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Artigos-->Diving + McDonald = Death ! -- 08/11/2009 - 20:40 (aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa/Alcir JT. de Souza) Siga o Autor Destaque este autor Envie Outros Textos
Diving + McDonald = Death !

In a recent trip to the Greek island of Crete I did unfortunately break one of my important rules about diving and as I already knew it was a great mistake to go against my firm and consubstantiate believes and professional knowledge in order to attempt to fit in the world of tourism and alleged fun: and it did ended up in a very sorry and sad circumstance; somebody died !

Before I continue with this I do have to present myself; I am a retired deep sea commercial diver with 25 years of experience and have worked for all 25 years (with a five years military experience as a “Nageur de Combat”)for a big company in the oil industry and was record breaker at 313 meters; a vast and profitable career that did not end in a sorry note and allowed me to continue diving now exclusively as a pleasurable experience; and I also in my51 years of existence(10 in the USA)I never entered in a McDonald or similar fast food franchise!

That said I do continue to describe the situation as I started; in Crete after a few days of basking with some irritation in the sun, my wife show me a prospect about a diving outfit that seemed at first site a way to get me read of that monotonous and frustrating sun basking situation with the obvious inconveniences for a married man at the beach in a Greek island at the peak of the summer(no one deserves it);so I went against my disbelieve in those kind of “entertainments” and went to the office of the tourism company and booked a day of diving pleasures as sold in the advertise brochure; I should known better when the diving agent called me later in the day to request a change in my date “due to weather changing possibilities” something that was not noticeable or was in the that had a prevision of excellent weather and no sea variations in the Crete area of the Mediterranean sea but in order to fit in I did accepted to go a day earlier and so as the Murphy’s Law: When looks like it’s going to go wrong it certainly will!

As the bus stopped to pick us up(my wife tagged along)at the hotel I started to see the outfit as it was; the driver was a kid with a very Greek way to drive, he stooped along the way to pick up a colleague that as her words had a great vodka night and was still with “wings”(if you know what she meant)so the fun journey continue with a couple of stops along the way to take more people for (later I did found out)diving classes within the “franchise parameters”; as we arrived at “The Diving Center” I was received politely but arrogantly by a gentleman that I had being previously informed was a “EX British Commandos” (a pause: when I booked the dive I did informed about my experience as a commercial diver)that decided to spray some testosterone to show me who was the big cheese in there, the male dominant and all that BS from the military; he wile looking at my certificate said that he did not recognized it due to the fact that I was not “from the franchise” he did not knew what was; it is a international deep sea divers certificate written in three languages including English stating that I am a deep sea diver and have in it my medical details including a note about the bends and as such that I am certified to dive at any franchise level. We checked the equipment and I saw why the date had really being changed; it was due to the number of people on board of the boat: a Zodiac with a hard top and a center engine capable to take between 8 and 10 people ended up taking 12: ten paying divers and two instructors; the “Testosterone Commandos” and the owner of the franchise; and away we went!

The other reason to do that dive for me was to try a new mask that I did bought with a camera and a filming device so I could take pictures and film wile diving till 5m or 15ft;so I was not planning with that group and my equipment limitations to do a more serious dive as the one I found out was planed for that fatidic day ;was allegedly a 20m dive and later on the second part of the day a cave dive between 12 and 18m; I looked at my fellow companions and got worried about something like that with that group: they did not seemed to me the personal to go as planed at the depth spoken to us by the so called instructors I did not trusted any one of them at that level of diving; one mistake of simple minutes over 331/2 minutes at 20m and you are risking yourself to bend and as I saw there was no chamber or medical support at hand and at time; so the person with the bends could get irreversible consequences or as it happened due to the circumstance and the amateurisms die!

To make a long story short after 40min of navigation we went on into the deep and it was a beautiful place, visibility about 70m good temperature about 20° , we were divide in duos and everything was well; my old and fatefully depth gage watch told me that we were at 23m and going down to 25m so I started to signal to my partner to go up and suddenly I started to suck for air; looked at the pressure gage and was ok in air about 1500psi but I was really sucking hard for air so I signal for my pal took his octopus and started to ascend; as I got to the surface I looked around and we were far a way from the boat and a surge started to get me out for open waters; I did got myself a swim and went to the rocks near by so I could get my self together, rest a little and proceeded to get back to the boat; as I was on the rock I saw that tree other duos had surfaced and they looked also without air on the bottles; the “instructor” come to me and offered me help to get back witch I accepted : and we swim together to the boat not without him trying to “show” me the correct way to use the regulator from his octopus: witch I refused to take in consideration; as we approached the boat I saw a commotion and someone floating belly up as we got close I saw a very bad and recognizable scene :some one had pasted out and was unconscious I taught; and as we got together to get him on the boat I did put my finger on his neck and ;nothing in there; he was heavy, definitely over weight for his height and as we struggle I again try to feel his blood pressure and nothing: so I knew then and there that that man was DOA he was really dead.

When we put him finally on board the resuscitating procedures started; my double a French young man and the instructors did the CPR on the man; one of them with a cell phone contacted some one somewhere in Greek language and I was asked to help the other divers to get on board witch I did; everyone else were nervous, worried and panic has already started especially with the dead mans(no one new then except me)son; a young Finish that was having a especial day with his Finish father when all that happened; a real tragedy that hopefully will keep him a way from those fake Mcdiving adventures for a long time if not for ever; I did told him to calm down because everything was being done and his hysteria would not help his father and fortunately that worked and he calmed down a little and stopped to scream; I told him to go to the bow of the boat which he did ; the French guy was totally dedicated to resuscitate the man what was more a injection of hope for the son that his dad would survived that: in vain I knew, but at least would keep him calm; after all the equipment and the counted personnel were on board we started a 25min trip to a place were we were told a ambulance would be waiting for us then with the time that took to get the man from underwater to surface(I believed between 4 and 5 minutes)plus to get him on the boat and started the CPR another 8 to 12 minutes plus the time to get to the ambulance everybody(except his son)had realized that he was inevitable and irreversible dead !

