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Wreck Training in Brockville: The Gaskin June 29, 2009

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Dive Log, Shipwrecks, Technical Diving, Training.
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On July 19, 2008 8 students and 5 staff headed to Brockville for the annual wreck diving course. This course, concentrating on developing wreck penetration skills, works through 3 wrecks of progressive difficulty. The first of these, the Robert Gaskin, lies in under 70 feet of water in an area with lighter currents than some of the other wreck sites in the river. The deck is also very broken up, with lots of light and plentiful exits.

The previous Wednesday, the class had met at the shop to go through the course materials and then practice using a line and reel on land in the park across the street using the trees. Each student would lay a line between 4 or 5 trees, then reel it back in. The second time the student wore a blacked-out mask when reeling the line in so that they could do it by feel.

The students visited the wreck in buddy pairs, each pair diving it twice. Because the surface intervals were short, each had a Nitrox best mix on their backs (EAN40 on the Gaskin), to minimize Nitrogen absorption. The students were met by Andrew, who took on shuttling duties, and led to Brad and Dave, who took them through the wrecks separately (one on the port, one on the starboard) while I swam along the top to render any assistance that might be required.

One the second set of dives, once the students had laid their lines, the silt in the wreck was stirred up so that visibility would be reduced to almost nothing on the return trip. The whole process took over two hours, and by this time I was getting very low on air, and I was about to swim over to the other end of the wreck to pick up a stage bottle when Dave signalled me to take one of the students through, while he swam over the deck as safety diver. This I did, but when we  got to the other end and about to turn back, I stuck my head up through the deck and signalled Dave to hand me a tank, which he handed to me. I then clipped it on to my BC while escorting the student back the other way, feeling better that I’d be better able to help in an emergency.

Because we had a rich gas mix, and because we would ascend to around 50 feet if we were waiting for the next pair, I only needed about 5 minutes of decompression before surfacing from that long dive.

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Comments»

1. Wreck Training in Brockville: The Kinghorn « Chronicle of an older diver - July 4, 2009

[…] exercise was the same one that we did on the Gaskin, with 4 buddy teams of students arriving one at a time, with each pair ascending, switching tanks […]

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2. Out to play at Big Bay Point « Chronicle of an older diver - July 10, 2009

[…] was back to Big Bay Point, equipped with a bit of enriched air left over from diving the 3 wrecks (Gaskin, Kinghorn and Daryaw) on our wreck diving course in the St. Lawrence River near […]

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