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#41 Xuxan

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 06:25 PM

Perception of ‘hostility’ is subjective so I cannot speak to it. Ok, Dailene knows people; has contact, and gone to great lenght to get the true and correct information. Then why post that she knew what happened, but she's not sharing. What is the purpose of this message? Because she does not want to start rumours?

But to be fair, here's the bottom-line: Is reason on my side? Yes, or no?

Is it fair to wonder why if a person does not want to share information would broadcast that she’s in possession of the information? Is my question so out of place and hostile, really?

I am not the only one who find this to be the truth that it is always the lack of information that feeds speculation and rumor and not the other way around. Is this an unfair statment?

So if one does not want to share information, then why invite people to ask questions and then offer to find the answers? I am totally baffled by that one.

As a diver, I am very concerned about the existence of such strong undercurrent. The harm that it caused these three divers can’t be glossed over. With Cozumel as a known diver’s destination, this whole incident speaks to the safety to everyone who dives in Cozumel, or is thinking about diving here.

I do not doubt that you are not alone in your sentiment in appreciating Dailene's effort in getting the information to address a lot of people's concern. Then, I am that much more baffled why then make a point to put it out there that she's "not sharing" -- those are not my words. That Dailene knows people and has contact as you pointed out made it that much more unsettling. Why the double talk then, when the purpose is to provide clarity over an incident that has such a magnitude of such seriousness?

You can fault me for not 'going along to get along'. But nothing in my posting can be said that my line of questions out of meaness to be hostile.
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#42 Xuxan

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 06:30 PM

Well Gabi just posted a response on the other board......he is basically glad to be alive and thanks GOD for helping him go to 400ft to save Opal.


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#43 Xuxan

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 06:35 PM

400 ft!!! Good God!

In our scuba diving training, one of the lessons being taught is what to do in the case when a diver is in danger not only to themself, but also to you. Should you risk your life as well as the lives of other divers? I know what the training taught us according to the textbook... but as human, how can one watch and does nothing?
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#44 Carey

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 06:45 PM

The consensus is quite clear that this accident was not caused by treacherous or unexpected currents. There is a really excellent post on scuba board which is linked higher up in this thread. In it the gentleman discusses conclusions he's come to and how he got there. I suggest you find the link, go there and read it. Summary form -- it had to have been diver error -- and narcosis -- not water conditions that caused this accident. And he goes into great detail as to how he came to his conclusions.

The bad currents rumor was originally put out, apparently, by the diver who was able to talk right after the accident, the one who stayed at 150 feet. But if I understand correctly, this young man has retracted that story now. It will persist for a time, however, that being the nature of the internet.
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#45 cvchief

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 07:31 PM

What a wonderful man, and friend Gabi was...


"is" ?
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El Jefe

Wishing I was retiring to Cozumel.....

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#46 nauticab

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 12:22 AM

i was out of town since thurs afternoon, when, just before boarding the plane, i got the latest info about her finally getting a bed in the hospital, how the flight was paid for, etc.
out of respect of the family, i kept info quiet. many of us "in the know", with first hand from the victims themselves, kept a very tight circle of trust with this info, OUT OF RESPECT FOR THE VICTIMS, THE DIVE SHOP, AND THE COZUMEL DIVE INDUSTRY.
very few people, and i mean very few actually got in touch with me to get more info. and i chose wisely how much to give and to whom. these few people have kept their word of keeping the info quiet as well, which reflects the "in the dark-ness" of the situation until now.
i knew the info that was posted on scuba board on monday/tuesday. i also saw the pain in the eyes of opal's mom and brothers, of gabi, and of heath. if you were there, you would have done the same.
i am glad the truth came out, which is what i suspected from the beginning when i read the news monday morning: a poorly executed dive with tragic results. most all of us who knew what was going on kept our small circle until the dust could settle a little bit and also out of respect of the family. the incident was kept super quiet, even within the dive community until monday, even though it happened sat morning. so if you were offended by my offering details but not posting it, so be it.
now, IMHO, what the dive businesses here need to focus on is the following:
more training for the captains as to signs of DCS.
giving the captains the AUTHORITY OVER THE DM for redundancy of equipment if a planned deep dive, with a tank hanging at 60', etc etc. (i now of dive ops that have a tank or 2 hanging at 60' whenever there is a punta sur dive).
also giving the capt auth OVER THE DM to tell them NO for an in water recompression and insist on chamber treatment (or at least evaluation) immediately. it shouldn't matter if it was the boss wanting to do it.

