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  1. #1
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    Question What would you do?

    Hi All,

    I have a moral dilemma on my hands. My friend (retired/experienced OC Mixed Gas diver) and I are booked for some 55-65m diving later in the month. My friend is known to push safety limits and skimps on the gas. He has asked me to mix him 20/20 mixes for the trip.

    From a Narcosis perspective, a 20/20 mix has an END of 47m @ 60m which many regards as too deep given multiple agencies suggest an END of 25m for CCR and 30m for OC. Add Gas density into the equation, and we have a gas density of 7.4 grams per litre much more than the BSAC maximum of 6.3 grams per litre not to mention the recommended maximum of 5.2 grams per litre therefore greatly increasing the risk of IPO.

    1) I know the onus of responsibility is on the diver to choose his gas and test the mix, but would you mix a 20/20 for your friend, knowing it's woefully inadequate for the diving he is about to undertake?
    2) Would I be insured or implicated in any resultant accident/incident? God forbid having to explain to a coroner why the diver died when it could have been prevented.
    3)If you mix the gas, would you dive with that buddy? I am relatively self-sufficient in my CCR diving, but would I want to take responsibility for dealing with an incident? Or equally as bad, if I had an unfortunate, unforeseeable accident requiring assistance, could I trust a retired diver with some narcotic impairment to rescue me?
    4) As a MOD2 instructor, would a coroner implicate me in any incident scenario due to my friend's diving practices? In other words, by pointing out the gas is not acceptable, have I legally absolved myself from responsibility?

    I am sure this thread will raise a lot of points - but your opinion on what you do - would be appreciated.
    Last edited by heland; 30-07-2022 at 02:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Established TDF Member steelemonkey's Avatar
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    If you know it is wrong, why are you asking the question?
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  3. #3
    Remember, remember Adrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelemonkey View Post
    If you know it is wrong, why are you asking the question?
    Peer pressure.


    I'd not mix it knowing it put a diver AND you (or another buddy) at increased risk past the point of recommendations you're aware of.

    I've no idea how any particular coroner might approach any case - it all depends... However I think a lawyer representing any deceased family could make life hell if they decided to sue you. Insurance tends to only help if you've followed guidelines.

    Adrian
    Bought a house in Devon, drank cider from a lemon.

  4. #4
    Nicotine, valium, vicodin... notdeadyet's Avatar
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    When I used to mixed gas for a shop more than a few times I refused to mix gases for people who clearly didn't know what they were doing. It wasn't unusual to get into conversations with people as they waited and didn't take long for the stupid alarm to go off if you asked the right questions. I didn't want responsibility for it. The legal side was a concern but it was more of a personal, conscience kind of responsibility.

    But that was serious stupidity. EAN50 was good to 50m, EAN40 to 40m, that kind of stuff. That's not really your mate. He sounds like he knows what he's doing and has made a conscious decision to use a more narcotic gas than is optimal. I don't really see a problem with that. On OC I've dived far more narcotic gases than I would consider on CCR. 47m END at 60m, it's not ideal but it's not outside what I'd consider using. Depends on the dive, the simpler it is the more likely I'd accept an END like that. I don't think it is excessive but I guess it is by modern standards.

    That's only half the question. Would I dive with someone on that kind of END? No, I wouldn't. Not when the option is there for a less narcotic mix. I wouldn't dive with someone who is that narced who may have to come to my aid or could make bad decisions that will affect what happens to me.

    The other thing that stands out, how retired is he? That would worry me more than anything. I'm not sure if you mean retired from mixed-gas diving, in which case that's a massive red flag. I wouldn't be diving with him without a lot of work up dives. Or if you mean retired in terms of age/work? In which case I'd want to know that he is physically fit enough for doing it.

    So...

    1) I know the onus of responsibility is on the diver to choose his gas and test the mix, but would you mix a 20/20 for your friend, knowing it's woefully inadequate for the diving he is about to undertake?
    No, I probably wouldn't.