As we arrived to the place took about another 15minutes to the ambulance driven and accompanied by two of the three stooges got close to us; the damn thing was a piece of junk and had only the stooges and a portable broken bad; nothing else no equipments for resuscitation (nor had the boat)a shock machine, medicine for heart attack like adrenalin or nitroglycerin absolutely nothing so I taught that man was better dead then had to go to a suffering time to inevitably afterwards die! we struggle to get him from the boat to that vehicle and as I looked as his dark brown face and neck and purple lips I if I had have any would have no more doubts about his condition; besides all that tragic comedy that was unfolding the owner and some Greek guy with a funny v shape swim suit started to argue and after this nonsense we took off back to the dive center and the son went alone in the ambulance with his dead father !

Here as it was:

1 -All was wrong from the beginning because the victim when we were all asked about our diving experiences and number of dives he did said that he had 8 dives; I do not believe in a system that allows someone with that few dives to be allowed to go down to 20 to 25m;as it was stated by his son in despair that his father had complain of pain in the right arm in the night before; something that he obviously omitted(pretty much like everyone else would in a pleasurable time with his son in a futile attempt of not spoiling the trip as he obviously did after all)like smokers lie about smoking and etc… in that flimsy questionnaire that we had to fill up with clear and obvious intention to protect for insurance reasons the Mcdiver Center.(which the desperate boy had given after in a attempt to help with information’s just gave them a chance to exit themselves from responsibilities; The name was “HEART ATTACK”)

2 - If the man had a heart attack as was stated by the instructor so why there were no assistance(resuscitation equipment) in the boat or in the vicinity, or a helicopter for immediate support, why took us so long to get him to a ridiculous help(even with him already dead as he could had not had being he would certainly would become)

3 - If he had a heart attack even with some previous signals that he hided could not the final failure have being precipitated by lack of air like four of us went through?

If so why his equipment was lost in the mixing with all of the others why wasn’t it separated for police investigation(because is bad for tourism business so it would not be one: heart attack and that’s all he went back in a box to Finland with his son in the airplane most like traumatized; and the rest of the family in there waiting for the return of the happy travelers also!

4 -As soon we arrived at the McDive center we were separated from the “students” in there most like to not traumatize and screw up the next victims(customers); I did noticed that among the new students(victims) were two kids that look like 10 or 12 years old I was astonished (I found out later that the McCenter franchise allow dive training at the age of 10)at the craziness of someone give and authorize a 10 years old to use diving tanks it is in my opinion irresponsibility and greed hand to hand to kill.

5 - We’ve got without asking a full refund and were immediately driven back to our hotels and that’s the end of my knowledge about watts happened afterwards with the boy, his dead father and the McOwner assistance or absence of it; we were not informed or asked to give information to the police or no one ever for that mater.

6 - Two days later I did went to the office to get my money back and meet with one of the other guys we took time to recognize each other due to the Mcrelations created on that trip; he was with his wife and we talked a little about the fact when the lady on the booth confirmed the obvious: the man had died and the cause of death was heart failure! no mention about enquiry or questionings about the fact and how it could had being avoided or about the boy and his tragic trip back home: no satisfactions at all !


I am radically opposed to diving be associated with fast food; to do such is a mere and irresponsible way to make money; diving is not for every one! and being coherent with that line of thinking I did not certified (even if I legally could) my older son when he was 17 and under his furious insistence and vast complains; snorkeling and apnea(within parameters and respecting ones limitations)are; I also consider a real irresponsibility to allow kids of ten or any one under the age of 18 to dive using equipments; I do not respect those one week diving fantasia courses, I do not think that it is wise to associate diving with tourism due to the manipulation of facts for economical reasons. I did learn in my 14 months military(I was a civilian then)diving training and also listening to the elders in the profession with whom I did had the honor to work with that the only profession in the world(and out of it)that do compare to diving due to the exposition to pressure variations is the Astronauts one and you do not see kids being sent to space or Nasa selling franchise for Astronauts Courses; diving is very serious business and a very specific and technological enterprise; it is so serious that we do have our own specialization in medicine; “Hyperbaric Medicine” and also those Nasa astronauts when are in training they do their work on absence of gravity underwater under the supervision of professional divers and related personal; so I do not see diving as something that can be served to over to a billion clients; it is to do so a act of greed and deeply disrespectfully irresponsibility and add to all that the inexistence of a decompression chamber and or means to take someone in due time to one make me wonder about the seriousness of such of business.

And to set a analogy the consequences of a bad meal in a Mc franchise go from vomit and diarrhea to as worst a trip to the hospital with salmonellae infection or food poisoning; but as diving served and treated as fast food will certainly maim or kill and also can provide you with as that Finish boy saw: a vision of a loved one going back home in a airplane cargo compartment in a lead box !

The name of the Mc Franchise is PADI

And the Center is “Paradise Center” in Crete

And If someone asks why I did not intervene and act accordingly using my knowledge of all that had to be done in preserving the accident(or crime)scene?

My answer is clear and obvious: I was only a paying customer !

Alcir Jose Trigo de Souza

Deep Sea Diving Operations Supervisor (Retired)

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