A Good Way to Samba/Blackout

General info and questions about your spearing and diving!

A Good Way to Samba/Blackout

Postby Behslayer » June 1st, 2019, 4:16 pm

If you are looking for a Good way to increase your chances of having a Samba or Blacking out, I have one for you.

Two of my Dive partners have had some kind of Hypoxic event during the past 6 months. There was a similarity to both, and it got me thinking as to whether this may be a signifcant cause of Spearfishing blackouts which can be avoided if it is fresh in your mind.

One of these incidents involved a close friend who is a better diver than any of us. He can dive to 250' and back without fins. He trains allll the time. He eats super healthy, is in great shape. He's a world class freediver and a very high level Spearfisherman. The other is another close friend who doesn't dive so frequently maybe 1-2 times a month, but swims, surfs, does Jiu Jitsu regularly. Both are in good shape. Both have been diving for 20 years. Both are experienced Spearfishermen.

In both cases the diver was down on the bottom waiting, aspetto diving. In both cases the divers had been down waiting for a relatively long time. In one case the diver decided to go to the surface and about 10' up from the bottom spotted a fish and stopped and swam back down a few feet, stalked, and shot the fish. In the other case the diver missed a shot on a Fish towards the end of his breath on the bottom and started to surface, got a few feet off the bottom and realized his shaft Flopper was stuck on the reef and stopped and went back down to release it. In both cases the diver's return to the surface wasn't smooth. Diver one had his reel lock up and had to switch over to a Belt Reel. Diver #2 was carrying his shaft in one hand and his gun in the other with shooting line hanging down. Both Divers had hypoxic events several seconds after Surfacing. In both cases Strict Buddy Diving Protocol allowed for full recovery. In both cases, in the clear water, the Safety Diver/Buddy recognized the diver going back down as a potential danger and immediately dove to assist.

This is the point of this Thread.
1. Don't do it. Whether it's picking up your throw flasher, or unsticking your shaft, or you drop something, or going back down to get a fish which is tangled, or dropping back down to shoot at a fish. If you have been down a while and especially if you are diving deep ie over 30' of depth.. I'm not sure of the physiology, and why, but it's a good way to increase your chances of Samba/Blackout. Just leave it. Just leave it. Surface, and your partner can grab it for you after you have recovered.
2. If you see your buddy stop or reverse direction, or shoot a fish. Swim down. Meet them. Grab their gear. AND Keep a hand on them to the surface, and then for a while afterwards. And keep a close eye on them for 20-30 seconds.

Yesterday, I was diving with a buddy. He hasn't dove in a while and shot a nice fish 2 minutes after getting into the water in Shallow water. He was stoked. His confidence was high. We did some warm up dives to 20-30' and then moved out into deeper water. His first drop he was diving very well. 50-60' with good bottom time. His next drop was similar depth and his bottom time also good. Towards the end of his drop I saw him (the Water was Clear. 80-100' vis) shoot and miss a fish. He started up and then realized his shaft Flopper was stuck on the reef and he swam over and down to unstick it. At this point I made the decision to swim down and meet him because I didn't like that decision to go get the shaft. I would have done the same if he had hit a fish. So I dropped and met him @ 30' I saw him with both hands full one with spear and one with gun and I grabbed both in one hand, and grabbed him by the arm. We both surfaced together me looking him in the face. The whole time him giving me the OK. We surfaced. The first thing he did was not to take a series of deep recovery breaths. It was to say to me. "I'm Ok" He still had his hand doing this too. But I was a little suspicious and kept a hand on him. About 8 seconds later his face dropped into the water and he started shaking. I was right there hands on him so I held him up Told him to Breathe. Breathe, and he regained awareness and I swam him to the Buoy and put him on top of it.

A few months back I was diving with my two close friends BenzoSpeedo AKA Cheekmeats and Hans Roser. Ben is a worldclass diver and Ace Spearfisherman and runs FreediveHi.com Freediving school in Hawaii. Ben made a drop to 100+. He was on the bottom for well over a minute. He turned to surface and after a few feet he saw a nice fish (Turned out to be a 20lb Uku) which he stalked and shot. Then he turned to surface. I was already on my way down to meet him at 50'+ and grab his gun and Hans would stay up top and do Safety for Ben as he was surfacing. However..... Ben got a Reel snag Unforeseen Problem #1(he had not been careful respooling his on the previous 20lb Uku he had shot 30 minutes earlier and the line buried) So he was kicking harder and not moving much as the fish pulled. He wanted to keep it off the bottom which was a slope going past 150'. At this point I was about 30' down when my ear blocked... Unforeseen Problem #2. So I had to stay at 30-35' while watching Ben moving tooo slowly towards the surface. I was pointing at my Ear hoping Hans would understand, but he didn't. Ben clipped his gun off to his Belt Reel and started to swim much faster towards the surface. As he got near me I grabbed the line and started fighting the fish taking all pressure off of Ben. Hans swam down and swam with Ben up to the Surface. A few seconds later Ben was like a Drunken Sailor. But Hans was right there to support him.

