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brez

The Day I Lost My Dive Buddy In The Big Blue

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well hello all , i thought i might share my story of events that happened yesterday whilst spearfishing a remote dive spot at ulladulla on nsw south coast ( 3 hours from sydney ) , with poor mobile reception , a 3 kilometre swim and seven hundred mtre climb to get help .

 

earlier in the week my spearfishing buddy and i started planning our day trip down the coast for some serious rest and relaxation spearfishing before we returned to work this week . everything was planned and we had 2 dive options taking into cosideration weather ( wind , swell , storms etc ) and we had a plan for each spot including where we would meet up IF we

 

now plans are all well and good if they are FOLLOWED ! thsi was not he case on this day however . we had arrived early in the morning and decided spot #1 was out of the question due to the north east winds that were due to blow up mid morning , so off to spot #2 and conditions were perfect .

 

so off we went swimming out 700 metres from shore before turning paralell to shore for the next 3 km swim leg to the gap . all the time keeping within sight of each other whilst we dived and caught fish . after about 2 hours , my buddy , lets call him pete , called me over to tell me he was going to dive some deep ledges in about 15-20 metres of water . i should add here that we dont use scuba gear , we do 1 div e per breath . at this depth there is a risk the diver can blackout on returning to the surface

 

so no problem as he is well experienced at this . however we decided we would only have 1 diver down at a time . he dove , came back up i waited to make sure he was okay then i dove . when i came back up he was gone , nowhwere to be seen . i couldnt see his float or dive falg anywhere after looking 360 degrees for what seemed like eternity .i swam to our PLANNED meeting spot but after 30 minutes i decided it was a lost cause and started the long swim back to the beach to call for help as i was starting to think he had dove to deep and blacked out coming back up , then the current may have dragged him further out to sea .

 

its the most stressful feeling , being all alone out in the ocean , and not knowing whats happened to your dive buddy . my heart was racing as fast as my head and i still had swim back to the beach before i could get help . i have had a 6 foot long shark take fish from my float here previously so this added to my stress levels on the way back .

 

i bumped inot 2 more spearfishers and explained what had happened and they said they would keep an eye for pete . thye swim was the easy bit , when i got back to the beach i had to carry all my gear up the steep sand dunes to my car . once at the car dripping wet and struggling for breath my mobile phone had very poor surface . stress levels now through the roof .

 

after getting enough service to make the call to the coastguard and water police , i had to take a few minutes to compose myself . with the calls made all i could do was sit and wait and hope pete was okay . after about 20 minutes i could make out a dive float out off the point . lo and behold it was pete . by this time the ambulance was coming and the police had arrived too . yeah it was pete and i was relieved beyond belief .

 

thw wind had picked up and with it the swell which got us seperated so easily to start with . BUT the problem was we both went to different meeting spots on either sides of the bombie . he went to the wrong spot . if i hadnt been so happy to see him i couldve killed him ( figuratively speaking ofcourse ) . i was happy he was alive , he was embarrassed to the hilt but serves him right . he is due to be a father in a few months so this gave him quite a fright , making him realise what could have happened

 

this couldve been a much worse ending , keep safe everyone .

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Oh My Gosh that was sooo scary and Pete was so lucky, I am so glad everything turned out good with a safe and happy ending. :)

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Wow, that would have been scary. You did good though. :)

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yeah it was pretty full on to say the least . its an extreme sport so when things do go wrong its usually to the extreme . there has also been a few shark attacks recently too around the country which was going through my head as i was swiming back . i just kept teling myself i was more likely to get a hit by a car !

