First time in charge of going Scuba Diving and how my partner disappeared on me

I have very little scuba diving experience, have done only 16 dives throughout the 4 years that I’m certified (very long gaps between dives lol). Recently I have taken the advance scuba diving course in Maui and have decided that it’s time to get more experience under my belt. Last Sunday (may 11 2014) was that time!

The partner that I was diving with has a little less experience than I have (she only has 6 dives). Which makes me somewhat responsible for making it a safe and interesting dive. I have never been in charge of a dive before so that was new to me. Prior to the dive, I have went windsurfing at Jericho beach and afterwards did lots of searching around trying to find the best place for scuba dive gear rentals. I was getting mentally and physically tired but the excitement of going scuba diving kept me going!

At the diving site (Whytecliff park), it took some time to get everything organized and working. Once we were in the water, I was a little nervous about the fact that I’m the one in control this time and if something goes wrong I won’t have someone experienced who could give me a hand. Even tho I had a partner with me, I still felt that all the responsibility was all on me. As we gave our ‘ok’ signs, we started to descend underwater. The first thing about diving in cold water is that the visibility is very low, making it harder to navigate. I had slight buoyancy issues at first but got the hang of it quickly. The dive was going good, my partner stayed behind me at all times, and we got to the area where there’s a very deep drop. I’ve been told that people die dropping there from poor buoyancy control, currents and lack of experience. So being at that place looking down and seeing only black gave me slight chills, but I loved that feeling! And then the fun began…. When I was looking at some weird sea life, I looked back to check on my partner, and she was gone! I looked all around and couldn’t see her! I started to get very worried that she might of dropped in the black scary abyss. The visibility was low, which didn’t helped me with the situation. I swam back and forward looking for her, I went slightly deeper to see if maybe she has dropped. After a while I hoped that she has just surfaced. So that’s what I did,  I surfaced, and I heard her calling me. I was supper relieved to find out she was fine.

After talking with her, she explained that the inflation button got jammed and it took her quickly up to the surface from 55 feet deep, which could of also been harmful to her. Luckily no one got hurt. And it was an interesting learning experience!

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