i have never heard of any dive op giving rec divers the option of a deeper dive than 200, and that is rarer than you could imagine. and if so, only with known tech divers with experience with that dive op, with redundant air supply and what-ifs covered.

i know gabi and told him to his face when i visited him that it was stupid. he knows it. they all know it. and they are all suffering. only heath has insurance. DMs in coz have very limited diving insurance and DAN does not cover them like they do all you fine folk.

the situation is so incredibly sensitive if the wrong stuff got out. but all of it affects us in some way shape or form. some people just want to know for the sake of knowing. others have a very good reason to have the priviledged info. so until you are privy of info that EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER want to know, yet you feel an obligation to get some info out and know there are a small handful of folks who want more info and you trust their intentions, i would suggest you open mouth and insert foot. don't judge me nor my actions when you know nothing about what the hell is going on.
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#47 Xuxan

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 02:13 PM

There are two issues with this tragedy: The human aspect, and the perceived safety concerns of the diving conditions in certain areas in Cozumel. Especially if the latter is a false accusation, it is particularly sinister.

No question that we are all pulling for those who are injured, as well as for their families who will need to stay strong and help the victims toward a speedy recovery. That said…

I, for one, appreciate the updates as the divers inched toward improvements. That’s good news! And we welcomed that.

I just returned from a class-reunion in Vancouver, Canada; first in 40 years with a group of some 60+ attendees from different parts of the world. My husband did not accompanied me on this trip and stayed behind in Cozumel. He was the one who originally called my attention to this diving accident. Before long, emails started coming in from old- and new friends that I recently met during the class reunion. How it started, I couldn’t tell. But words spread fast nowadays. “It sounds dangerous…”, “Is diving in Cozumel such as good idea?”, “Should you dive?..”

I’m not a seasoned diver – barely made 30 dives myself. But still I wondered: Did these divers planned their dives and dives their plans?

I checked the Cozumel4Cozumel Forum to see what I could find to quell the concerns in the emails I received. I checked the Scubaboard also. It was divisive. I read the comment by Heath, the third diver, advising someone who questioned the down current as the cause that jeopardized the lives of 2 of his friends to ‘… please shut the fxxx up’.

The Cozumel4Cozumel forum was full of prayerful well-wishers, but very little else in the way of dispersing the pall of ‘certain dive sites in Cozumel is/are dangerous’; Mother Nature’s down current can pull one down to 200ft /400ft (whatever) in Cozumel’; ‘diving in Cozumel is dangerous’.

Health’s eyewitness’s account while powerful, the credibility of whether it could have happened that way was questioned from the start. There is also the article claiming to be knowledgeable about the event, BUT, oophs… can’t post! Then Heath recanted his down current story.

Although the victims are all well liked members of the Cozumel community -- and respectable dive shop operator, I also feel that divers, and Cozumel as a safe diving destination are at the mercy of misplaced concerns that has nothing to do with the medical recovery and well-being of the victims.

The ‘foot in the mouth’ took only just one person, in just one good-intended deliberate false account about the down current. This started the parsing of events. The diving public simply wants to know ‘does this down current really exists’ because our suspicion is that it does not. And, is it safe to dive? If anything seems to be cleared, it’s that we are all aware that the full course of the events will emerge in time. No one expects anyone to point fingers even if it’s a known fact to those who are close to the family, that it all comes down to human error(s). But to say that one ‘knows what happened but it can’t post’ -- to control rumor, is misplaced priority in the first order.

This whole event is water-under-the-bridge. As far as I’m concerned, no more need to be said.