 

but how many cars do you see in the ocean ? :)

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Haha, would have been a bit nerveracking not knowing what had happened good or bad. Glad it had all turned out okay though. I grew up in the ocean with my dad but have been living in the desert and on farms for 10 years, last time I went spearfishing I was nervous as *** and looking over my shoulder all the time, not as comfortable in the ocean as I once was

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well from now on i probably wont be as comfortable in the water for a while . i cant imagine life away from the ocean personally though . we had a shark attack locally this morning in the entrance to lake illawarra ( 5 mins from most of my normal dive spots ) :fear so thats a bit concerning aswell . oh well the more our fish stocks our overfished the more common it will become i guess . thems the risks

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oh my goodness, what an experience. l'm glad that it turned out alright.

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How scary :(

So pleased it was a false alarm

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I'm nervous enough scuba diving, there's no way I'd be out there with a burly pot with dead fish tied to me. You're a braver man than I!! :(

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I'm nervous enough scuba diving, there's no way I'd be out there with a burly pot with dead fish tied to me. You're a braver man than I!! :rofl:

 

 

braver or silly hills ? i havent made my mind up yet , probably more the latter :rofl:

yeah i do burley now and then , but i once had a six foot bronze whaler come from nowhere to steal a snapper off the end of my spear just 2 metres below me so i dont do it as often nowadays . i never tie the fish to me , thats just asking for trouble . fish are put on the stringer and go back to the float some 30 metres from me . a few times ive had to swim back to the float to chase sharks away ( and seals ), im nervous every time though !

 

the way things are at the moment im seriously considreing paying the $700 for a shark shield , cheap insurance i think

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"Chase away sharks!!" :rofl: I think I'd let them take the fish! :rofl:

 

Many years ago a group of us were spear fishing in a bay at the bottom of York Peninsula. Our girlfiends at the time were sitting on some rocks overlooking the bay, so we just swam up to the rocks and held our spears up and they took the fish ready for a beachside BBQ that night.

 

Little did we know that they were gutting them there and then and throwing the waste straight back to sea. My mate went up there for some reason and saw what they were doing and then saw a dorsal fin glide between the rocks and me and another mate still out there. He "politely" asked the girls to stop attracting sharks and then dived in and swam out to us and we made a very speedy retreat.

 

A couple of years later Michele and I asked him to be the best man at our wedding. You can't buy mateship like that!!

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How long can you guys hold your breath for?? Thats pretty extreme, I'd love to do it but I am a hopeless swimmer...

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How long can you guys hold your breath for?? Thats pretty extreme, I'd love to do it but I am a hopeless swimmer...
well im not as fit as some so about a minute for me , pete can lie on the bottom in 20 metres for about 2 minutes . i went diving with the current aus champion last year and he did 3 minutes easily . it was awesome to see him move on the bottom every now and then and then eventually come up not even out of breath . we have to know our limits though , 1 mistake and its easily all over .
"Chase away sharks!!" :rofl: I think I'd let them take the fish! :) Many years ago a group of us were spear fishing in a bay at the bottom of York Peninsula. Our girlfiends at the time were sitting on some rocks overlooking the bay, so we just swam up to the rocks and held our spears up and they took the fish ready for a beachside BBQ that night.Little did we know that they were gutting them there and then and throwing the waste straight back to sea. My mate went up there for some reason and saw what they were doing and then saw a dorsal fin glide between the rocks and me and another mate still out there. He "politely" asked the girls to stop attracting sharks and then dived in and swam out to us and we made a very speedy retreat.A couple of years later Michele and I asked him to be the best man at our wedding. You can't buy mateship like that!!
no you cant buy mateship like that . id rather chaes the sharks away than have them think they get an easy meal every time they see a diver , that opens a whole new can of worms . its the big stingrays that really scare me , no matter what you do sometimes they just keep pestering and they are evil looking things . they give me chills because they are so bold . my mat had one come in and lay on top of him while he was lying against a ledge , you reckon that got his heart pumping ?

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wow. I would imagine that having a stingray land on me and sit there would be a thrill that I'd only like to experience once. :lol:

 

You are right about knowing your limitations... thats why I wouldn't ever try it :D

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How long can you guys hold your breath for?? Thats pretty extreme, I'd love to do it but I am a hopeless swimmer...

