In my story I will not mention
any name or places, because I think everybody learned their lessons.
the second time we visited this vacation spot. We made several
the previous year. This was our third dive on this vacation. Something
changed since our visit last year and it is my fitness level. Over the
year I gained more than 30 pounds. My confidence level, however, was
same as when my wife and I used to work in the dive industry.
Since it was only my wife and I
diving, and we knew the Dive Master and the boat driver, we asked for a
dive site. We didn't think twice of it when the Dive Master
pointed on their
diving map to one of the farthest dive sites on that map.
We loaded the equipment onto
boat and about twenty minutes later we were there. We started to get
I realized that my BCD had a malfunction on the top
relief valve. Since I have dove with worst BCDs in
glorious days of working in diving industry, the leak for me was
nothing and we
proceeded with the dive - this was my stupid mistake.
Once under the water I noticed
that keeping my neutral buoyancy was a problem due to the leak and some
extra weights. I was always sinking, I could not fixe the valve and I
was using to much my legs. I
gave two of my weights to the
Master and continued the dive. Less than ten minutes later it was too
air was constantly escaping, I was exhausted and pretty grumpy. I gave
the signal to my wife and
Dive Master that I was going up but for them to continue with their
I started ascending slowly. I
tried to keep an eye on my wife and the Dive Master but the visibility
poor, as it had rained over the past few days. During my deco
was murky and the surroundings were confusing, but I did not panic and
at my depth gage to complete my savety stop.
Once at the surface I
inflate my BCD and realized that the boat was not there. In fact, it
far away and moving away from me, towards deep waters.
I used my small
to call the attention of the boat driver to no avail. I decided to
following the bubbles from the divers below, but I could not find the
anymore. I was straggling to keep myself a float even though I kept
the air button on my BCD. I decided to remove the remaining weights
With 2000 Psi in my tank, not
sure were my wife and the Dive Master would surface in approximately 30
minutes, the boat moving further away I saw a little beach in a small
surrounded by high cliffs. All of a sudden I thought, what if there are
currents in this location that can push me far from the area?? What if
out of air and have to abandon my equipment??
... Hey, what if all these
scenarios will happen and I get tired of swimming??
At that moment I realized that
was better to get lost in a desert beach than at sea. So I started to
towards the shore but kept an eye on the boat. I also saw some fish
the water to add to my misery.
more than 20 minutes the boat turned around and started
approaching in my direction. I
swimming and by making the signal
of distressed diver or problem at the surface I
that the boat driver will see me, but after 5 minutes of trying I gave
saw when the boat driver picked up my wife and the Dive Master. As I
later, my wife thought that I was trying to play a joke on her by
hiding on the
boat as she did not see me standing on the boat when she surfaced. I
when they started looking for me. It was hard for me to do the distress
signal, whistle and inflate the BCD to stay a float all at the same
The boat was on the move but it
was moving in the opposite direction. I tried using the small waves and
making signals when on the top of the waves. This either did not work
and I was
running out of air.
I kept swimming and signaling
the moment I was inside the little bay and lost eye contact with the
removed my BCD and changed my swimming position. I was swimming now
beach. When I was almost 2 meters from the shore and clould touch the
looked back and saw the boat coming back. The boat was not facing me
were looking to the shore this time. I made the distress signal again
and I saw
the Dive Master pointed in my direction. At that moment I knew that
me. Since I was already at the shore I swam back out to get closer to
Everybody, including me, looked
relieved and had a smile on their face. I had 100Psi left when I
gage on the boat. The Dive Master and the boat driver told me that if I
have stayed in the area they would have found me sooner. I laughed.
My wife was very happy to see
and hey, it will definitely be a good story to tell our kids. We were
way back to the hotel and now joking about the whole experience when
all of a
sudden I remembered that when we were loading our equipment on the
driver brought not only extra gas but also a fishing pole.
And just for the record, my
and me will dive with then any time.