March 2021- Newsletter

March 2021 – Newsletter

MUD Club

There are NO physical club meetings scheduled thus far for 2021.

In that we arenot able to hold physical club meetings per state rules and do not anticipate being able to continue that practice any time soon, stay tuned. You will be notified immediately when that changes.

Please continue to post your intentions for open dives on the “Michigan Underwater Divers Club Face Book” page and check in on OUR club site.

These are located at:

Remember it is vitally important to stay an active diver during this trying time whether physically diving, providing shore support, or just being present to support diving activities. And doing so while practicing good social distancing and personal hygiene practices as expected.

These activities are what keeps this club alive, active, and relevant. Once you have stopped diving or participating in any fashion, you may never start up again. Stay tuned in and get active!

Along those same lines, Dues Are DUE!

Yes, I know, we are not having regularly in person meetings but if you want to remain or be a club sustaining member it is that time of year. 

Please send you dues ($15) check to our Treasurer at the following address:

Ted Tomaszcwski, 2255 Shiawasee Ln, Stevensville, MI 49127

Club business is ongoing:

Currently our No.1# club concern is, will the Mud Club will be able to continue holding meetings in the “Price Hall Amphitheater”, on the campus of Andrews University as we have been doing since 1977. An email has been sent to our last Andrews University sponsor to determine if the club will be able to continue meeting there when the pandemic concerns have been resolved. There has been No response to our email request on that issue to date.

Other issues under review and consideration by club officers include:

The purchasing of a new supply of Mud Club patches, ball caps with the club logo, and Club T-shirts.  In addition, we had also been looking into the availability of jackets with the club logo as well as zipper sweatshirts with hoods for a long time. The cost for such items has skyrocketed since we last ordered any.

Looking forward to reinstituting Club Events when social distancing requirements have been relaxed or seriously minimized to include:  

Ecology Dive: One of the most favorite activities the club has enjoyed sponsoring and participating in has been “Ecology Dives”. The feedback so far is that “when” the pandemic issues are over we are way overdue in in having another clean up dive. The location is open. Whether that is in Niles along River View Park, the St. Joseph river along Fisherman’s Park in Benton Harbor, or Paw Paw Lake in Coloma/ Watervliet. Its possible that there is a township or community that would sponser one in their community.

“Club Members Annual Picnic’:  Summer/ Early fall, What better time to get together, greet and socialize with other club members. Did I mention that no one EVER goes away hungry? Activities have included diving &/ or kayaking before or afterward eating.

Club News Years Gathering (& Dive):  A tradition for over 44 years is getting in the last dive of the old year and the 1st dive of the new year. For the hale & hearty, or crazy depending on your viewpoint.

Club to sponsor annual training classes (initial or refresher) for First Aid, CPR, O2 Training and AED operation, and Rescue Diver for club members and interested parties.

If we have missed an issue or concern you have or believe there is something the club should consider, please drop a note to any or all club officers. We only know what people tell us and assume the rest.

Contact ANY of your elected officers:

Mary Beth Thar –              President

Amy Ailes –           V.P.

Ted Tomaszcwski –     Treasurer;

Don McAlhany –            Secretary/ Newsletter/ Club Web Site

Diving Notes:

Wolf’s Marine:  2021 OPEN House – March 20th (9-5 PM) and March 21st

Scuba Obsessed Net cast

Scuba Obsessed Net cast is the premier podcast for passionate scuba diving enthusiasts. Listen each week as our own Muddy, Darrin Jillson, obsesses over all things Scuba. They interview guests, discuss scuba diving in the news and geek out about their scuba dives past and future.                                                                          

2021 Merfest (South Haven) If you like mermaids, this is for you!

Merfest International will be heldAugust 20th-22nd, 2021 at the “Arvesta Sports Complex”, County Road 687, South Haven, Mi 49090   More information as the date approaches.

Under Current Magazine: While You Were Away — Problems in Paradise February 9, 2021

One of our contacts in the Maldives reports that the island of Maafushi, famous for local tourism, has been inundated with garbage during the decline in tourism caused by the pandemic. He says a lot of the islands are becoming like this, having no proper garbage disposal plan. So, they are simply dumping their rubbish, plastic, and all, into the once-pristine sea. Tourists are charged a Green Tax, but little of that money appears to be directed to solving the problem. It’s a crisis that’s destroying the environment.

Scuba Diving Magazine, Undercurrent Reviews Liveaboards, Dive Resorts & Dive Gear

Lessons For Life: Diver Drowns with Full Tank of Air By  Eric Douglas, September 6, 2015 Minor Issues, Major Consequences -A diver panics and drowns with a tank full of air. Miko Maciaszek

Ann and Bill were really getting into scuba diving. It was everything they had imagined it would be, and more. They were diving at a local quarry, and conditions were good overall. When they reached the platform 60 feet down, Ann noticed Bill was having trouble with his weight belt and moved in to help him out.

She did not expect it to be a problem. Fighting with the belt and his gear, Bill twisted to one side and knocked Ann’s regulator from her mouth. Things went downhill from there.

The Divers
A new diver, 24-year-old Ann was in good health. She had made 15 dives total, including four from her initial certification seven months earlier.

