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red_dog
04-19-2007, 07:18 AM
By GLENDA ANDERSON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Two abalone enthusiasts died in separate incidents Wednesday morning on the Mendocino Coast.

A 60-year-old woman diving for abalone near Lighthouse Road in Point Arena was pronounced dead a little after 7¬a.m. At roughly the same time 35 miles to the north in Casper, a 70-year-old Atascadero man died.

The woman’s name and hometown were not available Wednesday night, officals said. The cause of death will be determined by autopsy.

The Atascadero man, Arthur Boyd, had been with a group of friends and family picking abalone from rocks in a cove near Pacifica Drive in Casper, according to a Mendocino County sheriff’s report.

Just after 7 a.m., Boyd was observed floating face down in the water near shore, the report said.

His companions pulled him from the water and called for medical service, according to the report.

Boyd was pronounced dead at the scene by Fort Bragg ambulance paramedics, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

ZACK
04-19-2007, 08:43 AM
Man,
that sucks! My 1st thought while reading this is "Ah, these people were old and their age might have had a lot to do with loosing their lives". True, it could have but my next thought is of of my best friends dad who died when we were kids diving for abs and he was a STUD! He worked for the fire department and was a fireman in the prime of his life who used to compete in the Firemens games and placed 1st more then once in their obsticle course competition. Rocked my friends whole world when he lost his dad and I know it had a HUGE impact on the rest of his developement as a human being. Be safe out there mother nature don't care and is a cold hearted B@%CH. ZACK!

Fish_R_Us
04-19-2007, 12:17 PM
Checking yesterday's weather - Small Cradt Adviseries, near gale winds w/ 15 ft. combined waves/swell. I figured one would have to be incredibly brave or crazy to go out there.
Your Guardian Angels can only do so much.

ocean_314
04-19-2007, 06:10 PM
We had these conditions a few years ago during the first big low tides. At that time 3 people died and the coast gaurd and sheriff search andrescue and lots of experenced divers volentureed to help pull people out of the water.
If it wasnt for this effort the death toll would have been closer to 50. Why are people so stupid to even rock pick is such conditions? The Press Democrat should do an article on the real story the heros what saved the people who would have died without them

isdaann
04-20-2007, 06:01 AM
Some people have the philosophy that, you have to go out on a limb to pick the freshest fruit...

And some people stay home and die of corinary heart attacks.

abdiver12
04-20-2007, 11:32 AM
Sounds to me like they were two adventurous, elderly people who died doing what they loved. Not a bad way to go!

sethonious
04-20-2007, 03:57 PM
If I should be so lucky to be rockpicking at 70 then I must have done something right to get that far. Live to do what you love and die doing it. Works for me.

piscolabis
04-20-2007, 06:46 PM
Elderly???? That's someone who is really out of shape or at least 80-something!
Tom

piscolabis
04-20-2007, 06:49 PM
I forgot to add ("elderly" distracted me - a sign of me being elderly?). I bet those two were in pretty good shape and had a hellava positive attitude and spirit. I'm sorry they didn't make it, but I bet they lived a full life up to then.
Tom

ocean_314
04-21-2007, 06:23 AM
Adventurous??Doing what they enjoy? It jsst plain stupidity to dive in 15' swells. Its not fun its not adventurous. You get tossed around by the waves like a rag doll.
If you are stupid enough to get in the water its pure fear as you try to save your life getting out. And no one wants to die.

fishhook60
04-21-2007, 03:29 PM
three abs not worth dying for i dont care what age you are live to dive another day

abdiver12
04-21-2007, 04:09 PM
I didn't hear about the 15 foot swells. If they were out in those, then I agree, it was reckless and stupid. No one should be out in those no matter what age. But if it was just an ordinary, calm day, then I say more power to them for being out there and not confining themselves to a rocking chair.

spinfisher
04-22-2007, 08:03 PM
Quote from Fish_R-Us, 4/19, Checking yesterday's weather - Small Cradt Adviseries, near gale winds w/ *15 ft. combined waves/swell. I figured one would have to be incredibly brave or crazy to go out there. *

Maybe they "used to" go out when it was like that, or they didn't check the report, or they weren't experienced at all - it's a shame, but you have to watch out. Ol' Mom Nature doesn't cut anyody slack.

