We have lately heard the sad news about several spearo mates who passed away during their spearfishing activity. In most of the cases they were very experienced divers so the first thought that comes in mind is that experience is worth nothing if not accompanied by wisdom and by the knowledge of all those risks we usually underestimate because we believe they can be compensated by our experience.

A few months ago I published an article about the risks connected to spearfishing off the coast with an aquascooter, underlining the time you need to cope with an emergency as follows:



• From the moment you get the syncope (loss of consciousness )your heart beats in average for no longer than 8 minutes before it stops. At that stage the brain is no longer oxygenated and its cells begin to die after 3-4 minutes ;

• Under cold water this period can reach up to 10 minutes;

• However, the reanimation ( CPR ) can not take place in water and must be carried out in dry (cardiac massage can be performed only on a firm, level surface )

• Syncope is not a cause of death itself but the loss of consciousness causes the flooding of the lungs ( drowning). In some cases, however, there is a strong contraction of the jaw muscles clenching the mouth and preventing the flooding of the lungs. This gives a few minutes more in case of an accident whether the subject remains on the bottom or on the surface. (source " manual di apnea" pellizzari - Tovaglieri editions Mursia)


So imagine the scenario in which two people are fishing with aquascooter on a spot 700 meters off the coast and 50 meters away from each other ( as it often happens ) . If your mate gets a syncope you only have 12 minutes before he gets irreversible brain damage (or worse death) to:


a) realize what is happening;

b ) reach the point where the mate was fishing ( 50 mt );

c ) oxygenate trying to calm down;

d ) find him on the bottom;

e) bring him back up;

f ) fasten him as good as possible and bring him back to the shore, bearing in mind that on average an aquascooter with only one person to carry covers the distance of 700 meters in about 10 minutes;


Now that you have once again the picture of what an emergency at sea is, don’t just imagine it, watch it in this shocking video below and consider if all the times you dive with your buddies you are always ready and in condition to cope with such an event efficiently. Please note that in this video the victim had his buddy waiting for him on surface and another one ready on a boat…




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