2023 – March 21 – Michigan Underwater Divers – Newsletter

March – “2023” – Newsletter

Next Meeting: Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Southwest Michigan Regional Airport, 1123 Territorial Rd, Benton Harbor, Mi.

Meeting starts at 7:00 p.m.

(3rd Tuesday of every month except December)

Standard Agenda:

Club President / Officer calls the meeting to order.

Club Officer asks if there are any Visitors and ask them to introduce themselves.

Gives an overview of the preceding month goings on and current Club updates.

Identify dive related events upcoming or planned. (Dives & Road Trips).

Identify & discuss any current diving-related news important to divers.

Attendees speak about current diving experiences, “lessons learned” or reinforced from a dive near miss or not!

“Show & Tell”: This is Your Opportunity to talk about or present anything you would like to share about diving. Don’t be bashful about talking about or showing off anything scuba diving related!

Last Meeting Activities:

The February meeting was called to order by the President at 7:40 with 12 members in attendance.

An overview of last meeting minutes presented, motion made to approve and passed.

Our Club Treasurer reported that only 14 members have paid their dues for 2023 and that 23 members have not yet renewed. For those who intend to continue their membership to please send their due’s to Mr. Ted Tomaszcwski at 2255 Shiawasse, Stevensville, Mi 49085. He can also be contacted at cdandwb@outlook.com if you have questions.

The next item addressed was the results of voting on changing the Mud Club meeting start time.

There was 1 vote to remain at 7:30, three votes to start at 6:30 and 14 votes to start at 7:00. Based on the vote, the new club meeting time will now be 7:00 P.M.

After the starting time change vote, there was a question asked if the club had ever considered changing the meeting day from the third Tuesday of the month to some other day or week. It was noted that some members may currently have other club or business meetings on the same evening. After a brief discussion it was determined that there were few meeting night conflicts for the current majority of members at this time to warrant a meeting day change.

Week Day Dives? There was no real consensus on the club having planned week day dives. It was mentioned that several dive shops (Hart City Scuba -Elkhart and SASS -Battle Creek) in the area do sponsor evening week day dives so they are available.

During the meetings open session Kevin Ailes shared information of his current explorations and information of on-going shipwreck hunts and finds.

And the meeting ended with another challenging diver 10 question Q&A by Amy. Its amazing what you do and do not remember about diving and scuba related local trivia.

Meetings?  Please tell us What do You want to see or hear that would encourage you to come to the monthly meetings?   I want to see ?,   I want to hear about ?,   I want to talk about ? What does it take to get you into the water ? and how can we “other” divers help! Make SURE YOU drop us a line and provide that important feedback, remember that active members make the club active.

Club Cards:  We have a new batch so if your needing some and cannot get to a meeting let us know. The cards come in handy to pass out to interested spectators when they see us out diving. It provides them a specific point of reference if they ever have a need for a diver or want to get together with another divers. For those challenged by distance, like our MUD Club member in Alaska, drop a line to us on muddydiver@aol.com to request a few.

Member Information Update: As mentioned before, If you have moved, have a new phone number or need to update emergency contact names, please send the Secretary – Jim Scholz – jescholz@yahoo.com a “signed” updated list and we will attach them to your activity waivers. If you do not remember signing one, let the secretary know and one can be sent to you to update.

Remember to Plan Your Dive, Dive Your Plan, Critique Your Dive

Just a reminder that the club has a First Aid kit, Emergency O2, Portable AED, Throw bag, HD Life vest (not inflatable) Save a dive kit, and recall flag available to club members if you are out and about and doing a remote area dive with friends.

If you have a diver emergency, it may or may not involve the need for recompression, the first step is to ALL WAYS call/ activate EMS – DIAL 911!.   The best option is always to use the best locally available medical services.A differential diagnosis comes first. Not everything that can happen to a diver warrants hyperbaric treatment.  If you suspect a diver has a dive-related injury you should safely: Monitor airway, breathing, circulation & provide 100 percent oxygen if you are a trained oxygen provider while waiting for EMS. ABSOLUTLY Call the DAN Emergency number +39 06 4211 8685 for consultation and advice.

MUD Club Potluck Picnic. No plans yet but remember many hands make light work and volunteer to help when the opportunity arises.

Did I mention “Show & Tell”?  Now I mean diving show and tell. How about sharing what you find while grubbing but bring it in for other s to see and maybe peak their interest to find something themselves. So, bring those interesting bits and bottles and let enjoy your finds also. What have “You” got to share?

Open session.

Its already past the IDES of March and it’s time to start getting your dive gear checked out. Or some of you, you know who you are, your dive gear must be found first- so get to tracking it down! Get those annual Visual Inspections done early and send out those tanks needing the 5-year Hydrostatic Tests. Do it now and beat the rush.

We anticipate lots of information on the success of Last months “Great Lakes Shipwreck Festival” from those attending.

Hope to see YOU at the next Mud Club Meeting!

Comments – Questions – Concerns?  Drop a line to muddydiver@aol.com and let us know!

Lessons for Life

A Case of Caustic Cocktail


  • An assisted diver on a closed-circuit rebreather (CCR)  
  • Diving with friends on what should have been a regular recreational tech dive 
  • Miscommunication with crew caused an issue with the unit 

Reported Incident

A diver with ample experience on his CCR unit, is a disabled veteran, and dives with assistance. While diving with friends, the vessel had a new crew that were not yet trained on the proper handling of their equipment. The diver explained to the crew member their need of assistance – completing their pre-dive checklist and pre-breathe obligation while making way, then when in the water a crew member would pass the rebreather to the diver.

When the new crew member was asked to hand them the rebreather, the diver noticed the crew member was letting the hoses drag on the boat while bringing it over. After making the final checks, the group proceeded with the dive. During descent, the affected diver took in a breath at 33 fsw (10 msw) and immediately noticed something was wrong and called the dive. The diver reports that they believe they inhaled a caustic cocktail.

The diver explained that they couldn’t talk for about 30 minutes once back onboard, and that their throat was burning for a few days. The diver did not seek any medical attention or physician follow up but did refrain from diving for six consecutive days and had their equipment fully serviced before diving again.

The diver thinks the hose might have come unattached at some point but that it did not fill with water until they were significantly submerged.


Rebreathers are packed with a scrubber material to remove the carbon dioxide from exhaled gas. When water mixes with this material a chemical reaction produces a highly concentrated caustic soda, better known to rebreather divers as “caustic cocktail”. This can be dangerous if inhaled or ingested.

Pre-dive checklists for rebreathers are essential in making sure the unit is functioning properly before the dive, as there are a number of considerations to diving with a rebreather. Water entering the canister which houses the scrubbing material can occur in many different ways, from something as simple as not closing the breathing loop to something more severe like a leak or disconnection.

The reporting diver reports completing their checklist and did not mention any other abnormalities or other factors. The decision to call the dive and refrain from diving was one made from experience, as any delay in treatment or further exertion could have led to a much more serious incident.


The first aid treatment for ingestion of caustic soda is to immediately flush repeatedly with water, preferably freshwater, but seawater is still effective if freshwater is unavailable. Doing so helps to reduce contact time of the caustic soda and dilute any residual solution, minimizing harm.

Crew members working dive charters should be properly trained in the handling of diver’s equipment should they need to intervene for emergencies or assist divers as needed while onboard the vessel.

Communication is important when working with divers that need assistance and buddy checks and proper briefings should be completed with those providing assistance as well as the buddies going diving.

Home > Safety & Prevention > Diver Safety > Incident Insights > Diving Incident Reports > A Case of Caustic Cocktail© DAN, Inc. All rights reserved.


There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it.

It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence.

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