Here in Hawaii we have the advantage of the Water being Clear, and in these cases no real current. Strict Buddy Diving Protocol saves the day. Be aggressive in your buddy diving. If your diving deeper, be an arms length away every time and spend the extra time on the surface with your partner until they have truly recovered ie 20-30 seconds. Talk about this stuff with your Buddy before diving. If you are diving and you're not happy with what they are doing, say something. If they are not doing a Great Job. Dump em. Only takes once. They need to be getting it 100% of the time. If you get dumped.. recognize why. Diving in 3's is a good way to go for deeper diving. Share your catch with your dive buddies. It's a Team effort from start to finish.

It makes me think back to SEAL. Kosta's gun was found shaft out. What I now think probably happened was that he may have done something like this to try to retrieve a shaft or fish so he didn't need to swim back for it against a current.
Behslayer
kook
 
Posts: 626
Joined: December 2013

Re: A Good Way to Samba/Blackout

Postby Bill McIntyre » June 1st, 2019, 8:46 pm

Thanks Jon.
email me at wsbhtr@cox.net
User avatar
Bill McIntyre
billie mac
 
Posts: 3919
Joined: July 2013
Location: San Clemente, CA

Re: A Good Way to Samba/Blackout

Postby Behslayer » June 2nd, 2019, 1:16 pm

Had an Old Friend and Very experienced diver message me today saying he had read this and sharing that the one time he had a Samba in 20+ years of diving and a lot of it deep stuff for Doggies etc. was going back down to unstick his flopper from the Reef after missing a fish.

Keep it in mind. Just leave it. Your partner will get it for you. Or, you'll get it on your next drop after you recover. Keep in mind. If you samba, you done for the day. And you put your dive partners at risk. Team effort. Leave it.
Behslayer
kook
 
Posts: 626
Joined: December 2013

Re: A Good Way to Samba/Blackout

Postby gringo sushi » June 3rd, 2019, 8:03 am

Great message and makes perfect sense.

For me the most tempting situation I worry about is turning back for a fish that comes in just after the decision to surface is made. Thanks so much for the share. This helps me to cement a personal policy to never reverse that decision. A fish just isn't worth it.
Todd Farquhar
LB Neptune
tfarquhar@me.com

“There is one thing which gives radiance to everything. It is the idea of something around the corner.” G.K. Chesterton
User avatar
gringo sushi
spearo
 
Posts: 299
Joined: August 2013
Location: So Cal

Re: A Good Way to Samba/Blackout

Postby dam » June 3rd, 2019, 8:18 am

Scary how such scenarios can happen to any of us. I had to swim at the end of my dive, not back down, but more like an angle out of the way to pick up a flasher and even that was a close one. So stupid... :squint:
User avatar
dam
diving god
 
Posts: 2386
Joined: June 2013

Re: A Good Way to Samba/Blackout

Postby NaClAddict » June 3rd, 2019, 8:53 am

Long ago I was told in boating to go out on 1/3 tank and come home on 2/3. I always applied that to diving. I still noticed to start going up and turning back down was always taxing, even inside that 1/3 breathe capacity.

I know samba and shallow water blackout still aren’t the completely understood. Carbon dioxide gas has some pretty interesting physical behavior in the first few changes of atmosphere if I recall correctly. The physiology of our pulmonary system makes us more vulnerable to these changes when freediving.

My take away is this, always make my dive profile look like a U or V. No W’s down to a max depth with an up and down. I’ll probably still glide up and down a little while hunting, especially for WSB. But will stay in a fairly narrow zone, diving to stay relaxed. Certainly not on deep dives, or strenuous diving in currents.
Last edited by NaClAddict on June 3rd, 2019, 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
NaClAddict
spearo
 
Posts: 440
Joined: August 2013

Re: A Good Way to Samba/Blackout

Postby Behslayer » June 3rd, 2019, 10:23 am

Dam, That is exactly what I'm talking about. It's that one little thing we leave till the end... I've been down on the reef for a minute, but before I surface, I'm just going to swim over 20' and find my flasher.