But do rest assured that the context of any publicly messages posted in any FORUM will be judged. Mine is no exception.
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#48 cozdiver00

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 02:33 PM

Then Heath recanted his down current story.


He did ? Where is that posted? Thx
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#49 nauticab

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 03:10 PM

the story as told on scubaboard about the planned 250-300 ft dive, with no redundancy, no hanging tank, and NO down currents is true.
the in water recompression at 60 ft upon surfacing with all 3 completely out of air, is true. probably made the conditions much worse that what they would have been.
one victim posted his view on scuba board (short and sweet). the stories from the other two, basically admitting their lack of planning for a deep dive, therefore suffering the horrible consequences, and the depth plan of 250+ negates the other diver's post.

if you screw up, but don't want to take all the blame for doing something that was downright irresponsible for a diver, it is easy to blame mother nature. (please do NOT take this statement the wrong way....i am not implicating blame for the accident, but instead responsibility for the lack of planning, therefore changing the story ever so slightly to make it seem not so bad.)

it is posted very clearly on scubaboard about the REALITY of downcurrents here. downcurrents can be scary, but they are short lived since our currents are constantly flowing. and they may take you down 30ft from your position, typically shooting you back up shortly thereafter. taking someone from 200+ to 400 is very likely, NOT a reality. they are NOT year round, and if you are close to the wall, getting sucked into one is harder. nitrogen narcosis, as stated by the DM IS a reality.

if you look for the clues as you are diving for downcurrents, you can make the proper decisions to get out of it.
1. watch your bubbles. if they start going down, there is a down current.
2. watch the sand chutes on the wall. ditto above.
3. watch the fish. a strong downcurrent will make the small fish swim and hide in the little crevices.
4. if you are on a deep dive (100+), and feel a downcurrent, get as close to the wall as possible (this is when you can ignore the 1 meter space between you and the wall) and gently kick vertically to ascend.
5. if you are on a strong downcurrent, grab the corals if you have to if #4 does not work.
6. NEVER PANIC. stay with your buddy and communicate.

xuxan, i don't know who you are and while i admire your love of diving and concern for the island and visiting divers, your comment "But to say that one ‘knows what happened but it can’t post’ -- to control rumor, is misplaced priority in the first order." is way off.

you are new here and to the forum, in the whole scheme of things. you don't know who is on this forum who lurks, but those of us who have been around do. there are folks on this forum who are very close friends of the victims but don't want to post anything either for the same reason. there are concerned DMs and instructors and shop owners who wish to understand what happened to possibly make changes in their operation and want to get info from someone who REALLY knows what is going on.

i have been in contact constantly with the owners, the divers, and some of the medical team working with them. opal's brother, when he came up to me to tell me the latest, even said that my posting "that i know but won't post it" was 100% appropriate.

so, again, folks who had a REAL reason to know the details, could have emailed me. you never did, so why are you complaining. (i never post like this, but you are stepping on a very fragile ground with respect to the info i had....it was NOT to be shared publicly until the timing was right.)

btw, opal's latest med report: today is a rest day of sorts for therapy. tomorrow will be the last test if she can breathe on her own before putting in a tracheotomy, which they are trying to avoid. she is communicating lucidly using blinking with a white board and the docs pointing at the letters and words. also, when they sponge bathe her, she feels pain. which is a good sign. the girl is a fighter. there is no way of knowing the outcome...it will take time. there are reports as to the condition of gabi and heath on scubaboard but i have not confirmed this to post.
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#50 waterartist

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 03:13 PM

There are two issues with this tragedy: The human aspect, and the perceived safety concerns of the diving conditions in certain areas in Cozumel. Especially if the latter is a false accusation, it is particularly sinister.

No question that we are all pulling for those who are injured, as well as for their families who will need to stay strong and help the victims toward a speedy recovery. That said…

I, for one, appreciate the updates as the divers inched toward improvements. That’s good news! And we welcomed that.

