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Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#1  Postby taeivon » Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:42 pm

Hi all, just to share this piece of news off the Singapore Forum regarding this fateful accident.
Apparently it's due to strong down current.


Any guys have any similar experiences like this in Bali or elsewhere?


I'm heading to Bali come October for Mola Mola too... Gives me the jitters now...




Regards,
Gary
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#2  Postby Steven Wong » Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:53 pm

Hello Gary,


Yes, I was nearly caught in the so called "washing machine" type of current while diving at Toyapakeh dive site, Lembongan Bali.
Crystal Bay has similar current due to the fact that both Toyapakeh & Crystal Bay are located at the point where 3 currents from different direction meet?
An experience local DM from Bali is extremely important when diving at Lembongan, Bali as they understand current or sudden surge in the area.
Crystal Bay is also the place where most Mola-Mola can be seen!


Happy diving,
Steven
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#3  Postby Fubar » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:50 pm

Yes and do take note about crystal bay.

the mola mola can be seen either in shallow ( if you are lucky ) or most likely deep around 30m+. However, please follow your DM carefully as he would need to go more than 30m+ to check on the mola whereabout. If you can't see it then dont worry, you can go back the next day if time permit.

while at crystal bay, do try to stick to the corals and wear a glove!

the undercurrent can be nasty and sudden.

cheers and dont worry! just remember all these and it will be a fun dives!

best of luck with the mola-mola

p.s : manta rays at the cleaning station are awesome too! get your camera ready
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#4  Postby suhaimi » Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:46 am

bersimpati ngan kehilangan diver pompuan dari thailand ni....

saya mmg rekomen sesapa yang nak gi Crystal Bay mesti ada byk experience... sekurang2nya 50 logged dive....

dapatkan nasihat dari local DM yang arif disana... klu keadaan tidak mengizinkan, abort dive...

:$
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#5  Postby suhaimi » Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:22 am

dipetik dari sumber www.forumselam.com;


 
Quote: Hi everyone, I was at that freak current dive myself. NOT to frighten everyone here, but just to share my experience during that dive.

That faithful Saturday morning, at crystal bay I saw the bay was almost crowded with about 30 speed boat. 5 of us with 1 very experience instructor did our backroll into the water and prepare to decend in the bay and start our hunt for Mola Mola. There was some surface swirling of waves but the bottom was calm.

The hunt for Mola Mola begins here. We follow our instructor down the channel and head towards the reef on the right around 20+ meters. The instructor told us to stop and he went out to see if Mola Mola is at the cleaning station. After awhile, He bang his tank and signal us that he spotted the Mola. All of us happily decend to about 35meters to see. Some divers even go deeper just to catch a good view of the Mola which is roughly at about 50+ meters.

About a few mins later, our instructor told us to move back near the reef as he can feel some current coming in head on. So I followed his instruction and head back to the reef. Just before reaching, the current came so suddenly that I can see divers flying around. I quickly hold on to the reef to prevent from being swap away, at this point I was at about 25meters. There came the freaking down current, I had to use 1 hand holding on to the rock and the other hand holding on to my camera. After about 30-40 sec, the current die down. I quickly move up to the shallower water to 7 meters. Again the down current just came again, this time was even stronger and I was push down to 15 meters. I struggle not to be push down even further and holding on to the reef again. So after awhile the current again die down and I had to climb up the reef using my hands and finning at the same time. Once I reach the top of the reef which is about 7 meters, the down current came in again but I managed to hold on to the reef.

Soon, the current die down and I grab this chance to surface as soon as possible. Once I was out of water, I can see lots of speed boat waiting for us at the surface preparing to pick us up. I got onto my dive boat and heard about this Thai diver being lost.

I heard from the dive center that the operator which had lost the diver send out 6 speed boat and 1 heli to seach for the diver but cant find her.

This is from my own experience on crystal bay.
 
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#6  Postby suhaimi » Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:26 am

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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#7  Postby nglg212 » Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:03 am

RIP...:( really have to be very careful and alert all the time especially to the certain depth.....dive safely....
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#8  Postby Narco » Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:54 am

My condolence. Fellow divers, please dive safely and be alert all time. There is no such thing as recreational diving.
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#9  Postby cd » Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:56 pm

To all divers out there,
What a sad incident..

Yes, as what everyone has mentioned previously, just to be more careful and to follow local DM's instructions and follow closely to your DM when diving, do not go too deep without permission from your DM.

I encountered once that a female diver from china, she is good at swimming and diving. She dived alone far deeper as compared to our whole group of divers, swam like a dolphine. Although alerted by our instructor / DM a few times, she kept on doing that... very stubborn.
Luckily, nothing happened... it's a fun dive anyway. But i just felt like she was making everyone worried about her... (don't ever do that...).
I was one of the divers who follow closely to our DM because i was just a newly certified diver at that time.
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#10  Postby reztitan » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:06 am

cd certainly a lot of cowboy divers around.

