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Author Topic: Freediving Safety Course  (Read 822 times)

Offline charlierobinton

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Freediving Safety Course
« on: January 31, 2019, 09:16:11 PM »
Thought I would share this free safety course that Ted Harty published online. It is a great reminder on the safest way to buddy dive and an intro to blackout/LMC rescue. All you have to do is enter your email and create a login. Took me about an hour to go through the content and it is definitely worth it. Below is the link.

https://freedivingsafety.com/

I would love to know peoples opinions on Ted's buddy method, and who (if anyone) is currently diving this way. Not calling anyone out at all because I'm just as guilty as the next guy, but I have yet to meet another diver who sticks next to me the whole time and is at the surface within arms reach when I come up. But then again, neither am I. Definitely something to consider.

Offline Sir Rob IV

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Re: Freediving Safety Course
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2019, 08:45:43 AM »
It is a great method, and should be adhere to whenever possible. The problem here is visibility, it is very difficult, even with a float line to follow your friend during his dive. With deep dives I will usually try and stick as close as possible to my partner and follow with one up and one down. The one up, one down I feel is the best way we can dive safely with low visibility. Let your partner dive, during this start your breath up, watch him surface for 30 seconds to a minute then take your turn. It is very important to observe your partner at the surface for a bit because a black out can happen after they resurface.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 08:53:10 AM by Sir Rob IV »

Offline ImmersionFD

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Re: Freediving Safety Course
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2019, 07:45:16 AM »
Thanks so much for sharing freedivingsafety.com

Just yesterday I added a new section discussing how to provide safety in bad viz. I had several students ask questions on how to deal with this, so I added a new section.I don't need to tell you guys that plenty of people dive where their buddy goes out of visibility.

I will also be adding a new section today or tomorrow on the dangers of hyperventilation.

Offline brysny

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Re: Freediving Safety Course
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2019, 10:01:44 PM »
Thanks for all the effort to put together a great course and sharing it with the community.

The tips for diving in poor visibility were helpful and certainly a real issue in our waters (I mostly dive Sonoma county, sometimes mendocino) where an astounding day is 20 ft vis but its often 5-10ft and plenty of days where I went out and it was hard to see the tip of the spear without a light.  Tracking the float line at the surface works, but wondering what everyone's thoughts are on how to protect your buddy if they black out under water.  Seems common that the floatline is just attached to the gun, which means an SWB would likely leave the diver drifting away from their gun and therefore hard to find or even know if they are in trouble.  When doing freediving for depth in the past I've used a lanyard, but never with a speargun or polespear.  Has anyone ever rigged an easy 'tear off' velcro lanyard to their float line?

Bryan

Offline Rob102

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Re: Freediving Safety Course
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2019, 04:57:06 AM »
Blackouts underwater are rare.  Maybe 10% happen underwater.  Recovering or locating a blackout victim underwater prior to them drowning in poor visibility conditions is highly unlikely.  The most effective way would be to follow the floatline.  In the absence of a floatline, or if the unconscious person releases their speargun you would have to search for them.  Depending on depth, current and other factors, recovery could be a couple minutes after the initial blackout.  With no way to perform CPR in the water should it be necessary, rescue may be unlikely.


If this is really a concern to you I can make two recommendations:

One, get a freedive recovery vest.

Two, don't dive in murky conditions.

Offline bythog

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Re: Freediving Safety Course
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2019, 12:54:31 PM »
When I took my course one of the recommendations for diving in murky water was planning and sticking to that plan.

For example, both divers on the surface agree on a heading and time under water. Diver 1 says, "I'm heading in this direction for this many seconds, then surface." Diver 2 agrees, and MEETS the first diver in that location. Both divers have to stick to this; if the diver underwater sees another fish swim off into the distance, he does NOT follow. He must stick to the surface plan.

This by no means ensures safety but does help reduce complications from a surface blackout. It also requires constant communication at the surface.

Offline charlierobinton

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Re: Freediving Safety Course
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2019, 02:59:40 PM »
Something I do when practicing staying close to my buddy in murky water is follow the floatline with my eyes and do my best to stay on top of the point where the floatline vanishes into the murk. Usually I can tell if my buddy is moving, has stopped, is changing direction and if he is returning to the surface by watching this point. I won't say it puts me within arms reach when he surfaces but close enough so that I can be there within a few kicks.

Offline Sir Rob IV

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Re: Freediving Safety Course
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2019, 03:02:39 PM »
When I took my course one of the recommendations for diving in murky water was planning and sticking to that plan.