I just returned from a class-reunion in Vancouver, Canada; first in 40 years with a group of some 60+ attendees from different parts of the world. My husband did not accompanied me on this trip and stayed behind in Cozumel. He was the one who originally called my attention to this diving accident. Before long, emails started coming in from old- and new friends that I recently met during the class reunion. How it started, I couldn’t tell. But words spread fast nowadays. “It sounds dangerous…”, “Is diving in Cozumel such as good idea?”, “Should you dive?..”

I’m not a seasoned diver – barely made 30 dives myself. But still I wondered: Did these divers planned their dives and dives their plans?

I checked the Cozumel4Cozumel Forum to see what I could find to quell the concerns in the emails I received. I checked the Scubaboard also. It was divisive. I read the comment by Heath, the third diver, advising someone who questioned the down current as the cause that jeopardized the lives of 2 of his friends to ‘… please shut the fxxx up’.

The Cozumel4Cozumel forum was full of prayerful well-wishers, but very little else in the way of dispersing the pall of ‘certain dive sites in Cozumel is/are dangerous’; Mother Nature’s down current can pull one down to 200ft /400ft (whatever) in Cozumel’; ‘diving in Cozumel is dangerous’.

Health’s eyewitness’s account while powerful, the credibility of whether it could have happened that way was questioned from the start. There is also the article claiming to be knowledgeable about the event, BUT, oophs… can’t post! Then Heath recanted his down current story.

Although the victims are all well liked members of the Cozumel community -- and respectable dive shop operator, I also feel that divers, and Cozumel as a safe diving destination are at the mercy of misplaced concerns that has nothing to do with the medical recovery and well-being of the victims.

The ‘foot in the mouth’ took only just one person, in just one good-intended deliberate false account about the down current. This started the parsing of events. The diving public simply wants to know ‘does this down current really exists’ because our suspicion is that it does not. And, is it safe to dive? If anything seems to be cleared, it’s that we are all aware that the full course of the events will emerge in time. No one expects anyone to point fingers even if it’s a known fact to those who are close to the family, that it all comes down to human error(s). But to say that one ‘knows what happened but it can’t post’ -- to control rumor, is misplaced priority in the first order.

This whole event is water-under-the-bridge. As far as I’m concerned, no more need to be said.

But do rest assured that the context of any publicly messages posted in any FORUM will be judged. Mine is no exception.

with only 30 dives under your belt, I can understand why you have never experienced the downwelling. I have been diving in Cozumel since 1980, and I can tell you from first-hand experience. IT EXISTS. rarely at Santa Rosa and Often at Barracuda.
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#51 cozdaddy

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 03:18 PM

While I feel extremley bad for the people involved in this accident, by keeping information secert on what happended fuels the speculation of what truly happened and rumors start. One of the other big problems and I know that the Dive Operators need divers to survive but when one supress the truth the issue becomes is that Dive Operator a safe company to dive with and are the DM's and Boat captains up to snuff. As one who travels to Cozumel I would be hesitant to dive with someone who might put me and my loveds ones at risk.

If someone knows the truth they need to put it out there accidents happen I for one am not going to judge but there are lessons out there for everyone to learn from. Also since Hurricane Wilma and with all the drug violence along the border the Island is suffering with lack of tourists. My wife and I were there in July and the Island was dead. Most of the shops were closing up at 8:00pm. When people try and keep things covered up it's only going to hurt the dive Industry even more in Cozumel.
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Breath in Breath out move on

#52 nauticab

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 03:46 PM

the not disclosing was just giving the situation breathing room to see what was likely going to happen. it was not an intent to cover up anything at all.

the event did NOT involve any tourists. it was a pleasure dive trip amongst friends that went bad. it involved poor planning that made many of us in the dive industry (active or not) furious. the dust needed to settle.

i can understand the point of view that perhaps there was a cover up. but that was not the case. the families needed to focus on the LIVES, HEALTH AND SURVIVAL of their loved ones before they got bombarded with comments as to the dive plan itself.

the threads spiralled way out of control and last monday is when we started to work on damage control. damage control means relaying the complete correct information to the correct people and getting general info to the public. the few of us in the tight circle of comunication (approved by the family) needed to get this info and we agreed upon how to do so.