Just wish to know some opinions from all the sifus here. In that situation, do you still try to locate your buddy or DM ? or try to make it up the surface asap?
Last edited by reztitan on Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#11  Postby suhaimi » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:16 am

susah mau cakap bro reztitan, nama pun 'incident'... i juz called my friends from Bali... the incident happen caused by down current... bukan selalu terjadi hal down current ni... kdg2 sebaik lepas sahaja terjadi downcurrent, laut jadi tenang.. vis pun cantik....
down current ni mmg mengerikan... especially bila current bawa u turun 20m dalam 2-3 saat... atau bawa u naik balik 20-30m dalam beberapa saat... disini berlakunya DCS.... atau lung overexpansion injuries....
mmg tak sempat nak cari DM dlm masa 2-3 saat.... nak naik atas pun belum tahu lagi... samada boleh atau tidak... kadang2 x de peluang pun nak naik atas... atau buleh naik atas lepas tu terus kena DCI....
teman2 saya di Bali pun kadang terpaksa berpaut dan naik keatas mcam spiderman...
selalunya dive leader akan turun dulu, tinjau keadaan keselamatan dibawah... klu arus ok, dan ada kemungkinan mola2 berada di spot tu, baru di ajak diver lain turun...
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#12  Postby suhaimi » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:23 am

sebab tu kalau diving di Crystal Bay atau Manta Point di Bali saya prefer rakan2 dive dengan company yang betul2 jaga safety, bertanggungjawab dan punya experienced.....

ramai yang pergi Bali, ambil dive guide yang tidak attached dgn mana2 company...
diving di Bali memang dah murah... kenapa perlu nak cari lagi murah sehingga kita abaikan isu safety dll....

[-(
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#13  Postby pummkin » Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:40 pm

I can't stress more about how dangerous this dive site is. Let me say this again, Crystal Bay in Nusa Penida is not a place even for the experienced diver to dive. The risk getting in & out of the water is too great. There were 29 boats there that day. So many divers have died in that dive site. When I was there, the water & sea condition was so rough, there was no way of assuring our safety back onboard. There were 3 instructors, 2 DMs, 2 leisure divers on our boat but it was the Indonesian instructor who made the call to abort the dive BEFORE we even entered the water. The waves were so high, when it hit the cliffs, it shot up a further 3metres. The volume of water being thrown about is what causes the 'current' that you experience underwater. Both sides of the cliffs were 'weathered' by these waves that they were concaved into an almost perfect half cylinder. These are rocks, mind you, and for them to be concave, the water has got to be pretty violent.


There are plenty of beautiful dive sites in Bali & I won't risk my life & equipment in search of the Mola Mola. The choice is yours.
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#14  Postby SR » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:30 pm

Just back from diving in Bali with my wife and friends...

We dived at Nusa Penida on the 18th of August which was 5 days after the fateful incident and the incident was the talk of town then.
On our day there the sky was clear and blue but the waves were really choppy. Due to currents we decided to dive at the Manta Point 2 first then only at crystal bay. I must say that despite my 400 plus dives, the dives at these two locations were among the toughest dives I have ever experienced!

Waves, surge, down currents, up currents, very cold thermocline (18 degrees) all made these 2 dives especially difficult.

We had 2 dive masters for the 7 of us.... the first DM vomited after the first dive (apparently his first time in 14 years) and the second DM was exhausted and was struggling to even climb up the boat after the second dive. The rest of us just flopped on the floor of the boat when we managed to climb back on.It was really really tough! My wife who has more than 300 plus dives under her belt has swore not to go back to Nusa Penida!!!

So for those of you contemplating to dive there...do understand that this is a very tough and dangerous site....
(But of course there are good days as two days before my dive there, the waters were apparently very calm though very cold)
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#15  Postby run » Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:41 pm

This month is august. I am not sure whether all divers aware that Bali is also a surfer's paradise and what surfers
love the most is big waves and good strong winds. It is something to do with swell. Big waves hit bali from July-Sept. During this season the hotels and other sea sports cost get expensive. By right during this season, big waves and strong currents will hit bali.
Not to mentioned the thermocline below 20C.As for us divers , it is the Mola-mola season. The easiest time to watch mola-mola. During this time they will surface to the shallower depths.

divers can look at the local forecast surfing charts to determine and plan your dive .
it doesn't mean that you cant dive. It just for you to prepare yourself on any outcome.
http://www.stormsurfing.com/cgi/display.cgi?a=bali

To the divers that never been to Bali before, this incident is nothing for you to worry about except for these divers

1) within 30min the air reach 80-100 bar
2) unstable bouyancy
3) always before every dive feel uncertain about what he or she is going to do

Reason 1
It is because at the Mola-mola center the temperature is cold. Cold environment makes us breath even harder.
If in malaysia with a temperature 28C , you dived reach 80-100bar so just imagine what it will be like diving
in a 18C -23C would do to you? You will breath even harder.