Fish_Onboard
04-23-2007, 05:08 AM
If they were 'rock picking' they wouldn't be anywhere near 15' swells. They would be in 3' of water.

isdaann
04-23-2007, 06:03 AM
fish onboard,
you can have a 20 foot swell in 2 foot of water

tarbuckle
04-23-2007, 01:52 PM
Number four


http://www1.pressdemocrat.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070423/NEWS/704230356/1033/NEWS01

Fish_Onboard
04-23-2007, 03:04 PM
fish onboard,
you can have a 20 foot swell in 2 foot of water


I guess that the cove where I go has probably at least 100 yards of rocks until it hits the water at those good minus tides like Wednesday the 18th.

abdiver12
04-24-2007, 01:11 AM
Number four

This is turning into a very deadly season, one of the worst I can remember. Sounds like alot of elderly, out of shape people are going out there in bad weather and not exercising good judgement. That's just a recipe for disaster. Diving in 15-20 foot swells is just plain nuts!

tarbuckle
04-24-2007, 07:15 AM
Number four

This is turning into a very deadly season, one of the worst I can remember. Sounds like alot of elderly, out of shape people are going out there in bad weather and not exercising good judgement. That's just a recipe for disaster. Diving in 15-20 foot swells is just plain nuts!

I agree about the good judgement part. I had planned to go poke poling Wedsday and hit the afternoon tide but the surf is going to keep me at home. Not only is it dangerous, its just not that fun

SUNRISECHASER
04-24-2007, 07:29 AM
Went out of Westport on Thursday abbing. One couldn't see five inches due to surge,poor visibility. Many went down the hill and came back with nothing due to poor conditions. I've been there a few :-? times and it was never that bad visibility. It's a blessing to know from the past where the abb's were last year. My advice to all is to use the tide chart and adjust the times for where you'll be diving and get in the water 30 minutes early and out as soon as your done. When the big boys start rolling back in you don't want to be there.

Rusty_Hooks
04-24-2007, 11:18 AM
Lots of folks go out to the coast for the weekend from inland. People who live on the coast know better than to test the water when the swells are up. For those that just go out on the weekends it's go out or lose the chance alltogether, swell size just barely enters the consideration picture.

60, 70 or 25...paying attention to the prevailing conditions WILL save your life.

When the sea is up even the cove at the old red barn breaks!

Don't chance it. Sit back and enjoy the salt air, have another beer and kiss your wife...(or husband).... ::)

Life is good...try and keep it that way.... ;)

cyperyip
04-24-2007, 01:31 PM
Not trying to be stupid, but can you really have a 20 ft swell in 2 ft of water? I seen how high the waves can pound the shoreline but once the low tide has gone down to that low level. Would the waves still be that dangerous??? Just trying to make sense of how dangerous this situation can be come. :o

thanks,
cy

tarbuckle
04-24-2007, 02:06 PM
Not trying to be stupid, but can you really have a 20 ft swell in 2 ft of water? I seen how high the waves can pound the shoreline but once the low tide has gone down to that low level. Would the waves still be that dangerous??? Just trying to make sense of how dangerous this situation can be come. :o

thanks,
cy
It depends where your at. If your in a protected cove then I would say no( for a short time anyway) Regardless. when the surfs up you get strong currents, lots of debrie in the water, sneaker waves and low visabilty no matter what the tide is.
A recent poster said it perfectly " It's like swimming in a washing machine"

abdiver12
04-24-2007, 04:07 PM
I've heard that analogy used to describe Spring abdiving conditions in general. Which is why I'm waiting for summer before I hit the water!

sethonious
04-24-2007, 04:13 PM
Wave height and water depth have nothing to do with each other. Allow me to dork out while I adjust my hornrim glasses and pocket protector and I attempt to explain waves without the use of eqations and diagrams. A wave is not water, a wave is a visible manifestation of energy. That transfer of energy that allows for wave formation occurs far out at sea in the form tidal forces, wind, rotation of the earth, or any other act that imparts energy to the ocean.

