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Scuabamau diving accident


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#1 cvchief

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 08:53 PM

This is from Kevin or Firstdive2005 on Scubaboard. I reposted for the locals not on SB that might know the involved.


Scuabamau diving accident

Hi All- This note is hard to write. Opal, Gabi Loco and another guest diver where hurt on a dive that should not have taken place.
First of all Opal is in the hospital as you read, unconscious and paralyzed and on a respirator. Gabi now has feelings in his legs after the chamber ride. The guest diver so far is recovering well after his ride. I am sure there will be more scheduled.
There are four divers going in the chamber with Opal to help her breath while she does her first ride. It is not good.

Ok you want to know what happened. They went to three hundred feet on air. No one knows why right now. They tried to do an in water re-compression before going back to the hospital. I know, I know. Don't need to hear what should have been done here. Save it for the dive medicine forum. We all know they should have ripped to the hospital.

There are devastated people right now on the island, divers wondering whats going on I'm sure.

The hurt divers are what are the concern right now. I am writing this to try and quell rumors before they start. I will post more as I get first hand reports from the island.

They need prayerful thought right now please. Thanks, until later, Kevin. Opal is in Gods' hands right now.

2300 update:
Hi all, I will post how it happened later ok. It is not what certain people think and close to what others are posting as far as the down welling.
Opal is in a drug induced coma. They believe she is paralyzed from the neck down right now. She was conscious on the boat before lapsing in unconsciousness. Actually that's a good sign for hope. Gabi and the other diver cant walk but are fairing well in their rides. Opal will have a CT scan down shortly. Please pray for activity.


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#2 cookielady

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 11:56 PM

Thoughts and prayers to those involved as well as the families.
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#3 Coz2wonder

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 08:58 AM

as per the Scubaboard, they are in the chamber now.

All fingers, and toes are crossed for their safe passage through this most difficult time in their lives.

Only good thoughts heading their way.
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#4 DJDiverDan

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 12:10 PM

I do hope they recover - but 300 Ft. on AIR? Whatever got into their heads? Assuming none of them were Nitrox Certified, and had never heard of Oxygen Toxicity (300 ft. would be 11 ATM, or 2.2 ATM partial pressure of Oxygen, well above the toxicity threshhold, and risking permanent nerve cell damage as well as convulsions), they still had to be aware that the Nitrogen Narcosis at that level could have caused enough disorientation to cause them to just keep going deeper. Maybe they got so narced at 160 feet, they all just decided to keep going down, or one of them did & the other 2 followed. I'd really like to know how it happened that these divers got to 300 feet on air.
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#5 mlfoto

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 05:19 PM

I do hope they recover - but 300 Ft. on AIR? Whatever got into their heads? Assuming none of them were Nitrox Certified, and had never heard of Oxygen Toxicity (300 ft. would be 11 ATM, or 2.2 ATM partial pressure of Oxygen, well above the toxicity threshhold, and risking permanent nerve cell damage as well as convulsions), they still had to be aware that the Nitrogen Narcosis at that level could have caused enough disorientation to cause them to just keep going deeper. Maybe they got so narced at 160 feet, they all just decided to keep going down, or one of them did & the other 2 followed. I'd really like to know how it happened that these divers got to 300 feet on air.


Could we hold the speculation and admonishments until we have the facts?

I believe the two most severely injured are both dive masters. One is the co-owner of the dive shop.

We are all waiting for the details, but are remaining hopeful.
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#6 DJDiverDan

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 08:20 PM

Could we hold the speculation and admonishments until we have the facts?

I believe the two most severely injured are both dive masters. One is the co-owner of the dive shop.

We are all waiting for the details, but are remaining hopeful.


You are quite right - I shouldn't speculate. And I really do hope they all make a full recovery. But I really do want to know how three experienced divers (including two dive masters) could have ended up at 300 feet. When might we know?
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#7 mlfoto

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 09:13 PM

You are quite right - I shouldn't speculate. And I really do hope they all make a full recovery. But I really do want to know how three experienced divers (including two dive masters) could have ended up at 300 feet. When might we know?


I think that those of us who care and those of us who are only acquainted with the injured, will have to wait until those who are close friends or witnesses are willing to share the details with us.

While the immediate reaction is to protect and care about the two divers who are in trouble, all of us need an honest assessment of what went wrong.

Who knows when one of us will be faced with a potentially life-threatening situation that requires a split-second decision?

I hope accurate details will be posted when they are available.
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#8 DiverDown

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 09:32 PM

You are quite right - I shouldn't speculate. And I really do hope they all make a full recovery. But I really do want to know how three experienced divers (including two dive masters) could have ended up at 300 feet. When might we know?