Reason 2
How to determine you are a yo-yo diver with unstable bouyancy, check your dive comp. See your profile. If 1 min you
are at 20meter and the 1 min you are at 15meter and then 25 meter.Just imagine with the help of such great currents in bali, would  do to you? This is when you will be needing the help of your BCD purging system. Mind you , playing with the purge will effect your air in your tank.

Reason 3
there are divers who force themselves to love diving. Some of them admit to congquer their fears. Some say want to find new hobby. A few of them always feel uncertain before they taking the plunge.
So when this uneasy feeling has disturbed your emotions before you enter the water, doyou think you are prepared
to counter any panic attack underwater?

I dived bali with a friend who was less than 30 dives. Eventhough we doesn't have any wide experience in currents or such condition in bali but everything went smooth for us.

I will say this is the best time to own yourself a glove. I myself had a few enjoying moments having to grip
myself to the corals againts the currents. Yes we love corals and we dont want to destroy corals but i have only
1 life and i want to keep it.

The mola-mola cleaning station at the crystal bay located a few meters away from the point where the boat docks.
You will descend and then swim a few meter to that location. The depth is about 15m-25m.
Swimming to that point is where we are troubled with currents.

The Bali DM are all trying their best to full fill their customer needs. Their customer wants to see Mola-mola and this
is what they will offer. I remembered when my DM fighting against the currents to chase the mola-mola until 25meter
while i just at the back looking and my gauge, knowing that i have breath harder than my usual pace. I didn't bother
to chase the mola-mola. Thank goodness a few dives afterwards i get to see them.

Bear in mind the mola-mola physical appearance almost resemble a trigger fish. Every diver knows how swift the
trigger fish can be. Chasing them will do you no good.

Other infos about bali. Check out the time of spring, fall, winter, summer time.
It has something to do with the waves and currents too
http://www.surfline.com/travel/index.cfm?id=2169
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#16  Postby Narco » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:03 pm

Nusa Penida.. sounds scary to me now..
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#17  Postby SR » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:22 pm

Narco..... I believe that the dives there generally are safe but its difficult to predict when bad things happen and we must be prepared. When I was there, I was prepared for deep and cold but the waves and surge and up and down currents really caught me by surprise.
I was wearing a 3mm long plus a 3 mm shorty plus a 3mm hooded vest ( 9mm at chest area) but when I hit the termocline I found that I was hyperventilating. But I guess underwater I was still coping and was still okay despite the currents. I surfaced after about 25 minutes of the first dive but the waves, surface currents and the surge was really horrendous that day and I struggled like mad to reach the boat. Unlike with my previous dives where the boats will try to come near you, our boat made no such effort due to the waves and the surge and I had to swim about 300metres to the boat through all the waves and the surge. At times despite paddling very hard I felt that I was not getting anywhere. I was thoroughly exhausted by the time we reached the boat. Even while trying to get on the boat, the waves were bashing us against the sides of the boat.
Be prepared for the worse and if the sea turns out fine then you would have had a lovely dive.... if not, well you were at least prepared :)
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#18  Postby Narco » Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:02 am

SR, it does sounds like a challenging site. I guess u r rite. Lets hope for the best n prepare for the worse.  It's good that u guys r sharing. At least it gives a much clearer picture for those who intend to take a plunge into this mysterious site.
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#19  Postby Giladivers » Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:46 pm

SR wrote:Narco..... I believe that the dives there generally are safe but its difficult to predict when bad things happen and we must be prepared. When I was there, I was prepared for deep and cold but the waves and surge and up and down currents really caught me by surprise.
I was wearing a 3mm long plus a 3 mm shorty plus a 3mm hooded vest ( 9mm at chest area) but when I hit the termocline I found that I was hyperventilating. But I guess underwater I was still coping and was still okay despite the currents. I surfaced after about 25 minutes of the first dive but the waves, surface currents and the surge was really horrendous that day and I struggled like mad to reach the boat. Unlike with my previous dives where the boats will try to come near you, our boat made no such effort due to the waves and the surge and I had to swim about 300metres to the boat through all the waves and the surge. At times despite paddling very hard I felt that I was not getting anywhere. I was thoroughly exhausted by the time we reached the boat. Even while trying to get on the boat, the waves were bashing us against the sides of the boat.
Be prepared for the worse and if the sea turns out fine then you would have had a lovely dive.... if not, well you were at least prepared :)



SR...is a very tough dives for us but we have manage it. I am sure i will be back again to see to see the Mola...
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#20  Postby scubasafety » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:16 pm

Disinformation is not a good thing !!