Think about waves on a small scale first. Throw a big rock into a small glassy pond. When the rock drops into the pond energy, from you lifting the rock and hefting the rock, is released to the water. That released energy manifests as a splash and a ripple, also known as a wave.

Now think about that same pond on a windy day and energy from the wind transfers its energy to the pond generates ripples as it blows across it. Multiply your pond by the size by the size of the big blue and you get waves measured in height rather than inches.

We have all been in wind chop and it is goes in all directions and is rather "unorganized." However if this wind chop is far out at sea it radiates outward from the source of the energy. As it does so the waves will normalize. They will combine or cancel each other out until they make a very stable swell. (difficult to illustrate without a diagram).

Different events give us different types of swell. For example a very strong localized storm will generate a large swell and a short period (9 foot at 11 seconds). A strong storm that covers a great area can give a large swell and a long period (11 feet at 19 seconds). A localized weak storm will give a small swell at a short period (3 feet at 10 seconds) and a weak storm that covers a large area makes for nice days on the big blue (3 feet at 17 seconds, pop a brewski and sit back).

So lets get back to the original question. Can a 20 foot wave occur in 2 feet of water? Yes. The wave energy does change as it moves through the ocean and then into the shore. In fact this is why waves break on the shore. As the water becomes shallow, the energy of the wave lifts the water with it until it can no longer support itself. The limiting factor of a wave height is energy. Think about where surfers see the "gnarliest" waves. Shallow reefs with direct view of the open ocean. Mavricks is a shallow reef where waves come in from open ocean unobstructed and full of energy (structures like boulders will absorb a wave's energy).

As a final extreme example a tidal wave is a massive release of energy that occurs under the ocean. That energy radiates in the form of a single (or a few) massive wave(s) independent of wind or current. If you were on a boat in the middle of the deep ocean the tidal wave energy would be unnoticeable as it passed. (Actually the safest place to be in a tidal wave is the deep ocean.) As this wave energy approaches the shore it brings the water with it to the tune of extreme heights and massive tidal surges.

So in summary, water doesn't make waves. Water depth does not make waves. ENERGY IS WAVES.

Sorry for the lecture but I am a total science nerd. I always have been. I hope this makes sense.

red_dog
04-25-2007, 08:29 AM
On the subject I would just like to add tsunamis and tidal waves both caused by earthquakes can only reach a maximum height of 30 meters or 90 feet. True the safest place to be is in the deep. Newly discovered Rouge waves can occur in the open ocean when two or more waves combine to create waves between 80 to 120ft plus on the open ocean. These waves can swamp the largest vessals. Most of these Rouge Waves only occur during large storms. The largest waves that can occur are caused by massive land slides/icebergs that fall into the ocean. In the old days there was one that was caused by a landslide in Alaska, this wave reached over 400ft and decimated everything in its path. One lucky fisherman rode this massive wave into the forest and back out again to safety. Several other boats in the area were lost.

cyperyip
04-25-2007, 12:24 PM
:) Wow, you guys really know your waves!!!! Thanks for the lesson!

cy

Blackie
04-27-2007, 11:34 AM
Info.
The 70 year old man was a good friend of my father (almost 70).
He was in good shape, and frequently fished out of Morro Bay in a BIG metal boat with twin outboards (Barney-C). I suspect that a combination of unreliable sea reports and a bit of stubborness led to this outcome. They took his ashes out to sea 2 days ago. I usually "plan" a trip out of Morro bay based on the reports, only to drive down there and find the conditions unsafe to go. :-/

Blackie

abdiver12
04-27-2007, 12:46 PM
My condolences to you and your dad Blackie. I too lost a friend to abalone diving not long ago. It must have been an incredibly rough day for Mr. Boyd to have drowned while rock picking in a cove. Stubborn or not, I admire his adventurous spirit and don't know many 70 year olds who would be out there.

