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Author Topic: what would you do? caught up in down current  (Read 4937 times)

Solid_jim

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thought this is a good share ;)
Dunno why so many boliao people
eat too full
post bo liao things

awkwardmiffy

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Re: what would you do? caught up in down current
« Reply #1 on: 19 May 14, 23:56 »
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  • much appreciated. looks like theres many types of currents under the sea...

    BareBear

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    Re: what would you do? caught up in down current
    « Reply #2 on: 20 May 14, 09:21 »
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  • I asked the same question of an experienced guide who has been caught in a down current several times and lived to tell the tale. He told me:

    Always stay close to the reef. In the event of a downcurrent, grab hold to whatever you have to, even hard corals, and pull yourself sideways and up.

    Swimming out to the open ocean may or may not work depending on the topology of the landmass there that causes the downcurrent. I think grabbing and climbing is safer and will work for most situations.
    « Last Edit: 20 May 14, 09:29 by BareBear »

    awkwardmiffy

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    Re: what would you do? caught up in down current
    « Reply #3 on: 20 May 14, 11:14 »
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  • Always stay close to the reef. In the event of a downcurrent, grab hold to whatever you have to, even hard corals, and pull yourself sideways and up.


    was wondering if a reef hook would be helpful to keep us in place. should we wait it out if we already have a firm hold on a reef/coral?

    Solid_jim

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    Re: what would you do? caught up in down current
    « Reply #4 on: 20 May 14, 11:34 »
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  • what if you cant grab any reef in time? and its out of reach? best bet is to swim out to open instead of trying to fin towards the reef and tiring yourself for the attempt.
    Dunno why so many boliao people
    eat too full
    post bo liao things

    cloudberrie

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    Re: what would you do? caught up in down current
    « Reply #5 on: 20 May 14, 12:50 »
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  • I just read an article on drift and reef hooks about this two days back.

    below's the link. Seems to suggest that swimming horizontally out of the down current area is an option.
    http://divernet.com/Training/training_general/160036/sling_your_hook.html

    any personal experiences out there? :)
    The cure for everything is saltwater. Sweat, salt or seawater. SEAWATER!!

    siaokao

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    Re: what would you do? caught up in down current
    « Reply #6 on: 20 May 14, 15:49 »
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  • I agree with bearbear. While swimming out into the blue make sense (I've tried exploring this before), but it MAY not work for all kinds of downcurrents. I've been caught in down currents many times and I'm sure the "hang on to reef" method works.

    While it maybe difficult to swim back to reef, it seem to me the most proven method. In anycase, if swimming back to reef is difficult, swimming out into the blue will not likely be easy too. Plus, once u reach the reef, you can actually do the Spider-Man wall climb.

    Please consider carefully no matter which method you want to try. Do not follow simply coz it's on nat geo.. :)
    So they call it a 'FACT' coz someone made some statements on a 'FACT SHEET'? hummm...

    siaokao

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    Re: what would you do? caught up in down current
    « Reply #7 on: 20 May 14, 15:59 »
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  • was wondering if a reef hook would be helpful to keep us in place. should we wait it out if we already have a firm hold on a reef/coral?
    in situations like this, it is unlikely you have the time to deploy reef hook. Things happen so quickly and by the time u found ur hook.. You maybe very deep down. Also, even if you manage to deploy and secure the hook, it may cause u more trouble if u decide to climb the wall.. Entanglement can be a real risk here.

    As to wait out or climb, really depends on what depth u r at and if you have enough air to wait. I will wait out if I'm in safe depth and have at least 20 min air in tank. If too deep or low on air, I will climb to safer depth or climb to someone that can donate air to me. These while, I only have to climb once, I waited out the rest, they usually stop in a min or two. (Of coz when u are caught in one.. That one min may feel like an hr! Haha)
    So they call it a 'FACT' coz someone made some statements on a 'FACT SHEET'? hummm...

    BareBear

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    Re: what would you do? caught up in down current
    « Reply #8 on: 20 May 14, 16:13 »
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  • what if you cant grab any reef in time? and its out of reach? best bet is to swim out to open instead of trying to fin towards the reef and tiring yourself for the attempt.

    That is why he told us to stay close to the reef at all times. And stay away from the drop off. This was at Nusa Penida btw.

    Staying close to the reef gives you 2 advantages. 1, it is easier for you to grab something and 2, you are more sheltered as the bigger hard corals break the full force of the down current.

    I don't know, swimming out into the open ocean sounds extremely risky to me. First, you don't know the distance you need to swim out to be out of the force of the downcurrent. By the time you get out of its force, you might already be swept down many meters.

    If you do that, you are also going to be separated from your buddy very quickly. That will definitely get your panic level up even higher.

    If you are diving nitrox, ox-tox is going to be a real issue as you are finning hard.

    As you swim away from rocky formations, the maximum possible depth you can go down increases.

    Also, swimming towards the reef/wall to grab something is going to be much nearer than trying to swim out into the ocean. Some places where there are multiple islets directing the flow of the current, like at Nusa, swimming away from the reef might do more harm than good.

    Just my thoughts, I've never personally experienced a downcurrent so take what I say with a big pinch of salt.

    sara!

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    Re: what would you do? caught up in down current
    « Reply #9 on: 20 May 14, 16:58 »
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  • Perhaps, if possible, it is good to know what experienced local divers think what the best course is.

    Crystal Bay, for example, often associated with advice to stick to the wall/slope, and do not wander to the blue (even if those bl**dy molas are on the blue). If you were lucky enough to get caught on down current then hold onto rocks on the base of the coral (not the coral itself, not sponge, as they would give way and this would increase the chance of panicking), waited for awhile, and once you controlled your breath, did your spiderman crawl if possible and if you were comfortable enough to do so. Did this many times and it worked.

    I suspect that the swim into the blue approach is more suitable for those current that hit straight onto deep vertical wall (as opposed to shallower water/slope contour)? Perhaps also related to how the current was created. In certain vertical deep wall sites in Banda Sea, I was told to go swimming into the blue in any case the current emerged during the dives. And yes, encountered the nasty current couple times, and thank heavens it worked too.