When one reads a forum you normally see some differing views however in this case there is a lot of misinformation together with some clear and obviously misleading information. The facts are that this means that people do not get informed with what they really should know about. As such for what it is worth here are some points of view.

The diving in the Lembongan Area ranges from relaxed and mellow to completely beyond most people's capabilities is the wrong place and time of the day are chosen. Time of year as well as where the tide cycle sits is "always" a factor. Additionally so is the desperate need for just about all divers to see a Mola Mola with the latter it seems always leading to the ever perplexing question as to whether to do the dive or not.

Nusa Penida's prime spot for diving for Mola Mola used to be called Blue Corner or later Jurassic Point for obvious reasons with the latter name. The ideal time is during the Equinox and there you will see many global names such as National Geographical and others of note all chasing footage of Mola Mola. However ... If you read the Dive Guide written by Tim Rock (Well known writer with a lot of experience of this area diving wise) you will come across a comment regarding this spot. Quote: This will be the best, worst or last dive you will ever do, or words to that effect! In other words is can be a very trecherous dive indeed for the unprepared or inexperienced.

Crystal Bay however is a very resasonable dive is the operators is a good one. Clearly many of the descriptions in the article show that some of the operators were at best unprepared or at worst simply dangerously negligent. Dives in Crystal Bay should be pretty relaxing otherwise they should not take place as with any other dive spot in general. If however you are desperate for the money as an operator then perhaps you dive anyway! We do not know with this one and probably need to wait for the next DAN accident report to read the reality. If the conditions within the Bay were not acceptable then the dive should have been aborted. If the conditions were acceptable then this leads onto the second problem. At the mouth of Crystal Bay you meet at certain times probably your worst nightmare current travelling through Cinegans Channel. This is a Roller Coaster of a dive not suitable for any diver that is not well prepared and has many many years of experience because the ride involves involuntary forced changes of depth as the currents are averaging 3-6 mph horizontally with up and down components such that you are travelling at speed and having forced changes of depth! This is clearly not for any recreational diver that lacks a massive amount of experience and also is likely to induce significant panic. Also it would have to be planned with Safety Sausage and a Boat that knew what you were doing. All dives in Nusa Penida should be using Safety Sausage when there is known current issues likely to be involved.

In summary and to dispel what I can see as a lot of disinformation within this thread the reality is simple. If within the bay it was not suitable to dive a professional operation would abort the dive and secondly even if it was then the dangers of going too close to the channel current running by at 90 degrees should be very much stressed. For reference when you reach this point you will know as you will be entering a storm of turbulence which would be an onbious sign something was wrong. If however you got separated from the group and your buddy and ended up at this point then you are clearly in trouble. Cinigen Channel is at the wrong time a nightmare prospect for the best of diver and for a less experienced one an acccident waiting to happen.

There are many dives in Nusa Penida that are awesome and less dangerous including on a decent day Crystal Bay. However as Tim Rock says with the other area mentioned, "The Last Dive you will ever make" this Channel is very much the same should you get yourself sucked out of the bay and into it. After that how you handle it frankly speaking is not in your hands and all you could hope for would be to be able to get to the surface and pop the sausage and hope the boat finds you. from Tim's book quote: "Crystal Bay - Crystal Bay on Nusa Penida, close to Lembongan Island, is protected and relatively shallow, offering enjoyable conditions for divers of all levels. Its big claim to fame is its molamolas. The bay has two entrances and a large rock sits in the centre. Be careful when diving this central rock or along the outside edge of the bay, as the current can be strong, sweeping divers out along the outside wall into very tricky diving conditions. An experienced guide will help to prevent a disoriented diver from taking a wrong turn. When near the drop-off, look for larger creatures like molas, eagle rays, dogtooth tuna, sharks and an occasional bumphead wrasse. Schooling surgeonfish are abundant in some spots. The other famous spot for molamolas in the area is Juraissic Point, off tranquil Lembongan Island

Trust this make it a little clearer in terms of the reality here. Great diver region with dives for all levels but there are some that you are very much dependent on operators that ultimately want to make money and the clear interest in Mola Mola can lead to impairment of rational judgment in terms of whether to do the dive or not. Having said this the day could have been perfect and the diver in question may have got lost or not listened and then accidents can happen.

