It’s with a truly heavy heart that I write this post. I have been writing it in my head for many months, but now is the time to write it here.
Scuba diving carries an inherent risk, and sometimes people die while scuba diving. It’s a tragedy, and it hurts everyone who dives, and it hurts families, and it hurts the industry. So this weekend I was upset when a man that was diving recreationally off the boat I was on, died while diving.
He was 59 years old, and he was a friendly man. I didn’t know him personally, but he was a diver on our boat, and when we returned he didn’t come home with us, and he won’t come home again. The boat was one man lighter, but it seemed heavier with the loss.
This is not the only diving death I’ve known this year. A coworker of a friend passed while scuba diving in Mexico. And a friend of mine was part of a rescue that was not successful. Each death hits close to my heart, and to the heart of every diver.
I am a scuba instructor. I take people into the ocean for their first time to blow bubbles, to see fish, to do what I love. and I preach diving conservatively every step of the way. Because Scuba diving carries a risk, please do not add to the risk. Take every possible precaution to guard your life, and we can do things safely, together.
We don’t know the cause of death yet, but to speculate, I believe it was a heart attack. Please protect your health, please dive safely. Please take every opportunity to make sure you are healthy, and safe, and making the best decisions that you can possibly make at that moment. The most informed decision. Don’t just be healthy to dive, be healthy to live. Be thankful to wake up in the morning with a strong and full heart.
I take a premeditated risk every time I dive. I also take a premeditated risk every time I drive my car, or even cross a street. I take a premeditated risk every time I get on a plane. Life would be less full without these calculated risks. Not because I am a risk taker, but because to live a guarded life would be to live a life without passion and exploration. We take a calculated risk every time we fall in love, as well. Or have children. Adopt a pet. These are the risks I take, with my eyes and my heart open.
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Thank you for sharing. I know what it is to sweep the bottom for 7 hours with BAY WATCH, Coastguard and Sheriff dept because you just can’t leave your diver, your friend. To watch him be brought up. To try analyzing his gear config to try to desperately understand. To watch his long-time dive buddy call his wife. From the boat. With the news. To discuss how to tell his wife of 30+ years.
I saw. As they took pictures if my dead friend.
I was am idiot at his funeral. It wasn’t his running shoes, retired on top of his casket. It wasn’t the pictures of him or published work over 30 years. It was his best friend, and dive buddy that awful day. And when he introduced me to his wife. I felt every once of what happened and the impact to everyone, and still… It wasn’t me comforting his grieving widow. In this surreal moment of my own sorrow when I met her, having been o.e of the last people ro see him, laugh with him, dive with him, in this terrible moment, it was she who comforted me.
“This is x. X was there, on the dive with us, on the boat that terrible day z died.”
“I’m so sorry, sweetheart.”
She said to me.
With a hug.
Three deaths. Two accidents. This year I saw or experienced somehow.
For *them*. Those who see their husbands or divers in us despite their loss.
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