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Author Topic: 2 Russian divers die in Surat Thani  (Read 2408 times)


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2 Russian divers die in Surat Thani
« on: 23 Dec 14, 08:15 »
PHUKET — Two locally-based Russian cave divers are dead after an accident in the Chiao Lan reservoir in Surat Thani province.

The victims and two others rented a boat Sunday from the Chiewlan Municipal Pier and then dived to an underwater cave, believed to be known as Tiger Cave.

The victims and two others rented a boat Sunday from the Chiao Lan Municipal Pier and then dived to an underwater cave, believed to be known as Tiger Temple cave.

He was taken to Surat Thani General Hospital, where doctors decided he should be transferred to the decompression chamber at Vachira Phuket Hospital. However, he died while transport was being arranged.

A spokesman at Surat Thani Hospital said that Dokuchaev was believed to have drowned, but an autopsy has yet to be performed to establish this and the proximate cause of death.

Surat Thani deputy governor Wichawut Jinto, who visited Solomatin before his death, said, "Usually we prohibit people from diving alone without guidance in the reservoir. I will advise officials at the pier about this before they allow [boats with divers] to go out."

First reports from within the dive community in Phuket suggested that Dokuchaev may have suffered oxygen toxicity - a condition caused by a malfunction or misuse of rebreathing equipment, which can result in a seizure similar to epilepsy and loss of consciousness. Solomatin apparently suffered a lung embolism from ascending too fast from the depths of the cave.

However these scenarios have yet to be confirmed by medical experts.




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Re: 2 Russian divers die in Surat Thani
« Reply #1 on: 23 Dec 14, 12:53 »
Cave Diving.... as dangerous as penetration wreck diving... RIP.

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Re: 2 Russian divers die in Surat Thani
« Reply #2 on: 30 Dec 14, 16:45 »
Cave Diving.... as dangerous as penetration wreck diving... RIP.

yup it is dangerous

too bad no details of the dive site (depth, size) and kind of dives they were doing (exploratory, repeated visit etc) and if other members had any similar issues with fast surfacing..


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Re: 2 Russian divers die in Surat Thani
« Reply #3 on: 30 Dec 14, 17:42 »
Mystery surrounds deaths of Phuket cave divers at Khao Sok National Park

K ritsada Mueanhawong
Isaac Stone Simonelli
Phuket Gazette
Phuket December 25, 2014 12:46 pm

Two experienced Phuket cave divers died after a diving accident on technical rebreathers near the entrance of Tiger Cave in the Chio Lan Reservoir, Surat Thani, on Monday.
Dmitry Dokuchave, 46, died at the scene, while fellow Russian national Alexander Solomatin was pronounced dead at Surat Thani Hospital.

"Both bodies were transferred to Vachira Phuket Hospital, with the preliminary cause of death cited as decompression sickness," said a Surat Thani Hospital staffer who declined to be named.

The Russians were with two other divers, who altogether had rented out a boat and were using their own dive equipment at the time of the accident, a technical diving school manager who knew the divers explained to the Phuket Gazette.

"They were highly certified technical, rebreather and cave divers who had done many cave dives and rebreather dives before. They knew what they were doing," said the manager, who declined to be named.

However, something went wrong. The group had split into two teams, with two divers exploring the wall to search for a second entrance to the cave, while the Russians planned to use the main entrance of the cave, which sits at about 24 meters below the surface.

"According to a dive computer used by the Russians, [it looks like] one them probably noticed that something was wrong. He most likely than told his buddy that he would have to abort the dive… and probably told the other diver to continue his dive while he sorted out the problem," the manger said.

"What the problem was, at this stage, we don't know," she added, as she has been in close contact with the two surviving divers.

"According to his [Mr Dokuchave's] dive computer, he was at about 20 meters [depth] when the problem started, so he wasn't inside the cave yet. He stayed there for about two minutes, probably trying to fix the problem. Then, according the dive computer profile, he shot up to the surface."

The two other divers found Mr Dokuchave unconscious on the surface with his rebreather mouthpiece out of his mouth. One of them began emergency rescue procedures.

"Before they found him, [Mr Solomatin] must have known something was wrong… so he would have been looking for him after he had finished his own decompression stops and went back down. This would have probably meant he suffered from decompression sickness, but that needs to be confirmed by a coroner," the manager said.

The other two divers located Mr Solomatin, and, with the help of Thais working on the lake, rushed him to Surat Thani Hospital.

"We visited [Mr Solomatin] at the hospital," said Surat Thani Vice Governor Witchawut Jinto. "Doctors did their best to save him, but they just couldn't."

"This is a sad accident. I am deeply sorry for their families."

V/Gov Witchawut said that officers would be moving to close the dive sites in the Chio Lan Reservoir to tourists, leaving it open only for scientific efforts.

"We do not want to see such accidents in the future, the reservoir is not a diving area for tourists. We will look at what measures can be taken to prevent such accidents in the future," he said.

The reservoir encompassed by Khao Sok National park is well known and well used by the Phuket dive community. It is regularly used for recreational diving, as well as for certifying cave divers, as some of the caves are relatively easy to penetrate - providing excellent opportunities for training.

"Tiger Cave is a more difficult cave. All the divers were full cave certified, so they knew what they were doing and had been there before," said the manager.

"However, it should be taken into account that the accident did not happen inside the cave, so that wasn't the problem. This might have been a problem with the rebreather, but we need to be sure about this."


More info available here. The report seems to suggest it may be a rebreather or medical incident rather than a cave accident.

I hope the Thai authorities don't close the caves.


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