We might know when they are better, but now is not the time to question what happened. Now is the time to support them in their recovery, be it prayers, thoughts or whatever.
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#9 nauticab

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 10:42 PM

i will be near their shop tomorrow to see if i find out any more news. this is shocking. i pray for their recovery, and if they do recover close to or at 100%, it will be a long hard process. prayers are sent...
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#10 sailsgal

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 11:13 PM

Prayers and good energy needed in this situation...questions and answers later...!!!
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#11 Coz2wonder

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 10:11 AM

update as per Scubaboard today posted by Kevin at 11:51 am

"Ok. this is going to tear me up writing this. I was told that Opal has C2 damage that is irreversible. She is paralyzed and cannot breath on her own. They are continuing with chamber treatment. The prognosis is dire. The short future is not known right now.
Gabi has not regained feeling.
Heath is doing assisted walking.

The doctors at the chamber are and have been amazing. They have been relating this accident to other doctors for their opinions. A great thing to do this. My hat is off to the doctors and nurses that are involved in this fight.

Opals' family have a decision of their lives right now, my heart is with them and I pray they feel confident in what ever they decide.

This was not a dive trip with clients, this I want everyone to know. It was a dive for pleasure among the staff and a friend".
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#12 Coz2wonder

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 10:12 AM

sorry for the second post.
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#13 cookielady

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 11:05 AM

It is certainly sounding like a very dire situation for Opal. I don't know her personally but this has caused me to lose sleep. Praying really hard for a miracle and hoping all three divers make a complete recovery.
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#14 nauticab

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 08:29 PM

kevins posts have been from second hand info. i personally went to clin san miguel and visited and spoke to her family, and also visited gabi and heath (opal's boyfriend).
the scubaboard posts have been VERY WRONG. here is the deal, posted with permission from her family and from my speaking directly with gabi and heath to get the story straight.
while i know most of the details of the event, i will NOT post them to avoid any speculation and excessive criticizing. what is needed is positive hope, and prayers.

opal: never lost consciousness, but after the first few treatments, they seduced her to allow the treatments to work more effectively. she is experiencing total paralysis from neck down and has C2 damage, however the docs have no idea as to the extent of the damage and won't for a few more days of treatment and tests. brain wise, she is all there and with her eyes and mouth (while with tubes), is responsive to her family. she is on a breather, but can breathe on her own, albeit weak, so they keep her on the breather. her heart is strong.

gabi: he is experiencing paralysis from lower ribs down, but improving daily and with each treatment. yesterday he could not turn his head or bend his neck and woke up with a terrible pain in the head and neck which has since gone away. he is in excellent spirits, feels that with therapy that he will be ok. no more diving. one doc said maybe in two years. the other doc told him if he dives again, he will be risking his life. he is sticking with the 2nd doc's recommendation. he has no regrets for going deeper to save his boss/friend.

heath: similar hit as gabi, but with numbness and with help of a walker, can actually move around. his is the least severe, but still has tingling in all extremedies. his condition has improved as well.

if i see more rumors posted anywhere, i told her brother i would ask him and get the truth and post the truth. if you have any questions, please ask me and i will find out or tell you if i know. thanks everyone for the prayers. this will be a long road for all.
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#15 carybut

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 10:07 PM

Opal, Gabi and Heath are all very good friends of mine here on the Island Of Cozumel. Let us all just pray for their recovery! Too many rumors here, so no judgement at this time please!

I HAVE GOTTEN MANY SECOND HAND STORIES ABOUT THEIR ACCIDENT AND WILL NOT SHARE UNTIL I KNOW THE REAL TRUTH. Accidents happen, and obvivously, this was a bad one, but no real reliable reports as of yet why this happened. I have heard different stories from the shop and friends. I can tell you that I dove 2 dives the same day in a different area and that the currents were nothing that I have ever experienced on the south side.......so who knows?
They were North....then South, then west then down and that was at 80- 120 feet. So, for now, lets not judge, just pray!
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#16 gypsy

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 06:47 AM

Our prayers for Opal, Gabi and Heath. Thanks for the update.
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#17 Carey

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 07:28 AM

Thanks for the accurate from-the-horse's-mouth update, Dailene. Nothing like a good reporter on the ground on the island with the right connections! Much appreciated. Especially because the news is much more hopeful than the gossip circulating on various boards (including this one until you went to the trouble to get the straight skinny.) Do keep us posted if you find out more info.
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#18 cookielady

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 08:40 AM

Thanks Nauticab! While I don't personally know any of the involved, my heart has just been breaking for them. Lot's of prayers for their recovery.

I saw on ScubaBoard that they are having a fundraiser (BBQ dinner) to help pay the medical bills. It was also mentioned they had set up an account for donations. The person posting the information was not sure they had the account information right , thought they may have lost some of it in translation. Can you possibly find out for those of us that would like to help and post?

Thank you.
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#19 nauticab

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 09:46 AM

opal: never lost consciousness, but after the first few treatments, they seduced her to allow the treatments to work more effectively.



oops, saw a kind of funny typo here. she was sedated, not seduced. gott put some light onthe story. i think opal will like this when it is read to her! she will get a chuckle out of it.
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#20 Don @ Deep Exposure

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 02:39 PM

Suggest we all look at ways to help out financially, they'll need all the help we can provide.

Maybe a web site dedecated to asking for donations.
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