We, at DiveWise, dedicate our efforts to the memory of the loved ones lost to freediving accidents.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of those lost. May they rest in peace.
On January 14, 2002, at approximately 12:57 in the afternoon, Mauricio Solis went for his last dive. He succumbed to a classic case of shallow water blackout while training in Grand Cayman, where we moved in November. From the physiological evidence, last sightings of Mauricio, and analysis of his watch, I know I was the last person to speak to him. Because of this, I am forever left with doubts, questions, and what ifs, even though I know logically that the only way I could have saved him was for me to have been in the water with him. I am very proud of Mauricio’s freediving and hunting abilities and yet, I am torn between total acceptance that, if it was his time, then I am glad that he was in his element to the end, and anger that he knowingly freedove alone over my many protests. Grief is a selfish emotion and although I am reasonably sure he is in a better place, I can’t help feel that he left much too soon and that I lost him to freediving.
It takes just 2 seconds to make a mistake that can end your life. Mauricio promised that he would never push his limits and he wasn’t known to be a daredevil in the water. I’m sure that he didn’t realize it, but factors that he wasn’t aware of caused him to black out. I just hope that if other freedivers, like Mauricio, choose to dive alone and think they are being safe, the danger is beyond your control.
Goodbye Chapparito Man,
I will love you always.
Reprinted with permission
A very long time ago I met my first real life dive buddy, jsharbel71, on deeperblue. We both lived in Birmingham, and we both dove the same place. We had a lot more in common it turned out, and we soon made a weekly habit of diving together. We encouraged each other, and learned together and assisted each other in PB attempts. We helped each other through our first Sambas and LMC's.
Life came along, and soon neither one of us had time to dive any more.
We missed diving, and always spoke fondly of getting back in the water as soon as life stopped conspiring to keep us away from it.
A few months ago, my friend went diving alone because, although I wanted to go with him, I had obligations which I could not be rescheduled. It was his first dive of the season. He had a good day and dove for many hours and enjoyed himself. Then he went down to play at 20m by writing on something and blacked out during his ascent. Because he was alone, he drowned and died.
It is important to note that J had been much deeper for much longer under much more strenuous conditions. J didn't mean to die. J thought he was OK.
I will not say do not dive alone. If you are the kind of person who dives alone, it would only fall on deaf ears. Please, who ever you are, where ever you dive, no matter what your skill level is, realize this:
If you dive alone, you are gambling with your life. Please think about the people who love you, the things you haven't yet accomplished and the tragedy that you would inflict on those around you by accidentally dying. Please realize that if you dive alone, in water of any depth, you are gambling with your life. Some of us are lucky, and some of us aren't.
No one, NOT EVEN YOU, is lucky all the time.