. This is why you always have to urinate when you dive. With that much time on a boat while diving, it would take a conscious effort for Greg to drink enough fluids to not be dehydrated.

On the upside, Greg did one thing ­exactly as he should have. He realized he had a pain in his arm that didn’t make sense and didn’t feel like anything he had ever felt before. It didn’t change no matter how he moved his arm. Within a half an hour of noting the pain, he was breathing 100 percent oxygen and heading to the hospital. Within two and a half hours, he was entering a hyperbaric chamber for treatment.

Statistics from Divers Alert Network say that the average wait time between symptom onset and treatment is closer to 17 hours. Most divers in this same situation would have chosen to wait until the morning to see if the pain was still there before seeking help.

Greg’s decision to seek help immediately likely helped with the rapid resolution of the problem. While still treatable the next morning, more ­insult to the body tissues would have happened, and the ­injury would have been harder to treat. / pushing limits leads to diver to chamber


When is the last time YOU practiced a “Suddenly out of air” response procedure for You or Your Buddy?

One of you discover you have no air after exhaling and attempting to inhale against malfunctioning regulator! Have you been paying attention to your dive buddy?

If you have air, you have time to think and respond to emergencies, if you don’t have air, panic will most likely instantly happen, then what? So plan for the unexpected and always carry a working alternate air supply.

Remember: ANYONE can call off a dive at any time. 

It is always OK to say “No”.

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