One week later and after prodigious efforts to impede our own initiative towards recovering the victims and learning the truth, Divers Supply Supply (the shop the three missing and presumed dead divers originated from) now releases it's "official" version of events. The description of certain details of what happened is in sharp contrast with facts obtained from other sources involved with the tragedy. In my opinion, anything put out by these people must be regarded with a high degree of suspicion, particularly in view of their heavy handed interference with our initial attempts to assist in the recovery. The first documented lie about the "Sheriffs Department authorized submarine"( The Sheriff's Department denied any such authorization) delayed us for three days. To make matters worse Divers Supply systematically threatened with litigation and loss of business any charter operator who would assist the WKPP in the search and recovery efforts. This heavy handed and unconscionable filibustering prevented us from diving during the several days of good weather and sea conditions which followed the tragedy. It is my opinion that there is an active ongoing effort to prevent us from recovering the dive equipment of the victims, as this will be the "smoking gun" which will confirm the possible criminal negligence of the dive instructor and dive shop in the death of the Mr. Elkins. Even the sanitized version admits or suggests to irreconcilable negligent acts which are clear violations of IANTD policy and procedure if not common sense. To start with consider the following: The 17% oxygen in the mix exceeds the required 1.4 ata po2. This is an obvious admission. 38% helium? How did they arrive at this figure? Does Divers Supply have a Helium analyzer? My guess from the ensuing Charlie Foxtrot is that something other than 17/38 was being breathed from the back tanks. The description of Mr. Roth's of Mike Elkins panic smells very much like nitrogen narcosis induced panic. If there was something other than the correct mix for this depth I can understand why someone might not want us to recover the original cylinders. "He was beginning to panic and may have exhausted his bottom gas. Before I could get to him with my octopus, Mike began breathing off his travel mix. " The following quotation is strange: "At this time Mike signaled to Andre that he was at his bottom mix turn limit. (Approximately 15 minutes into the dive.) We then assumed our ascent positions ." IANTD procedures require a deep mixed gas technical dive to be turned at 1/3 of the starting tank pressure. How could Elkin's have been nearly out of gas almost immediately after the dive turn if he had in fact turned the dive at thirds? Notice that no mention is made of what the "turn limit" is. Another peculiar thread is that no mention is made of the "long hose". The only thing which is mentioned is "Before I could get to him with my octopus". IANTD procedures require a long hose on technical dives for gas sharing in just such emergencies. An octopus is not the same as a long hose. I am left asking myself were these people diving with a long hose or were they diving with an "independent" configuration with different gases in either back cylinder? We still have not answered this question yet and a recovery of the original gear would satisfy this. We know that there is a highly flawed practice amongst some socalled "technical divers" of having air or nitrox in one of the back tanks and trimix in the other. This would be a direct violation of IANTD standards. There are many more questions in here which require discussion which I will leave to later posts. Obviously the gross over weighting and the use of a narcotic and toxic travel gas in water where the risk of breathing it beyond its safe depth is a very real possibility are questions which must be dealt with. Other egregious violations of common sense were the lack of a surface towed dive float ball which would have assisted in supporting the weight of the negatively buoyant diver. "Andre handed me the buoy line to keep it clear of us while he devoted his attention to Mike. The liftbag deflated sometime during this descent. Andre began to quickly pull it down to use to pull Mike up " Float balls are standard operating procedure in WPB. Dive flags are required by law. Lift bags are unreliable at best and are notorious for deflating or running away during a reel jam. Using and depending on lift bags alone for a dive like this is beyond stupid and borders on gross negligence. In this the charter operator is negligent for allowing Andre to dive without a towed ball float. As this sad and tragic incident unfolds the truth becomes more and more horrible than anything I could have imagined. Bill -- Send mail for the `techdiver' mailing list to `firstname.lastname@example.org'. Send subscribe/unsubscribe requests to `email@example.com'.
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