 

HA!! If I had just swam 700m offshore like Brez does, I'd have trouble breathing, let alone hold my breath!! :lol:

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exactly Hills exactly. 700m is a long way to swim... I would imagine that they use flippers but still...

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wow. I would imagine that having a stingray land on me and sit there would be a thrill that I'd only like to experience once. :P

 

yeah well i only heard about it first hand and i couldnt stop laughing . apparently pete was so deep in concentration he just pushed the ray away thinking it was his dive buddy , didnt take long to realise it wasnt though and there was a flurry of arms and legs as he scrambled for the surface . i reckon it would only be funny from the surface and not from where he was :wub:

 

 

How long can you guys hold your breath for?? Thats pretty extreme, I'd love to do it but I am a hopeless swimmer...

 

HA!! If I had just swam 700m offshore like Brez does, I'd have trouble breathing, let alone hold my breath!! :P

 

its actually a really easy swim , we have massive flippers and just cruise along . its not uncommon for us to swim a few kilometres in one day . the calmer , quieter and generally more comfortable you are the easier it is to dive for longer . sometimes we stay out for up to 5 -6 hours depending where we are and how much fish are about . its a whole other planet down there and its pretty easy to lose track of time . except when youve lost your buddy !!!

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hmmm... where can you go to try that sort of thing? would you go to a dive school?

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hmmm... where can you go to try that sort of thing? would you go to a dive school?

 

most coastal areas have spearfishing and or dive clubs . i always loved fishing and snorkelling so i guess it was only a matter of time til i combined both . i got into through my mate pete and along the way have met quite a few divers that i go spearfishing with . finding your nearest club / dive shop would be the best place to start , any scuba shop would probably be able to point you in the right direction :D

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You need to do a course to go scuba diving, but you don't to go snorkeling.

 

Its a whole different world down there Jimmy, give it a shot, you'll love it. Just remember you're no longer on the top of the food chain though! :)

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jb you would love it for sure . ive been wanting to do scuba diving for years . my wife and i were booked in to do the starter course before we found out she was pregnant so missed out . its the most relaxing experience ive ever had ( most of the time ) . im refusing to dive this week as the diver that got attacked locally was bitten by a 2-2.2 metre dusky whaler and there has been 3 seperate sightings of greta whites this week locally between 3.5 - 5 metres , one as close to 20 metres from shore . add that to the 40 something hammer heads and other sharks that the coastal shark watch saw on the weekend and you will probably be able to understand why

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oh bloody *** Brendan.... I am so glad that it had a happy ending .. My heart was racing while i was reading this I could only imagine what you went through ... Did you tell the Mrs bet she would have killed him too LOL

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oh bloody *** Brendan.... I am so glad that it had a happy ending .. My heart was racing while i was reading this I could only imagine what you went through ... Did you tell the Mrs bet she would have killed him too LOL

 

yeah i told both our wives neat , myn wants to kill him and his wasnt too pleased with him either . i actually think i would have been better off on my own that day . i was just happy to see he was okay when he came back . but that doesnt mean he was off the hook , i just cant print the expletives here on this forum that i used once the police and ambulance people had left :unsure:

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Whats with everyone not wanting to swim with sharks??? :) They are lovely animals... I see them in documentrys all the time... I've never seen a camera get swallowed yet... sure they get nipped at but hey thats all part of the experience... isn't it??? :sad:

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Whats with everyone not wanting to swim with sharks??? :D They are lovely animals... I see them in documentrys all the time... I've never seen a camera get swallowed yet... sure they get nipped at but hey thats all part of the experience... isn't it??? :)

 

:D .i agree jimmy they are lovely animals , lovely battered with chips or a nice curry :P . pete actually had a great white swim right under him at the sydney spearfishing cup on sunday . he said it was ******* huge , but he kept diving anyway and came 13th . b****** that , he has to be missing something in the brain that normal people have :o

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