Diving in Nusa Penida in certain high current less predictable spots is for the very experienced only and should be undertaken under the supervision of known professional operators that will have the guts to call a dive off if the conditions are not right.

Trust this clarifies the essential components of this one as an acccident is itself terrible but wild speculation and lack of focus on the logical side of how an acccident can and might unfold does not add to anyone's knowledge and experience. Gaining the experience to dive spots where this can happen is also not easy. The sea can be very rewarding to divers but it can also be unforgiving if not taken with the full respect it deserves.

Have fun and dive safe :)
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#21  Postby SR » Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:46 pm

Hi scubasafety....
Don't understand what you mean by misinformation. I think we are here just sharing our experience and asking people to be prepared. As with all dives, the weather and currents change from time to time and I have had so many divers tell me about what fantastic dives they have had in Nusa Penida. However I had a tough dive that day when I went. The waves were not so choppy when we started but the surge was bad when we surfaced.
Guess what we are saying here is be prepared and dive safe .... It is important to know your dive area well but unfortunately for many of us, what we know also comes from what our friends tell us, from the beautiful videos of mantas and mola-molas that we see and from our dive masters/ dive instructors. It is not that we did not listen to our dive masters/ instructors but just that on that day, the currents and the surge was bad.
So be prepared and dive safe should be the moto for every diver. Know your own limits.
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#22  Postby scubasafety » Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:48 pm

Hi SR,

The use of the word Misinformation perhaps was not correct of me in the context you describe. Sorry about that. What I was trying to explain were a number of points and to try to put the discussion into focus related to the areas that would affect any and all divers where safety is concerned. These being...

The pressure for a dive operator to get the guests into the water and collect money is enormous these days. Someone mentioned 29 boats in a connected post which sort of confirms this observation.

Many of the dives around Nusa Penida are incredible however many can be trecherous even for the experienced if the operator is not both experienced and or is lacking the sense to pull the plug on the dive.

People's idea of experience often means many dives within comfort envelopes developed over time in dive regions and spots that frankly pale in comparison with some of the potential dives you can find in and around Nusa Penida. Ask anyone with significant experience that has done many dives for instance in Jurrasic Point and they will all tell you that if you pick the wrong time the dive profile is out of your hands and ends up becoming subject to how you manage the extreme conditions. For instance how many divers are comfortable in 5 knot current? I watched an Instructor grab a hold point to see Large Stingray and forget to hold their mask. They had their mask spun around their head and off they went to the surface like a missile! years of experience but would not listen to others. The point being that experience is always relative to the dive conditions you intend to test or might accidentally find yourself in through circumstances. In addition in many of these situations you are on your own as buddies can be blasted apart simply by slight positional differences and or depth differences. Lastly some get a C Card after 4 open water dives! Me, I would never have allowed this with anything less than 7 but then again I am "old school" and a stickler for safety first over all else, even if it meant that I had to tell the entire boat we cannot dive here when others around might be attempting it. This might depend on assessing who was in the group with some cases where some people had to stay onboard and others dove and I then later take the others elsewhere and those that went first into the original spot then of course had to wait while others got their turn in the second spot. I never had any arguments from any diver of any level when I made calls related to safety. Diving is meant to be fun after all :)

I normally never ever post on these forums however this time I went through the registration process and did from a safety perspective. The idea of knowing your own limits and trusting your dive operator is a flawed and perhaps dangerous way to look at things. Firstly I know from years of experience that I still do not know what my limits are and secondly I know that the pressure for organizations to certify and dive operators to get the bodies into the water (any hopefully out) is commercially speaking of great significance. In complex dive sites where in this case I know and also have access to friends that know this region like the back of their hands, what I can tell you is that it is not a good idea to just talk about bad dives as the forum is doing (hence my misinformation comments) without placing it into relevant context.

If you get a hold of the DAN Acccident Books of past then you can read them (I recommend this to all divers to dispel any false sense of security that might come from the dive within your own limits and or trust blindly in your dive operator strategy) and what you will find is that patterns always emerge leading up to accidents and they are rarely the result of a catastrophic single event.

In this case who was the buddy, why were they separated, why did the dive take place in conditions that were not right and finally to return to the experience side of it all, if any diver even with 500 dives or more went past the rock at Crystal Bay and entered the "storm" followed by the channel roller coaster I can guarantee you that they would need primal survival instincts of steel to stay focused. Panic and with your weight belt on you can add Narcosis to your already impaired judgment if you get pushed down and added to this you also can add the "how much air did they have left" prior to something like this happening? Nobody breathes calmly when they are panicking and certainly not if they are also alone and perhaps narced. The point being that once it goes out of control and is past your experience level all you have are your primal instincts left. Sorry to sound so hard but that is the reality.

