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Man dies on his first certified dive – at 155 feet October 6, 2008

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Emergencies.
Tags: , ,

This sad event reported in the La Jolla Light (near San Diego). A man on his first certified dive, diving with his son, ran out of air at 155 feet. He then shared air with his son until that tank ran out at 40 feet, whereupon his son bolted to the surface and survived without symptoms, though hospitalised as a precaution. The father didn’t make it and was found after an extensive search.

Needless to say this sounds like an entirely preventable loss of life. Basic Open Water certification these days is limited to 60 feet, and most dive professionals would recommend to take it easy at first, or dive with a guide.

The deepest I’ve been on single tank scuba is 150 feet, and that was around my 180th dive and for about 30 seconds, with a divemaster buddy I trust hovering 10 feet above me, and plenty of air in my tank. Going that deep with that little experience is just crazy, but there may have been other circumstances not reported in the article that might make this death seem not quite so senseless.

My sympathies to his family.



1. Is Scuba Diving Dangerous? « Chronicle of an older diver - October 8, 2008

[…] be spent on discussing the risks of Scuba in beginner courses. Perhaps there should be. Maybe the death at 155 feet of a newly certified diver in La Jolla, California would have been avoided if that were […]


2. Jeff - October 9, 2008

Doesn’t sound like this guy was too bright. 155 feet? That must have been an accident as common sense would have dictated a dive a lot shallower.

The deepest I ever went was 140 feet, and that was an accident that I quickly corrected.


3. deepstop - October 9, 2008

It doesn’t sound that way, I agree. It will be interesting to see what further investigation turns up, if that’s ever published. It might well appear in the DAN report for 2008.


4. Diving in the News, Oct 27, 2012 « Chronicle of an older diver - October 27, 2012

[…] A La Jolla, California diver died in hospital after losing consciousness on a boat dive. It seems that everything that could have been done was done to save him. The cause appeared to be a medical problem, and the diver appeared to be over 40. From the news at least it seems that the most common cause of death among divers is medical problems with older divers. Fitness would clearly be a good thing, but so might better training and skills. Diving should be relaxing, not physically stressful. I’ve reported on fatalities in La Jolla before. A solo diver died there in September, and a man died on his first solo dive at 155′ a few years back. […]


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