As with all things Safety in Spearfishing. So much of it is having gone over it in your mind before it happens.

Ofcourse there is the ELEPHANT in the room.. I know of another Good way not to survive a Samba or Blackout.. The 6 friends of mine who have died from SWB all have some things in common. All of them were diving in Clear Water where a buddy could see them on the bottom. None of them were practicing Strict Buddy Protocol. None of them had a buddy watching them who immediately knew something was wrong.
Behslayer
kook
 
Posts: 626
Joined: December 2013

Re: A Good Way to Samba/Blackout

Postby NaClAddict » June 3rd, 2019, 10:46 am

Buddy discipline is the best fail safe. I dive alone often, I enjoy the solitude. The truth is here in SoCal, even when we’re diving together, we’re often essentially alone. I think there’s a lot of truth to the saying, “there are old divers and there are bold divers, but there are no old, bold divers.” I can’t help but notice in your original post that these events sound like they’re happening to bold divers. I’ve had a few bold moments, but I’ve learned my lesson. Even with experience and a strong skill set, certain practices are too dangerous. Hopefully this post and this forum are providing a safer learning method. Thanks for posting.
NaClAddict
spearo
 
Posts: 440
Joined: August 2013

Re: A Good Way to Samba/Blackout

Postby John Hughes » June 5th, 2019, 8:56 pm

Really interesting observations. I really appreciate you taking the time to share them with us.
User avatar
John Hughes
cupcake
 
Posts: 3822
Joined: July 2013
Location: san pedro

Re: A Good Way to Samba/Blackout

Postby Behslayer » June 6th, 2019, 11:29 am

NaClAddict, true. I dove alone and shallow for many many years. A lot of what I'm discussing here is amplified by Depth. It's a lot easier to be Bold when there's 150' of visibility and the water is 80 degrees.. Most guys aren't thinking about dropping to 100' when the water is 50 degrees and 8' of green vis. But keep it in the back of your mind, and definitely think it over when the water is Clear and you are diving below 50'.
Behslayer
kook
 
Posts: 626
Joined: December 2013

Re: A Good Way to Samba/Blackout

Postby Behslayer » June 20th, 2019, 11:49 pm

Here's an example of what Good Buddy diving looks like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLoxlForYd4&t=35s
Behslayer
kook
 
Posts: 626
Joined: December 2013

Re: A Good Way to Samba/Blackout

Postby dam » June 24th, 2019, 9:17 am

Damn that was a long dive. Did you guys establish that protocol before hand?
User avatar
dam
diving god
 
Posts: 2386
Joined: June 2013

Re: A Good Way to Samba/Blackout

Postby Behslayer » June 24th, 2019, 10:54 am

Hi Dam,

That's a good question. Yes. You always should. In this case, when we got in we discussed the Order of the rotation and agreed upon it. One other thing I really like about using Throw Flashers for Reef diving is that it alerts everyone in advance that you are preparing to dive, and as they watch it fall down, they see in advance where you are going to drop. I should have edited the video a little longer on either end because it doesn't show two important points..

Before I dove, as my Flasher was dropping I spoke very clearly with both partners. "I am going to drop here" and waited for their response.

The video cuts out with one partner saying "You Good".. but what I answered next is not in the video, and that was "Wait" because I wanted him to keep eyes on me a little longer which he did. You really need that full 30 seconds of recovery before you are indeed "Good"

Regarding discussing which one of the partners would drop to mid water to either take the gun or swim the diver back up, we don't establish that off hand. With two on the surface watching, and all of us familiar with each other we do that without establishing a rotation, but for a group which hasn't dove together a lot, this should also be discussed. Ideally, the person who is Not next up for a Deep drop should do the Safety drop. This way the person who is dropping deep next will not have just made a drop and can remain on surface and be calm if everything is good. After any deep dive if you have 3 people, one of the spotters should meet the diver on the ascent and watch them looking for any signs of loss of motor control. Anytime, the gun has been fired, the safety diver drops immediately and will meet the diver deeper and quicker.