Before you dive any spot you need to read up not only about the lovely Mola Mola (I have swam many times with dozens of them so I know the power of this lure as they are truly majestic) or Manta Rays or get swept up in the romance of it all, but instead research the area in terms of the accident stats and conditions at different times of the year, choose not the cheapest operator but the one with the best name safety wise and attitude to this as it is your life after all. Then you have the best combination for a fun dive and not setting yourself up for a washing machine survival struggle!!

Diving is incredible fun however when the commercial side of it intrudes into the safety because of this and or the desperation to see in this case Mola Mola then things can go wrong. Safe diving is all about the safety envelope which includes many factors including your pressure on the operator to see Mola Mola as a paying customer as well as the operator who wants your business and has competitors and as such might allow this to override an important safety call. In the end however it is "always" the individual that is responsible for calling a dive off they do not feel comfortable doing for whatever reason. A good pre-dive site survey together with review of potential changing conditions as part of the dive briefing, added with good supervision underwater by experienced and competent Divemasters offers the best experience which clearly was not the case here. Speculation is also a dangerous thing however I think in most cases if you do read the DAN Accident Reports, accidents are a combination of either experience mismatch through bravado or ignorance coupled with the inability to solve a problem early or manage the problem if you are already in the middle of it. My advice to anyone who might have gone through the washing machine and ended up in the channel would be to drop the weight belt and face forward into the direction the current is flowing (to try to protect yourself from hitting any rocks) and try to swim up to the surface then to blow your safety sausage and try to ride the current and not hit any rocks in doing so. Easy to say but under a panic situation different people react differently.

This accident is really sad and sorry again to sound too serious here but the thread relates to a death therefore the topic is not a fun one and I write in the hope that it helps anyone reading it to appreciate the power of the sea and in particular that knowing your own envelope and so forth is a bit naive if your operator drops you into something you have never experienced before and you then end up separated from your buddy and the group. The reality is that when you choose a dive spot and an operator you had better do your homework and not go for the cheapest to save some money! To clarify that last statement what is the difference cost wise between for instance a 4 dive course or a 7 dive course? Most people would probably start to think about money when in reality the answer is that after 4 dives you are barely able to dive skillfully and after 7 you usually have the makings of a diver! Who then would be the most statistically lightly to have an accident between the 4 and 7 dive trainees? Then ask yourself this last question.....The 4 dive qualified diver died but they saved a hundred dollars on their course!! At the same time someone with 400 dives in relative current free warm waters is a lot less experience than someone that dove around Nusa Penida or places similar with a careful operator and in deeper, colder and much worse currents. Experience is thus relative to how many dives and what types. I know Malaysian diving well and I know Nusa Penida well. The conditions are light years apart. 1000 dives in and around Malaysia will not prepare you for 5 knot horizontal currents with an up and down component! You have to learn during such dives and with a good operator and proper preparation this is how it is done and how you learn to dive these conditions. Where in Malaysia for instance is a Safety Reel and Sausage mandatory on every dive?

Anyway sorry for the length of the reply but again the intention is to make clear that there are fundamentals related to all accidents and they encompass training, experience, location, timing related to the location, the operator used and finally and to close, the primal manner in which an individual reacts to a life threatening situation. Do they panic or stay calm for instance? If you continue to do ongoing training and dive with good operators and carefully expand your experience then you will reach capabilities that are far more advanced than you could otherwise but again the sea can in a second place you in a position where you need to use your primal instincts and think. Failure to see a problem develop early followed by panicking is if you read the DAN Report a very much recurrent theme.

Separation from the group, placed into a washing machine then into serious current with unpredictable vertical movement would easily create panic and at that point you would have to, despite this, think rationally and act quickly and accurately! How many divers do you know that would be able to do this when their initial dive planning involved getting their camera's ready for the lovely Mola Mola pictures they want to take back home?
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#23  Postby SR » Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:21 pm

Dear Scubasafety...
I totally agree with you on all points mentioned. Safety is very important.
I see new divers buying an expensive camera set up then complain about the costs of a good dive computer. I totally agree that every diver should carry a sausage and a strobe.
During our dive in Nusa Penida I noticed some differences between the oeprators that I have used and the ones there. While we choose to dive with a dive operator based in Tulamben which was an experienced operator (and they provided the 7 of us with 2 very good DMs) but I had a lot of issues with the dive boat they chartered for the Nusa Penida dive. Anyway that is another story...
I subscribe to DAN ( as do my whole family - wife, son and 2 daughters) and again that is something that all divers should have ie DAN membership and Insurance.
So its important to be prepared and to know you limits. Dive safe!
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#24  Postby scubasafety » Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:09 pm

Dear SR,

As you might have guessed by now I am an Instructor/Divemaster and did this with NAUI many many years ago :) Safety was number 1 with NAUI and at that time they did not even operate unlike others as a profit generating organization. The final decision an Instructor Trainer has to ask themself before certifying a new NAUI Instructor is "Would you allow this person to teach one of your own loved ones", which proabably says all that needs to be said.

