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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by kensuf View Post
    Jerry, good job on remaining calm. One thought that goes through my mind is the potential for a laryngospasm from the wet regulator. I've had one experience with it when an exhaust T mushroom valve cut loose and I inhaled a bunch of water, and it was uncomfortable at best.

    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-...m/faq-20058269

    Regardless of the original cause, great job on remaining calm and sharing this story with others.

    (ps - I didn't know you had been a professional mountain biker, still ride?)
    glad you made it out. I'd say the laryngospasm makes most sense, but should this happen again, try to stay flat in the water. It's not that bad at depth, but there is still a pressure differential across your lungs when vertical in the water and staying horizontal or actually going slightly head down has helped me when I've encountered one before. Thankfully not in a cave, but going slightly head down helped me feel like I could get enough air because it was filling my lungs completely


  2. #12

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    Glad you were able to pull it together, man! There are few places less fun to have breathing problems than underwater, particularly in a cave!

    As far as how all this happened - I think you may have had hyper rather than hypocapnia leading to your issues. CO2 is what drives air hunger. You eliminate it by breathing deeply or breathing rapidly. If you had wet breathing regs, you likely weren't breathing as deeply as you usually do to prevent water ingress. That combined with your fast swimming pace would have resulted in CO2 accumulation. That drives your respiration, and triggers hyperventillation. Once that happens, you have to do exactly what you did - stop exerting yourself and regain control of your breathing. Once you are hyperventillating, then you will become hypocapnic, but this is only until your body overcomes the hypercapnia event. This is the stuff of nightmares for rebreather divers, by the way...

    Hypocapnia gives you lightheadedness, and some numb and tinglies or cramping in the extremities, but it won't CAUSE hyperventillation - it's the RESULT of hyperventillation. Simply producing low amounts of CO2 won't give you these symptoms. In fact, any time you are at rest, you produce a relatively low amount of CO2 - but that just makes you breathe more slowly, and doesn't trigger hyperventillation. I'm sure you were producing plenty of CO2 while exerting yourself. But CO2 production, high or low, is tightly managed by your respiration. That's why you breathe heavy while you work out. Of course, if you were over exerting yourself, that can cause air hunger and hyperventillation, too. Having a performance issue with your regs can cause a problem here, if you can't eliminate CO2 fast enough, but again, this is a hypercapnia situation.

    I don't think your offgassing would have anything to do with this, for a couple reasons. First of all, unless you were ascending, you were still ongassing at that stage of the dive. Most importantly, though, offgassing would involve nitrogen, not CO2, and doesn't have any bearing on your respiratory rate. In fact, if we took a scenario where you were breathing 100% nitrogen, you would never develop hyperventillation...you'd just pass out from hypoxia. That's why hypoxic trimix can be so dangerous if you are on the wrong bottle while diving shallow or surfacing.

    Likewise, oxygen doesn't significantly direct your respirations, either. Hypoxic breathing gasses, like pure nitrogen or helium, don't make you hyperventilate. Fortunately, the inverse is also true, as high oxygen levels don't slow your breathing. That's a good thing, because if gasses like O2 controlled your breathing, it would be hard to do deco - breathing 100% oxygen would eliminate your respiratory drive in that context. It would also make you stop breathing at depth on nitrox if your pO2 was elevated.

    Anyway, I'm glad you managed to keep your fear under control when things went sideways for you. It's a big compliment when your buddy can say that even when you were melting down inside, it looked like you were keeping your cool. And thanks for giving me an excuse to geek out a bit about physiology today!


  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silverhippi View Post
    Hey man,
    I did the math and we were covering about 62.5' per minute which is way too fast. Combined with what you just said about the venturis, I am fairly certain you just experienced Hypocapnia


    Really glad you guys are safe. There really is something to be said about slowing down. What's the rush? GUE recommended pace from Cave 1 and 2 is 150' per 5 min. Try it on land and you will find it's even difficult to walk that slow. But in a cave it just makes for a super peaceful dive. Tina and I have done an experiment on pacing too. We dove the same dive at a super slow pace and a really fast pace (probably close to 300' per 5min) and we got further with the same amount of gas at the slower pace. Plus we had more fun. We also try to swim a bit then stop for a few seconds and look around. So mandatory breaks every say 5 kicks or something. Just build in that time for your body to catch up. Stay safe out there


  4. #14
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    I believe TotDoc is right, definitely hypercapnia, due to shallow breathing and working too hard due to your fast swim pace. Your trim position in the water and your distraction with equipment also played a part in this episode. Many lessons learned here and not to be forgotten. I and my main dive buddy have both had similar experiences. Stopping and regaining control was what saved you. You did good.