For example, both divers on the surface agree on a heading and time under water. Diver 1 says, "I'm heading in this direction for this many seconds, then surface." Diver 2 agrees, and MEETS the first diver in that location. Both divers have to stick to this; if the diver underwater sees another fish swim off into the distance, he does NOT follow. He must stick to the surface plan.

This by no means ensures safety but does help reduce complications from a surface blackout. It also requires constant communication at the surface.
Although a great plan, it seems to rigid to me. Last thing I want is a restriction on dive time I have to worry about. Rob brings up a very good point about the 10% of BO happen under water. Also the only true safe way to dive is with a recovery vest as mentioned by him. A lot of guys use them down south even in the kelp. I believe Big Jim has one or used one for a bit, if anyone is curious about it.

Offline bythog

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Re: Freediving Safety Course
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2019, 04:22:06 PM »
When I took my course one of the recommendations for diving in murky water was planning and sticking to that plan.

For example, both divers on the surface agree on a heading and time under water. Diver 1 says, "I'm heading in this direction for this many seconds, then surface." Diver 2 agrees, and MEETS the first diver in that location. Both divers have to stick to this; if the diver underwater sees another fish swim off into the distance, he does NOT follow. He must stick to the surface plan.

This by no means ensures safety but does help reduce complications from a surface blackout. It also requires constant communication at the surface.
Although a great plan, it seems to rigid to me. Last thing I want is a restriction on dive time I have to worry about. Rob brings up a very good point about the 10% of BO happen under water. Also the only true safe way to dive is with a recovery vest as mentioned by him. A lot of guys use them down south even in the kelp. I believe Big Jim has one or used one for a bit, if anyone is curious about it.

90% of blackouts happen at the surface, yes, which is why it's great to be within arm's reach if at all possible. Someone who blacks out on the surface and goes face-first into the water is in trouble. It is true that it is rigid, but it's for terrible dive conditions with low visibility. I do agree that other methods can be employed, especially if in addition to this, which is why I dive with a float line, hi-vis weights, and avoid the water during terrible conditions. A fish isn't worth my life if planning can prevent it.

Offline brysny

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Re: Freediving Safety Course
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2019, 07:52:00 PM »
Really good info!  If only about 10% of blackouts are at depth, then it seems like making things any more complicated with more gear doesn't make that much sense.  Its inherently a risky sport and everyone certainly has to make their own choices of where to set their risk tolerance.  That said, all this good info is sort of 'free' risk reduction in that you don't have to give up much to be a significantly safer diver.

In terms of staying home on the murky days, some times I just need a break from life and have to get out and get wet.  There's been days where I left the gear clipped to the float and just dropped down thru the murk and hung out on the bottom to watch all the amazing little critters going about life in the ocean.

Offline ImmersionFD

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Re: Freediving Safety Course
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2019, 10:41:19 AM »
As many have stated 90% of the blackouts happen at the surface with 9% between the surface at 15ft.

If you are properly weighted, if you had a blackout between 15ft and the surface you would end up still on the surface.

Unfortunately, many freedivers and spearfisherman are overweighted so that when they blackout they sink to the bottom.  WIth murky water and bad buddy procedures, this is pretty much a guaranteed fatality.   If you were properly weighted and ended up a surface with buddy nearby this is fixable.

Here is a simple test to make sure you are not overweighted.  While on the surface do a relaxed exhalation like a sigh.  That is exactly how much air you would exhale if you had a blackout out.  Once you do a relaxed exhalation don't move your feet and don't move your hands.  If you sink then you now know you would end up on the bottom of the ocean if you blacked out.  Take off weight until you can pass what I call the surface safety test.

I've added many new lectures to the course at www.freedivingsafety.com, I recently added one on the dangers of hyperventilation.

There is a quiz in the course and if you pass the quiz you will get emailed discount codes from 8 freediving and spearfishing companies. I'm trying to bribe people into learning about safety.









« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 10:44:16 AM by ImmersionFD »

Offline TheKeeneroo

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Re: Freediving Safety Course
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2019, 11:30:55 AM »

I've added many new lectures to the course at www.freedivingsafety.com, I recently added one on the dangers of hyperventilation.

There is a quiz in the course and if you pass the quiz you will get emailed discount codes from 8 freediving and spearfishing companies. I'm trying to bribe people into learning about safety.


This is rad!
"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward

Eric, Pacific Grove
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Offline LeonelNi

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Re: Freediving Safety Course
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2019, 05:25:55 AM »
This actually put a grin on my face. What a great idea. haha

Offline Fishfood707

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Re: Freediving Safety Course
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2019, 02:08:49 PM »
Im going to look into it. In such a dangerous sport safety tip can go along way.

 

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