That was a long dive for me, but my partners often do 3 minute dives and hunt at 120'. But they also regularly train on the line to 200'. After watching the Video, one of my other partners mentioned that I was making one mistake. He said that I shuld be recapturing all of the air I used to equalize my mask on my ascent rather than having it bubble off. Always learning. One thing you don't see in the Video was our Warm Ups.. When you jump in off a boat into 100'+ of water like that, it's important to do your warm ups.. If you had started on shore, you could do some shallow dives and progressively get deeper. Everyone has their own way, but for me, I get in, and I make a few dives to 20-25' holding onto the anchor line if possible and just hang until just before I feel uncomfortable. I don't let myself get to the uncomfortable stage, but I do this a few times. Inbetween these warm up drops, I float on the surface and fill up my mask with water and keep my eyes open and breathe calmly through my snorkel. This is all done to jumpstart my Dive Reflex, which then allows me to make a good drop like that.

One of the things I'll do now when going diving with a newer partner, or even someone I regularly dive with who is not so good with FII protocol (Both of these partners are FII Trained. One is an Instructor.) Is to have a long talk as we are getting ready specifically about all of this and reviewing everything.
Behslayer
kook
 
Posts: 626
Joined: December 2013

Re: A Good Way to Samba/Blackout

Postby Behslayer » June 24th, 2019, 11:14 am

PS Dam, just after that, we moved out a little deeper into some clearer water and had more fun.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hvl2gctFaqY&t=60s
Behslayer
kook
 
Posts: 626
Joined: December 2013

Re: A Good Way to Samba/Blackout

Postby Jolinedaniel » July 17th, 2019, 1:33 pm

The only time I have witnessed SWB was under the same conditions. My buddy dove to about 60’ hung out for a while then decided to surface. While surfacing he saw a school of yellowtail so he dove back down. He didn’t take a shot and headed back up. He broke the surface and within a second or two blacked out.
User avatar
Jolinedaniel
noob
 
Posts: 17
Joined: August 2015

Re: A Good Way to Samba/Blackout

Postby X-toy » July 17th, 2019, 8:31 pm

Thank you all for sharing! I’m definitely going to be mindful of making V and U dives, no W’s!

Awesome videos BTW!
---------> <'///////>{

Peter
https://www.youtube.com/user/theXtoy
Instagram: ocdesignguy
User avatar
X-toy
spearo
 
Posts: 267
Joined: October 2013
Location: Irvine, CA

Re: A Good Way to Samba/Blackout

Postby Behslayer » July 18th, 2019, 5:54 am

That is a pretty simple and easy to remember way of thinking about it. That is the goal of this post.
Behslayer
kook
 
Posts: 626
Joined: December 2013

Re: A Good Way to Samba/Blackout

Postby dam » July 18th, 2019, 10:06 am

Thanks for those tips. They are very clear and concise. I've line-dived a couple of times and it did occur to me that you need at least 3 to have an effective "rotation". I gotta start instilling these habits into my next dives, whenever those might be. That video's killing me!
User avatar
dam
diving god
 
Posts: 2386
Joined: June 2013

Re: A Good Way to Samba/Blackout

Postby dctrjayyy » July 18th, 2019, 12:08 pm

my last instructor was big on recapturing the mask air on the way up. i thought no way that small amount could matter but for me it really helps. it may just be psychological but getting those few snorts of air on the way up really helps keep me calm.
dctrjayyy
spearo
 
Posts: 103
Joined: January 2016

Re: A Good Way to Samba/Blackout

Postby Bill McIntyre » July 19th, 2019, 10:10 am

dctrjayyy wrote:my last instructor was big on recapturing the mask air on the way up. i thought no way that small amount could matter but for me it really helps. it may just be psychological but getting those few snorts of air on the way up really helps keep me calm.

I can't seem to do it. All I do is suck the mask against my nose.
email me at wsbhtr@cox.net
User avatar
Bill McIntyre
billie mac
 
Posts: 3919
Joined: July 2013
Location: San Clemente, CA

Re: A Good Way to Samba/Blackout

Postby Behslayer » July 19th, 2019, 8:41 pm

I think you are referring to all the escaping bubbles in my video. My dive buddies commented the same thing.. Why you no take back your air? Because at 100' I've equalized into my mask @25 times. It's a good volume of good air.. sometimes I remember. But often not when I've shot something.
Behslayer
kook
 
Posts: 626
Joined: December 2013


Return to Spearfishing & Freediving

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users