again, downcurrents DO exist, but not to the exaggerated views as some have posted. i have had to crawl up the wall for oh, 30 seconds, before it stopped. i have entered the shoot at palancar bricks and the other DM and i saw and FELT the current change before we got on the wall, and changed the dive plan to be on the inside instead of the wall, much to the disappointment of a couple with us.

seasoned divers here (hundreds of logged dives or more), and especially long time working DMs, instructors, and captains, know, see and feel downcurrents, often before they hit full on, even on the surface. we can feel the current changing direction faster than most divers can read their gauges. and they are not general downcurrents. i was diving maracaibo, was at the surface waiting on the boat, and a downcurrent was literally 3 meters from me. i could see it at the surface. moved my divers out of the way those few feet and all was fine. been on barracuda with a downcurrent and just basically hugged the wall, and a few seconds later, it went away. we started ascending at that point since we were already deep for a while.

when i dove with friends (not clients), we dove longer cause we use less air. i would not take my clients as long as i did, since they most likely could not make a tank last as long as i can. i did a one time bounce 200 ft dive and we came back up according to plan. i would NOT take clients on that. their plan was excessively deep and got out of control with bad decisions, decisions probably even further complicated by narcosis. basing the actions of what some do outside of the client forum does not ALWAYS reflect their actions with clients. i drive slower with my kid in the car than when alone. i had doctors that smoked and were overweight telling me how to be healthy. we don't always practice what we preach when away from others. i am NOT justifying what happened. i am livid over the whole thing. but it does not reflect their business practices. we have no idea what other factors (psychologically etc) that could have played a role in their (lack of) decisions.

so you can see, this was NOT a downcurrent situation. perhaps a tiny bit for a few seconds, but not the culprit of the accident.
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#53 nauticab

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 04:04 PM

since there is a facebook page with continued first hand knowledge of opal's, gabi's and heath's progress, i will just give you the name so you can see it yourself.
also, if you don't use paypal and want to help with gabi's expenses, there is a can in the chamber clinic (on 5, near mcdonalds) for donations.
facebook: Rally for Opal & Gabi & Heath's Recovery Scuba Mau
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#54 cozdiver00

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 05:16 PM

Nauticab,

Gabi has already shown his willingness to discuss the dive. How about getting a list of questions together and seeing if he wants to talk? Also you might want to remind him that since he appears to have saved a diver from 400 ft who knows maybe a book deal a movie with the right connections? It might be an idea to pay for the medical costs for all.
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#55 waterartist

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 05:33 PM

Nauticab,

Gabi has already shown his willingness to discuss the dive. How about getting a list of questions together and seeing if he wants to talk? Also you might want to remind him that since he appears to have saved a diver from 400 ft who knows maybe a book deal a movie with the right connections? It might be an idea to pay for the medical costs for all.

there is a t.v. show on animal channel called"I shouldn't be alive" a series on survivors of various situations, not necessarily having to do with animals.
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#56 nauticab

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 07:33 PM

i can mention it to him! :) never know.
i have seen some episodes of this though and just want to kick the cr*p out of these people for their stupidity. like the chick who went with her dog to hike in the grand canyon (i think), only had one thing of water, lost her way, and also didn't tell anyone she was going, got totally turned around and was out there for like a week, no food, no water, delusional, and about to die when an american indian found her. the dog was smart and left after day 2. he did find the people to save her.

however, i would hate for gabi and the crew to be the subject of national scrutiny for their survival. plus the potential negative impact it would have on the island. if they kept the location silent (an island in the caribbean), perhaps.
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#57 nauticab

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 07:35 PM

also, like the movie open water, about the dive boat trip in the bahamas where the 2 divers were left and got eaten by sharks after spending the whole day and night out there. showed really stupid actions on the part of the crew, plus the divers didn't do some simple things to get seen. for me, got me thinking about the professionalism of a possible dive op in the bahamas.
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#58 Xuxan

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 08:20 PM

"But to say that one ‘knows what happened but it can’t post’ -- to control rumor, is misplaced priority in the first order." is way off.