KoneZone
04-27-2007, 09:06 PM
God bless their souls. The world has lost 2 salt of the earth types. I could only imagine what a conversation with either would have been like. A tremendous loss for their families and the outdoor world of enthusiast's. Be safe, but don't miss the best in life.

ocean_314
04-28-2007, 05:24 PM
As an experenced ab diver and spearfishreman the height of the wave and the distance apart is both very important. Even a 3' wave at 5 seconds means a big surge and no vis underwater.
Here is the noaa site that eveyone should check before going to the coast weather fshing or diving. Personally i dont dive in anything larger then 5' at maybe 13 seconds apart, and at 5 feet thats in a sheltered area. http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=46014. This is the bouy for the Ft bragg area you can find your near where you go.

Bait_N_Wait
04-28-2007, 06:10 PM
I keep hearing about these ab diving deaths, and I am curious about the actual cause of death. Are divers being pushed into rocks and hitting their heads, or how is it happening?

abdiver12
04-29-2007, 03:39 AM
I don't know about these recent victims but my close calls have always been because of getting tangled in kelp, usually with my snorkel or weight belt. Sometimes the kelp is so thick its impossible to find a clear path to the surface. And when you're on your last few seconds of air and close to drowning, its a very frightening feeling let me tell you! That's why I never push my bottom time too far any more and always have plenty in reserve in case of emergency. It is possible to bash your head against a rock if a big wave hits you when launching or landing which is what I suspect happened to the gentleman who died rock-picking in bad weather. If you see a big wave coming and you're near a rock, hug the rock!

ocean_314
04-29-2007, 07:27 AM
When you are diving in rough seas you get tossed around like a rag doll. The surge is incredible and getting out of the water onto shore is very dangerous and diffcult. Getting into a boat or zodiac is eaiser but you run the risk of overturning the boat when a big wave hit the boat as you are getting in.
Rockpickers will get washed off the rocks. I never dive around kelp and the only close call i had is when i ddint follow the rules and let a friend talk me into diving where fish off of a zodiac near kelp. I got tangled up in old fishing line, that god i was on the surface or i would be dead.

cyperyip
04-29-2007, 02:39 PM
Don't you carry some type of knifes to cut out thru those tangles? Also, I heard other people would bring a float as well.

cy

ocean_314
04-29-2007, 03:32 PM
No i dont dive with a knife, i think that its illegal to have one when diving for abalone. most people use a tube to rest on, but i spearfish and get my abs after i am done spearfishing.
I just strap everything i need onto a second weight belt, with no weights, and swim and hunt. But even if i had a tube i would have been to far away for it to be of any good.

abdiver12
04-29-2007, 06:44 PM
Its not illegal to carry a knife so long as you have an ab iron. Alot of guys don't carry knives simply because they just provide another hook for kelp to latch on to you. Anyway, the best way to get untangled is not to use a knife but to simply drop down 8-10 feet. The worst thing to do is twist around looking for the tangle. That's like twisting a fork in spaghetti. A knife is usually the last option and I've never had a need to pull mine.

red_dog
04-30-2007, 07:57 AM
I have used my knife once to cut myself free from the kelp, Although I was at the surface I was completely stuck. *The last time I went out I got caught in a bunch of 30lb mono, thankfully I was in only 5 feet of water and I could breathe, so I took my time cutting myself free from the invisible line. *I spent some extra time playing with it and cutting the line so I could familiarize myself with it. *This was the first experience I have ever had with fishing line, and I can tell you if I would have been caught in deeper water and did not have a knife I would not be typing right now. * 30lb mono can be deadly. *

Fish_R_Us
04-30-2007, 10:39 AM
I hav'nt had any problems getting tangled in the kelp beds. Usually you can glide thru without getting hung up. Getting snagged up must have been a real snarled mass of kelp. Sometimes tank divers complain of getting hung up, but they have alot more hardware to deal with. I got one of my fins snagged into a ball of monofilament once. It was a real mess to deal with. The good thing was I was able to pull the slack line and deal with it up at the surface while holding onto the net/tube. Good thing the tube had an ankle knife setup.

