Danger in Diving the Depths
My Terrifying Dive to 90 feet
by Nancy Allen
March 15, 2013
Nancy Giving Diving Demonstration at
Hayes Elementary School in Ada, Oklahoma
In 1989 I went on a scuba diving trip as part of a class to Beaver Lake in Arkansas. We were all taught in PADI diving classes to never dive alone. I have always been a big believer in that. Our group paired up for the dive. I was not particularly thrilled to be partnered with a man who said he hadnít dived in at least 10 years and I had never met him. He had a bulky camera and light contraption with him. He seemed to be kind of an oddball, for lack of a better term. I was a bit shocked our instructor let the man go on and dive, apparently with no instructions and review of the safety rules. There are many things to remember in diving. It can be dangerous if strict safety rules aren't followed.
I was still pretty much of a beginner but had completed at least one class at that point. My partner and I started descending to about 60 ft. I hadn't planned to go any deeper. At the Oklahoma lakes I have dived in, if a person dives to that depth or deeper it is pitch black. I got my flash light on. At that time I had a regular mask on. I normally wore bifocals on land to see close up. I had a weight belt, gloves, bathing suit, wet suit with hood, boots, fins, air tank, two regulators, buoyancy compensator vest, snorkel, depth gauge, and compass on. My partner with his precarious camera and lighting equipment kept bumping into me and getting his equipment tangled up in my equipment which was disconcerting.
Suddenly, I noticed he had disappeared without alerting me. That was inexcusable. I looked at my depth gauge. I couldnít read it well enough to tell if I was going up or going down. I began to panic some at the thought I could be descending into a dangerous depth. We are supposed to be able to tell which way we are going by watching our bubbles but I couldnít see them in the dark. I was bumping into some old trees underwater with my legs. I was really terrified. I believe I accidentally descended to about 90 ft. while searching desperately for a way to go to the surface. I realized I could die if I didnít do the right thing. We were not allowed to go any deeper than 90 feet for safety reasons.
Finally, I had enough sense to put some air in my vest to help float me up. I realized that going up too fast though could cause me to get the bends. I kept telling myself not to go up too fast. At last, I reached the surface. What a huge relief!
I vowed to always stay with my partner in the future and to get me a diving computer. Also, I got some bifocal lenses in my mask so I could see better. I planned to always dive with a reliable partner so as not to be abandoned unexpectedly under water putting my life at risk. I was angry at my partner that day. I didnít talk to him afterwards, but I should have told him what happened to remind him not to repeat his reckless behavior of that day. I didnít tell my instructor either and I should have. If I had to do that day over, I would do it differently.
Did my Guardian Angel rescue me that day? I believe either my Guardian Angel or the Lord directly helped me survive that frightening, dangerous experience. I thank God my life was saved!
PADI Master Scuba Diver
"Our fears for today, or worries for tomorrow, or where we are--
high in the sky or in the deepest ocean--
nothing will ever be able to separate us
from the love of God demonstrated by
our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us"