She tried to get to the local quarry every month to keep practicing with her dive buddy, Bill, whom she met in dive class. They had become fast friends, and Ann was happy to have a dive buddy with a similar experience level and interests. They were both excited about dive-travel opportunities and taking additional training. Both divers were using a mixture of rented and personal gear. They were buying pieces as they could afford it.

The Dive
Conditions that morning was comparable to what they had learned in. The water was cool — typical for the end of the dive season — and Ann and Bill were able to wear their normal wetsuits.

They planned to make a typical dive for the quarry. They were going to swim out to a marker buoy on the surface and then descend to a platform 60 feet down. From there, they planned to work their way into shallower water, exploring some of the sunken attractions in the quarry. They had made the same basic dive several times before.

Bottom of Form

The Accident
When Ann and Bill arrived at the platform, Ann noticed Bill was having trouble with his weight belt. He immediately kneeled on the platform, trying to get things under control.

After watching Bill struggle for a minute, Ann moved in close to try to help him out. She was getting cold from sitting still on the platform and wanted to move the dive along.

Bill’s BC was loose and moving out of place as he tried to get his weight belt buckled. Ann approached Bill just as he twisted to the side, slinging his BC around.

The sudden movement knocked Ann’s regulator from her mouth. Realizing what had happened, Bill immediately tried to help Ann recover her regulator.

 In the process of helping her, his weight belt came loose and dropped to the swim platform behind him. Bill immediately began floating toward the surface, and his weight belt was out of reach before he realized it.

He began struggling to get back to the bottom, but in the process, Bill lost a fin, and his tank came loose from his BC. He ascended all the way to the surface and was unable to descend again.

When he realized Ann was not right behind him, he signaled to the shore for help. Two nearby divers responded quickly, but they did not find Ann for 15 minutes. When they finally located her, she was unconscious, and her regulator was still out of her mouth.

On the surface, the rescuers began resuscitation efforts, but they were unsuccessful. Ann’s autopsy indicated she had drowned.

On the face of it, some might suggest that this dive accident was caused by dive equipment.  The accident was caused by the failure to properly use the equipment and respond to the problem.

In the book Scuba Diving Safety, Dr. George Harpur, medical director of the Tobermory Hyperbaric Facility in Ontario, Canada said,

 “We are not able to document a single case in which equipment failure directly caused a diver’s death or injury. It has been the diver’s response to the problem that results in the pathology.”

Every diver has had a problem with a piece of equipment at one time or another.As the saying goes, “If you haven’t had a problem, you aren’t diving enough.” The key to problem management is to respond quickly and calmly, and then move on. Losing control is the key to making a simple problem escalate into a bigger one.

Bill was growing frustrated with his weight belt, and probably a little nervous. He was so fixated on his problem that he did not see Ann coming toward him.

When she tried to help, his jerky movements knocked her regulator from her mouth. At this point, both divers were having problems, but neither problem was insurmountable. Ann could have moved back, recovered her regulator, and then signaled Bill to stop so she could help him. That did not happen.

A recurring theme in this column is the human reaction of panic.

When panic sets in, so do perceptual narrowing and tunnel vision. This limits your reactions, keeping you from calmly thinking through a problem. Ann and Bill both panicked.

Ann failed to recover her regulator (something every diver learns to do), and then failed to make an emergency ascent to the surface. Instead, she simply froze on the bottom and drowned with a mostly full supply of air on her back.

Bill panicked when he lost his weight belt, and his efforts to get back down to the bottom grew more and more erratic, causing him to lose a fin and dislodge his tank.

Many divers never practice the emergency skills they learned during their initial training. They do not review recovering a lost regulator or removing and replacing their weight belts. Both basic skills could have saved the dive, allowing both divers to continue after a brief interruption. It easily could have turned out as something to laugh about later — just a minor blip.

It is possible that Ann and Bill were using unfamiliar equipment because some of their gear was rented. When that is the case, it is even more important to take a few minutes at the beginning of the dive to review your equipment — and your buddy’s — to make sure you know where everything is located and how it works.

Ann drowned on the bottom of the quarry, with plenty of air in her scuba tank. Drowning does not always mean the person inhaled large quantities of water; often the drowning victim only inhales a teaspoon of water. This causes the larynx to spasm and close, and that involuntary reaction causes suffocation.

The autopsy did not include detailed information on Ann’s lungs, but it is possible that in her panic she inhaled a splash of water and then lost consciousness. If she had had a laryngospasm, it would have made it almost impossible for her to take a breath.

Lessons For Life

1. Practice emergency skills. Take the time to practice emergency skills regularly. This includes mask removal and replacement and regulator recovery. These basic skills can turn a potential disaster into a minor problem that will not end a dive.

2. Be familiar with your equipment. Whether you are diving with something new or with rented gear, be familiar with your equipment, and your buddy’s. Know where the weight buckles are, and how to adjust and release them.

3. Take a breath. When a problem arises, stop for a moment, and take a breath. Think about how to handle the problem, and then act. It could save your life. Lessons For Life: Diver Drowns with Full Tank of Air | Scuba Diving

REMEMBER: 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.

This entry was posted in Club Newsletter 2021, Newsletters. Bookmark the permalink.