It was a beautiful summer morning in Key West, Florida and I had plans to go scuba diving. Diving was the whole point of being in Key West. It was a fairly easy destination to get to (if a 24 hour drive is easy) and I’ve enjoyed my previous trips.
I dove with the same company every dive I did on this trip. However, this particular dive was about to go very wrong.
Scuba diving in Key West
As usual, I prepped my own stuff and put it on at the appropriate time. We get briefed about the dive spot, depth of the dive, etc. Everything is normal. My dive partner takes his big step off the boat and into the water.* I’m ready to go. I take a giant step. Suddenly, my body stops mid-air and I’m slammed into the side of the boat. I hang there for maybe a second or two, though it feels longer. Then, I splash into the ocean.
I turn around to signal to the boat staff that I’m fine and ready to go, completely oblivious to the hose moving around like a possessed snake behind me. My arm hurt, but not enough to stop me from diving.
That hose had caught on the boat railing. It was attached on one end to my tank and the other end to my gauges. It couldn’t support my weight long before breaking at the weakest point and dropping me into the water.
“You’ve got to come back on board,” says the dive master. Oh yeah, without the gauges attached, I’d have problems bigger than the large bruise that formed on my upper arm.
My dive partner was the patient type and snorkeled a bit while I was getting reequipped to dive, which involved a gear change. It’s worth finding a great dive outfit; I was in good hands! I’d been using my own and they provided me with an extra they had on board. I went on to have an excellent dive!
I love and hate scuba diving. I love it when everything is just right and when you see something amazing! I love it when it’s pure relaxation. I hate it when I feel uncomfortable or nervous because I haven’t been diving in awhile. It takes me awhile to get the weights right. I’m also fully aware that emergencies can happen under the water. When you get certified, you learn how to deal with those emergencies. Snorkeling is far easier, in that regard.
I’ve been in a couple of precarious situations while diving. I once suffered an inner ear injury and slight hearing loss because I struggle to clear my ears under the water. This happened during my first week of diving in the ocean, also in Key West. I was trying to keep up with my buddy, who did not have ear issues under the water. At 35 feet, I was okay. At 40 feet, searing ear pain. Don’t do this to yourself. It is not worth it. On that trip, there were two staff members diving and we switched partners with them so my buddy could keep on diving. I missed out on an amazing dive – my partner got to see a shrimp I’d been dying to see in the wild. None of these problems required using my dive insurance, but I’m still glad I had it! I never dive without DAN (Dive Alert Network).
*side note: the giant step is the only way I have ever entered the water while scuba diving or snorkeling.
Do you scuba dive or snorkel? Have you ever had to use your emergency training while diving?