  5. #15

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    Jerry, Thank You for sharing your story and being open about what was happening during the dive. Another possibility for the wet breathing reg is a loose or torn mouthpiece. Glad you were able to sort yourself out underwater and calmly swim back out.

    - Jeff

    Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk

    Jeff Rouse
    Chicago, IL

  6. #16

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    Got my regs looked at by Jerry at Cave Country yesterday. I happened to catch him at just the right time. We found some debris (those little pasta looking things that fall from an Oak tree) in the inhalation diaphragm. It was opening it just enough that it would allow water to slowly seep in so that every few minutes I was having to purge. We didn't see the culprit at first because it was kind of wedged in there pretty obscurely and it wasn't until I shined a small flash light on it that we were able to spot it.


  7. #17
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    Back in MY day, when Open Water courses took six weeks...

    One thing we discussed was how regs breathe differently depending on your body's orientation. One thing about regulators (that is interesting to experiment with in a pool or confined water) is how regulators seem to be designed to breathe optimally in the "open water diver" body position, that is, swimming at a 45? angle. This puts the second stage exactly as deep as your lungs, so the reg breathes optimally. The next time you're in a pool, see how differently your reg breathes in the 45? position, versus completely head-up, versus completely head-down.

    I bring this up because you implied you were practically in a standing position trying to get your breath. Here, your lungs are a couple of feet below your second stage, so what it is delivering isn't enough to satisfy your lungs, seeing how they are under more ambient pressure.

    Sorry, just me rambling.

    Edit: I forgot the forum software doesn't like ASCII codes. When I wrote "45?" it gave a question mark instead of "45 degrees."

    Whoever said money can't buy love never bought a puppy.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rddvet View Post
    I cant imagine a closed venturi led to wet breathing. Though I could be wrong. I have dove my regs with the venturi closed (or predive in scubapro terms) for 15 years.
    If you dive with the switch in predive normally, you are used to it. However, if you are used to it being in the dive mode, you are breathing harder in predive and not used to that.

    Forrest Wilson (with 2 Rs)
    Any opinions are personal.
    Sump Divers

  9. #19
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    Default On the value of just stopping, or how I almost didn't swim out today.

    Quote Originally Posted by FW View Post
    If you dive with the switch in predive normally, you are used to it. However, if you are used to it being in the dive mode, you are breathing harder in predive and not used to that.
    Breathing harder yes and thats expected. I'm a weirdo that prefers slightly higher wob. Venturi position should have no effect on wetness when breathing but thats in russel's wheeelhouse. Only way I can think a venturi would affect a wet breath is if he was just huffing hard and noticing the wetness more but not actually adding wetness.

    Everyone's been shockingly positive here. Hopefully you learned a lesson because I'm always shocked at the ways people push it for no reason. My instructors always pushed the seriousness of progressive penetration, taking it very slow, and dont change something then go do a regular dive. I may be deemed a "sissy" but if I even adjust a bungee I let my buddies know I made an adjustment before the dive and if I feel off in anyway, I will call the dive and adjust accordingly. Any major gear change warrants time alone in ow figuring it all out. So slow down, dont push to dive far, push to dive smart, safe, and efficiently.

    I dont fully understand the standing position. Were you truly standing upright fins on the floor? I cant imagine based on your buddy's response. Obviously panic makes none of us think straight, but if you truly were "standing" in the cave, thats a pretty scary response to a bad situation considering you could have blown out the cave depending on where you were. Even in freak out mode, you've got to try to keep some semblance of clear-mindedness and not create a more serious situation. Though thats easier said than done.

    Glad all went ok.


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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rddvet View Post
    Venturi position should have no effect on wetness when breathing but thats in russel's wheeelhouse. Only way I can think a venturi would affect a wet breath is if he was just huffing hard and noticing the wetness more but not actually adding wetness.
    The wetness was covered in post #16

    Forrest Wilson (with 2 Rs)
    Any opinions are personal.
    Sump Divers


 

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