    2) Would I be insured or implicated in any resultant accident/incident? God forbid having to explain to a coroner why the diver died when it could have been prevented.
    I don't think there are many people on here qualified to answer that question. And the vagueries of a legal system that relies on judges interpreting the information of expert witnesses appointed by the different sides, like the case against Jean Elaine where two judges could have two completely different opinions. I think the basic test is "am I comfortable doing it?" and it sounds like you aren't. Also, if this was not a friend would you provide the same gas for the same dive? Take out your relationship with the other diver and consider whether you would still fill his cylinders.

    3)If you mix the gas, would you dive with that buddy? I am relatively self-sufficient in my CCR diving, but would I want to take responsibility for dealing with an incident? Or equally as bad, if I had an unfortunate, unforeseeable accident requiring assistance, could I trust a retired diver with some narcotic impairment to rescue me?
    I wouldn't trust someone with a significant narc to do the right thing when needed. Like I said, personally I'd dive that gas but I wouldn't dive with someone using that gas, as contradictory/hypocritical as that sounds.

    4) As a MOD2 instructor, would a coroner implicate me in any incident scenario due to my friend's diving practices? In other words, by pointing out the gas is not acceptable, have I legally absolved myself from responsibility?
    See (2). I can't speak about legal responsibility but for personal responsibility then if I was planning a team dive and gas choices are part of that team planning process then I would consider myself as responsible for team choices as my mate was.
    Caliph Hamish Aw-Michty Ay-Ya-Bastard, Spiritual leader of Scottish State in England

  5. #5
    Established TDF Member witchieblackcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heland View Post
    1) I know the onus of responsibility is on the diver to choose his gas and test the mix, but would you mix a 20/20 for your friend, knowing it's woefully inadequate for the diving he is about to undertake?
    No.

    Quote Originally Posted by heland View Post
    2) Would I be insured or implicated in any resultant accident/incident? God forbid having to explain to a coroner why the diver died when it could have been prevented.
    Don't know about the legal position but morally you've already accepted implication.

    Quote Originally Posted by heland View Post
    3)If you mix the gas, would you dive with that buddy? I am relatively self-sufficient in my CCR diving, but would I want to take responsibility for dealing with an incident? Or equally as bad, if I had an unfortunate, unforeseeable accident requiring assistance, could I trust a retired diver with some narcotic impairment to rescue me?
    I certainly wouldn't mix gas for someone if I though their intended usage is unwise.
    If they went and got it elsewhere I think I'd find a better buddy.

    Quote Originally Posted by heland View Post
    4) As a MOD2 instructor, would a coroner implicate me in any incident scenario due to my friend's diving practices? In other words, by pointing out the gas is not acceptable, have I legally absolved myself from responsibility?
    Remember that bit about being a role model? That's you now. It may not be the coroner judging you but others will.

  6. #6
    Team Starburst Ian@1904's Avatar
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    One of the hardest things I ever had to do was stand up to a friend and say that something was a really bad idea, for him and potentially me. BTW We are still good friends.

    In this case I would explain the moral dilemma, see what they say, and if no change then refuse to dive with them.

  7. #7
    Gone diving back later Vanny's Avatar
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    I think when your in the position of having the knowledge to do something better / safer , whether thats experience or qualifications condoning a friend and possibly more importantly a team member / buddy doing something wrong will really mess with your head should it go tits up. I doubt if you go through with it you’ll enjoy the dive that much and will feel relieved to finish , meanwhile your mate will have “deviated from the normal” and may go on to compound the problem in the future.

    If your diving Ccr on appropriate mix I doubt your dive profiles will be very compatible either.

    I think you already know the answer so stick with your gut & knowledge.

  8. #8
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    Thanks everyone for your well thought out replies. I guess the answers were already there, I just needed to hear it from others.

  9. #9
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    Stick in a better mix and pretend you missheared the maddog request

  10. #10
    Established TDF Member nigel hewitt's Avatar
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