Subscription to DAN is a must for anyone serious about diving BUT so is the building up of your own library of books on diving and an ongoing education that should never end. That will allow you to grow experience not only on the dive skill side but also the theory which many people might neglect after their course is over. You must in particular be able to recognize the various types of symptoms associated with SCUBA accidents and also know where the nearest chamber is located. You also must never allow delay when it is obvious that a chamber is necessary. Never trust the operator as they will always be thinking about the damage to the company name when the accident is unfolding. As such you need to be able to force the issue is necessary and membership of DAN means that you do not need to worry about costs.

In Nusa Penida I can say that there are incredible dives and also there is also the really cool Liberty dive at Tulamben. SD is a great smoothish longshore drift dive where you can travel 2-3 Kilometers on the right tide. Beware the spring tides in terms of faster currents as a possibility in certain dives and above all resist the temptation to take risks to see the Mola Mola if the dive conditions are not good or to alter a specific dive profile dangerously to take in the Mola Mola. Stick to the dive plan and only make variations pre-agreed and that fall well within the profile of safety. Increase your safety stops for any deviation of the profile. Also be aware of the algorithms used by the computers you use as they are not all the same. Some allow more underwater time than others. The difference between a Dive Camera Housing Setup and a Dive Computer is simple. One relates to keeping you alive and the other does not! Same argument as the 4 dive C Card issued Organizations and others that insist on 7 at least. I actually in a number of cases refused to certify people either due to the exam failure or too poor at the skills side of things. They had to join the next class and take the exam again and do more dives (equipment/tanks/air fills all at cost).

I took sometime today to read through the other threads under safety and some of the things I read are to say the least lacking in base knowledge. There seems to be many divers out there that forget that this is an immensely enjoyable sport BUT if you neglect safety and all that goes with that it can be unforgiving!

I can tell SR whoever you are that with a family you take it seriously and that is nice to know. Safe diving and enjoy your upcoming trips. Please explore around Nusa Nenida with the good operator you have found and don't shy away from some of the really cool current drift dives. Good rell and Safety sausage and a boat that follows you all the way and this is a lot of fun as you get to dive with very little energy expended :) My diving in this region was kitted as follows: 2 Dive Computers (Aladin Pro at that time), 2 knives, Reel and Safety Sausage Orange, Separate completely 19 CF Tank own reg completely separate to Primary/Octopus on main tank. It is cold there so a Farmer John 2 mm suit with a 3 mm Shortie over the top of that with 3 mm gloves. Seaquest Back Bag Air to free 4 front rings for the rest of the gear. Basically sort of pseudo technical to some degree but self contained. Lastly all I would say is that in any deepish drift diving it is critical not to allow diffrences on height between buddies as this causes fast separation between you both! All that said the diving in Nusa Penida is so completely different it is not like many other places I know of.

Safe diving :) :)
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#25  Postby oldturtle » Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:20 pm

Hello Mr.Naui . Would you recommend newly certified(OW) divers to CB?
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#26  Postby scubasafety » Sun Sep 04, 2011 3:41 pm

Hi Old Turtle (interesting choice of handle),

To be brutally honest I would say the factors needed to answer this would be.

1. How many dives under the belt?
2. When in the moon cycle you proposed to go there?
3. What operator you were looking at choosing and their reputation and safety record?
4. Referenced to 3 above how many Dive Masters would be deployed for the group. IE The ratio of DMs to student buddy pairs.

If the operator was good and you had 30 plus dives with some variation then with a good operator there is no reason not to go there. What I would suggest however is that there is a backup plan in that if the spot is not diveable through an honest at the time assesment there was a backup spot already chosen in advance that at that time is more likely to be diveable with less stress.