True story: In my High School years, I accompanied a friend to an Army Recruiting Center. It’s a typical recruiting office, sparsely furnished: two interviewing officers sitting behind two desks in an opened space side-by-side. The interviewee sat in a chair between the two desks in the aisle. One of the criteria of joining the Army / Armed Force is to have a clean police record. As mentioned, it was an opened space and I heard one recruiter asking a perspective recruit: “Have you ever committed a crime or have a police record?”
The young guy answered: “Well, I stole a car once, but I was never caught.”
After the young man left, the recruiter muttered, “He’s either incredibly honest, or incredibly stupid, or both. Why did he say that?” I guessed he was just frustrated that he had just lost a perspective recruit. That’s a learning moment for me.

“you are new here and to the forum, in the whole scheme of things. you don't know who is on this forum who lurks, but those of us who have been around do. there are folks on this forum who are very close friends of the victims but don't want to post anything either for the same reason. there are concerned DMs and instructors and shop owners who wish to understand what happened to possibly make changes in their operation and want to get info from someone who REALLY knows what is going on.”

Being new can be an advantage. I don’t have any personal interest at stake and can ask the question because the situation begs for an answer.

Medical records are personal and privileged information between the patient and his/her doctor. I have no wish to extract this information from you, Dailene, or any other inner-circle members. I am satisfied to follow their progress as information became available.

As to who I am; I am not a DM, instructor, or shop owner who need specific details about the incident.

“…, could have emailed me. you never did, so why are you complaining. (i never post like this, but you are stepping on a very fragile ground with respect to the info i had....it was NOT to be shared publicly until the timing was right.)”

Again, I have no reason to know the blow-by-blow details of the accident and nor have I ever made any request along those lines. First, there’s the Swine Flu, then there’s the Housing Crisis that hits every economy imaginable. These are difficult economical time, sir. Instead of calling my postings ‘complains’, my hope and challenge are for the better angels in those who are “in the know” because of their longer association with this place, such as yourself and Dailene and whoever else made up this ‘close inner circle’ are, that they will do the right and decent thing by alleviating the pall of suspicion that the dive sites is Cozumel are dangerous and are in no way the culprit of this unfortunate incident.

In all due respect, I don’t see myself stepping on any fragile ground. I’ve already mentioned that I have never asked for medical information of any of the divers who are injured, and I have indicated that I have no interest in the blow-by-blow event that led to this incident. What then, do you think I want you to share that’s so fragile? If it’s human error, then the image of Cozumel’s as a safe diving destination should not be tarnished, and neither should the sense of being able to enjoy a dive safely anywhere in Cozumel be diminished for other divers. I see that you’re assuming the responsibility of choosing the RIGHT TIMING on this one, and I will be watching with great hope and interest.
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#59 Xuxan

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 08:26 PM

with only 30 dives under your belt, I can understand why you have never experienced the downwelling. I have been diving in Cozumel since 1980, and I can tell you from first-hand experience. IT EXISTS. rarely at Santa Rosa and Often at Barracuda.



I do not doubt that it exists. But does it pull you from 250 to 400 ft that cause this particular accident?
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#60 Xuxan

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 08:48 PM

I agree that a "cover up" is a little on the drama side. What surprised is that, surely this can't possibly be the first dive accident in Cozumel. Considering all these accidents that had occurred at one time or another, yet, but not addressing the issue but opted to buy time to see what happened succeeded in painting Cozumel as having dangerous down current, which by the way, do not distinguish between whether one is a tourist or not. But sufice to say that the original suggestion was that the current was so dangerously powerful that it can pull a diver from 250 (or whatever) to 400ft -- that is a nasty force to content with. As much as I feel for the victims, I also cry ‘foul’ for the local dive industry that has to deal with putting that image back in perspective in a bad economy. That is just so totally unnecessary. And for divers too, whose pleasure for the dive now has to be put on hold because they spooked, and for no reason.
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