What scares me is having a swift swimming shadow blitz by and dissapear when you are down deep. Mostly it's a seal or sea lion zipping by. It's getting that extra heartbeat when you are hoping it isn't a Great White.

abdiver12
04-30-2007, 03:42 PM
Yeah, that's happened to me lots of times, especially at Fort Ross where there's a harbor seal that likes to follow divers around. After you get over your initial scare, he actually becomes a nice little companion to have around. He came so close once that I thought he was trying to snatch the abalone out of my hand. I found a dead California sea lion on the beach once and you can bet your butt that I checked him for tooth marks before I went in the water! Scary stories about the fishing line by the way, think I'll go back to wearing a knife.

cyperyip
05-01-2007, 03:37 PM
I heard a lot about those kelp snags. What type of knife can you carry?

cy

abdiver12
05-02-2007, 02:33 AM
You can carry any kind you want as long as you have an ab iron with you. The best place to put it to avoid tangles is probably the inside of your calf. Try to get a good one, cheap ones end up getting very rusty.

Fish_R_Us
05-02-2007, 07:04 AM
Yeap, those seals are pretty curious in that they will come up to your mask and sniff you like a puppy. Sometimes it's like they want you to play with them or they like to see who's the better diver/swimmer. But most of the time it's probably just sniffing around to see what's in your goodie bag.

I would pay more to get a good quality stainless steel knife. Or maybe one that's at least 440C Stainless. Those double edged cheapies don't hold their edge or stand up to the salt water.

red_dog
05-02-2007, 07:43 AM
cyperyip, the safest place to have your knife is on your arm. I carry mine on my bicep; I hear the inside of your forearm is also a good location. Both of these spots will give you the easiest access to your knife while minimizing a snag. If you do happen to get snagged the snag is close enough for you to see it and untangle it with little effort. Most hang ups occur on your fins anyway it’s foolish to place more gear in that area.
Most pro free divers will tell you to get a knife with a dull tip or file off the point so you do not run the risk of hurting yourself, personally I take my chances as my knife is pointy. One thing you will want in any knife is a line cut built into the blade. The will make quick work of any invisible (and it’s all invisible) line with the least amount of effort.

If you run into mono in the shallows (3 to 4 feet) I would recommend familiarizing yourself with it and learning how to cut it.

abdiver12
05-02-2007, 03:26 PM
Number five: http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_5786116
What a deadly season so far. And its only been a month!

ocean_314
05-02-2007, 08:27 PM
the ocean has been rough. I have only gotten in one dive this year. People are diving anyway and diving in a rough ocean = death.
Yesterday was flat flat. I took my 8 year old daughter out crabbing in 15' of water. First time for her. I set out 7 hoops and pulled them every 15 minutes or so. She would measure the crabs and throw back the small ones. It was great she was having a ball, wearing thick gloves of course. We got 13 legal dungeness and a whole bunch of undersized one.
If we where not having so much fun i would have been diving. It picked up today but it was still ok to dive till the afternoon.

red_dog
05-03-2007, 08:07 AM
People going diving in rough conditions is crazy, I saw a short video on the press democrat of the helo recovery of a scuba diver last week. *The cove where this guy died was full of white water with waves that appeared to be at least 10 feet pounding the rocks. *In my opinion if you decide to go out in these conditions you better have your life insurance paid up and not be surprised if you get into big trouble.

http://pressdemo.com/

Scoll down and cick on still Water cover rescue video near the bottom. *

cyperyip
05-03-2007, 11:44 AM
Just saw that video and can't believe people will dive in those conditions. :( I think I'll stick with low tide and better conditions. Getting abs are more for fun than risk taking.

cy

ocean_314
05-03-2007, 01:19 PM
HE is nuts, crazy stupid people. Thanks for the viedo red dog

abdiver12
05-04-2007, 04:34 PM
I dove Stillwater a few years back and true to its name, it was VERY calm and serene, with clear water and lots of lush green kelp. One of the easiest and most pleasant places I've dove, more like an aquarium really. Its hard to believe the washing machine we saw on that video is the same place. That guy was nuts to go into that. Probably trying to prove how macho he was.