You want to see Mola Mola I guess. The reality is that they are in many ways likely to be in locations that are always going to be not so straight forward a dive! With Crystal Bay what I am saying is that with 30 dives you would be reasonably in control of your ability to dive a well planned profile without problems. With the addition of good DMs to manage and supervise any group this would add to the safety side a great deal. The issue though is that if the line is crossed at the wrong time past "the Rock & Washing Machine" at Crystal bay then 300 dives may mean nothing if they were all in Malaysia as diving there is a much more relaxed affair in general :) I think the most stresssful dive I can ever remember there was on the Pinnacles off Pulau Aur which was great with strong current but all action as well fish wise. It was however nothing compared to many dive sites around Nusa Penida in terms of skill level needed! The primary skills needed in Nusa Penida relate to strong current drift diving and management of unpredictable down currents. Additionally the thermoclines are really severe and the first time you go through one you take a very deep breath indeed :) Different sites in this region are manageable but with some experience and care so don't avoid this sort of dive unless you are really inexperienced (After all how else do you get the experience in the first place!). The key is a good operator with good DMs and a clear understanding of why you always must clearly relate your "real" experience to the operator and not a "rosy" view of what you imagine your experience to be :) They need the reality to determine where and how a dive should take place. Wrong information means additional risk for you in the end!

On a good day newly certified divers staying well within the bay (Crystal Bay) should be okay if the surface is not too choppy as lack of experience of how to get back into a rolling boat is something to consider but assuming it is clear then I would say that staying well within the bay and close to your buddy with good DM supervision would be okay for Crystal Bay.

It is all about planning the dive (and the backup plan) and diving the plan :) One key thing to keep in mind with any spot is in this case the magnetic pull of wanting to see a Mola Mola versus the safety envelope which by default relates to diver experience. As such planned and supervised and on a decent surface conditions type day, staying well within Crystal Bay will be a nice dive.

What was not a nice dive however and clearly not yet picked up by the forum is that last Thursday 1st September in (Yet again Crystal Bay) a Malaysian male diver aged 48 certified as an Adventure Diver and on his form having had a prior Heart Attack, died in Crystal Bay. Apparently he was asked to do a 5 meter back roll off the boat, not something I would call a great idea for someone with a prior heart attack history! Other details I have but prefer to keep off the forum suffice it to say that I believe that this person was experiencing very high levels of stress before this dive and this is often due to observing the conditions as a beyond your experience level together with the likely peer pressure which can be powerful in pushing people to do a dive when really they should make a call and cancel it! Bad timing and sadly unfortunate but to me it seems that the desperate need to see a Mola Mola really has a powerful masking effect on the fundamentals of dive safety. In this case I have no information on the cause of death and can only guess based on the information I have which does strongly suggest stress induced heart attack. After reaching the age of 40 all divers medicals should be annually from there on in due to statistically significant health factors after the age of 40 to be considered related to diving.

Hope this helps you Old Turtle and above all please do not be worried regarding this second acccident coincidence as if you stick to the fundamentals then you can with hopefully a few dives under your belt dive Crystal Bay safely and if not then the backup spot is the option.

Hope this post helps your decision process? :)
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#27  Postby oldturtle » Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:46 pm

Thank you .Sir .No text book advise pls..(though it is so meticulously well detailed .. )  should most of Bali 's dive site be 'up rated ' ? - restricted to more properly trained recreational divers  .? eg.. like in Sipadan ..you must have proof of AOW..? :D

Furthermore, to also prevent some silly gung ho young divers  to attempt ego boosting -i did CB ! no sweat ! ..  and most unfortunate are those 'innocently' brought there to do a : "go bali must see Mola Mola shit!
Last edited by oldturtle on Sun Sep 04, 2011 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#28  Postby run » Mon Sep 05, 2011 12:24 pm

scubasafety wrote: Apparently he was asked to do a 5 meter back roll off the boat,


u got to be kidding me?!
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#29  Postby tupai » Mon Sep 05, 2011 1:08 pm

..."peer pressure which can be powerful in pushing people to do a dive when really they should make a call and cancel it! Bad timing and sadly unfortunate but to me it seems that the desperate need to see a Mola Mola really has a powerful masking effect on the fundamentals of dive safety."

there is nothing but stupidity to address any 'peer pressure'.  Its your life, stupid, not your spectators!Any act of bravado to peers is stupidity to the max.

~ The caveat is a good diver lives to dive another~

...'desperate need to see'? HAHAHAHAH! The only 'desperate need to see' for me is the jaws of the great white in the safety of a cage! Anything else, is *yawn* or 'can wait*.

BTW, since when is that sipadan diving needs proof of  AOW? betcha some of us remember the death of a new under 10dives exp OW sporean in Baracuda point last yr? 2 yrs ago? yup, the one without  his bcd & only 1 fin?...

Anyway, the point is the l;ocal dive operator must not just see money as the only factor. By abandoning & then moving onto  a next site cost him money..so the divers MUST make their own choice. Cest la vie.

~tupai-on d rocks
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Re: Thai Diver Missing, Found Dead 4 Days Later, off Crystal Bay, Bali

Post Number:#30  Postby erysyah » Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:05 pm

RIP
i'm broke.. how to go dive?
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