Emergency Dive Proceedures

General info and questions about your spearing and diving!

Emergency Dive Proceedures

Postby chris oak » September 30th, 2018, 9:11 am

If you have an emergency, make sure you have a plan on your boat or even on shore. At work we have dive protocol that was set up by our board and our Dive Safety Officer (DSO). This may not be what you want to do but it will give you an idea. We dive on scuba a lot and once had a scare where one of our divers was doing a deep collection and thought they got bent. I've also been hit by a boat prop and have been to the ER so many times for work that the guys there knew me by name.

On the boat we make sure everyone knows how to use the GPS and VHF radio. If there is an emergency we immediately hail coast guard on Channel 16 and let them know our location. We were advised by our DSO that if we are diving offshore on scuba that if there is any reason where we know we need to use the chamber that we notify coast guard that and immediately head to Catalina. Otherwise we wait for the emergency personnel to make the decision.

For any other dive related emergencies we make sure we notify coast guard and try to get in touch with the county lifeguards if we are diving work hours. We have been trained on CPR and oxygen administration and keep an oxygen tank on our boat.

For most of us guys that freedive make sure you have a basic plan for emergencies:
ON BOATS:
Make sure everyone can run the boat, safely start it, put it in gear, etc.
Make sure everyone can read the GPS location numbers or find them and use channel 16 and how to call in a mayday distress. You will need your location, nature of the injury/disaster, and age/description of the victim.

Make sure your VHF is set for US frequencies, I had not realized that my older unit came preprogramed with a different frequency until my buddy tried to hail me when he was right next to me.
Make sure you know where your first aid kit is, and it's a good idea to take a first aid class if you have not done so before.

Shorediving/Kayak/etc:
If you are shorediving, you should be doing it with a buddy. You should have a general plan of when you are getting out and way to contact each other. One of the stupidest things that I do is dive alone, or dive with a buddy and leave at different times. You should never do this, but if you do, you should have a contact person who will know to look for you if you don't return at a certain time and where you are diving from.

There are so many scenerios that I can't cover them all, you can cut yourself on a dive knife, get beat by the waves on the reef, hit by a shark, shallow water blackout etc. Just try to cover your bases.
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Re: Emergency Dive Proceedures

Postby 32juan » September 30th, 2018, 12:17 pm

I'm sure this will be a great thread!

I have been a volunteer of the Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber for about 13 years, if anyone has questions about it, I'm happy to answer any and all of them.

As for the procedure of making way to the island if you're in need of the Chamber, please inform the USCG that you are doing this. They may already have a helicopter in the area, and you may be doing yourself a disservice. The Chamber is located in Big Fisherman's Cove, just East of Two Harbors. On the waterfront we listen to VHF ch. 9, and 16.

The number for the emergency line at the chamber is 310-510-1053. If you suspect any form of dive injury, feel free to call 24/7. We are here and ready to help.

Get DAN insurance! Nearly all costs of the Chamber (and most other dive accidents) are covered within their policies.

Train yourself and crew in the proper use of flares, and other emergency equipment you have on board. The nuances of using the equipment can vary between brands, and an emergency is no time to learn what they are!

Learn to use your radio! It's your lifeline. If all you have is a handheld, your range will be very limited. You can set up a relay with other boats in the area to send messages further than you normally could.

If you do a lot of SCUBA diving, invest in an O2 kit. If you have one, train your crew on it's use.
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Re: Emergency Dive Proceedures

Postby Bill McIntyre » October 2nd, 2018, 3:52 pm

I went to a diving injury first aid lecture last week. One thing emphasized that that we should have one or more tourniquets. We have so many ways to get cut and we need to be able to stop bleeding fast. I'm embarrassed to say that I don't have one. The doc mentioned a specific brand and type, and now I need to find out what it was and get one.
Last edited by Bill McIntyre on October 3rd, 2018, 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Emergency Dive Proceedures

Postby Avenues » October 2nd, 2018, 7:33 pm

Bill, when you do find it post it up here. I'd like to buy one for my friends boat.
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Re: Emergency Dive Proceedures

Postby Jon Davies » November 30th, 2018, 12:31 am

After the recent shark attack and an apparent increase in shark sightings over the past year or two, I recently added a tourniquet and some Quick Clot to my boat first aid kit.

I went with the CAT tourniquethttp://www.combattourniquet.com/, which seems to be the standard for military and EMTs but there are a few other options as well. There are a ton of videos about tourniquets on Youtube to give you an idea of how they work and what would be best for you. Bear in mind you might be putting one on yourself one-handed (hopefully not literally!)

I picked up the CAT at Dive 1st Aid in San Pedro (https://www.dive1staid.com/). Apparently there are many knock offs on the market but they are an authorized dealer and carry the original one. They are also a good place to get O2 kits and other first aid stuff at lower prices than DAN.
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Re: Emergency Dive Proceedures

Postby Dan Keeler » December 13th, 2018, 12:15 pm

I went with this kit a while back. Might have to add to it an additional quick clot sponge or two though.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FC ... GNRI&psc=1
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