Have you seen my buddy? - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 12-13-2008, 08:28 PM   #1
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Mingo
 
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Default Have you seen my buddy?

My buddy John and I were diving the Liberty Ship Wallace inAlabama a few years ago when Murphy's Law decided to camp on our boat. John had just bought a new wooden spear gun determined to bloody it up that day.

After anchoring we suited up and I noticed we were dragging anchor so I grabbed my aluminum JBL and shot down the anchor rope to set the anchor. A few minutes laterJohn shows up and grabs my gun screaming about losing his. We both go into search and recovery mode, him taking the wreck, me taking the sand.

Our first search turned up nothing. When we get back in the boat he tells me I kicked it overboard with my fins. I tied a small line to my gun and threw it overboard, thinking where my gun lands, his can't be far away. On our second dive we find my gun in the hold of the ship near the stern. Again, he takes the wreck and I concentrate on the sand and downstream of the wreck. After covering countless sq. yds. of sand with no luck and running low on air, I swim toward the ascent line but see no sign of John. My computer indicates I need to decompress because of the aborted surface interval in our hurry to find John's NEW gun. After obliging my nitrogen penalty, I board the boat to find - NO JOHN!

My first thoughts were he was paying the nitrogen penalty too, so I didn't get too concerned. After 15mins, bear in mind I had been down over 30mins, I'm starting to look downcurrent for a floating John. It was getting dark and the seas were picking up and after waiting another 15mins I assume the worst.

I put out all the anchor line and tie the bitter end to the retrievalball. Cranking the engine I slowly cruise downcurrent looking for my lost buddy. After another few minutes of searching fruitlessly I spot a canyon runner with a crows nest that must have been 40ft tall. I shoot over towards him, explain my situation, and beg him to go up top and help me find John. He states he is calling the coast guard and needs the coordinates to the Wallace to get a bearing. I comply and say I'm gonna check north of that bearing, while he checks south of it in a zig-zag pattern.

It's starting to get dark and I'm thinking how his wife is going to kill me for losing her husband in the Gulf, when to the north I see four boats highballing towards our location. While coordinating with the CG, SAR, AMP, and CG Aux about the situation, a call comes over the radio that the canyon runner has diver on board.

After fillling out some forms for the CG and retrieving John, who is uncharactistically quiet, we thank everyone for their help. As we motor towards Perdido Pass in the building seas and dimming light John tells me what happened.

After searching in the holds and bulkheads of the wreck to no avail, he determines that his "wooden" speargun may have floated further downcurrent than my aluminum one. He goes out into the sand, apparently farther than I did, and can't find the wreck coming back. He then does a free ascent but also having to decompress as I did, only more so.

Hanging at 10ft in the current and building seas is tough, but John is determined to fullfill his nitrogen penalty (He's been bent once before from blowing a deco stop). Just as his air runs out and he has no choice but to surface, he sees his boat going due east without him in it!

After screaming his head off and blowing his whistle to no avail, he resigns for a long night in the Gulf contemplating how much bodily harm he can inflict on his "buddy" for leaving him.

The sense of impending doom hanging over me was immeasurable! John grabs me by the shoulders and says- "Thank You!"- then gives me a big bear hug!

If anyone else has similar experiences, please post. I hate to think I'm the only idiot this has happened to.

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Old 12-13-2008, 11:01 PM   #2
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Default RE: Have you seen my buddy?

thanks for the story. glad your buddy was alright. I'm as guilty as the next guy about taking safety precautions for granted. this reiteratesthat <U>emphasis needs to be placed on contingency plans</U>.

I wished I had discussed "sharks" with my cousinbefore a thanksgiving friday dive. :hotsun :toast
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Old 12-14-2008, 01:43 AM   #3
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Default RE: Have you seen my buddy?

Glad everything turned out OK. Now finish the story and let us know ifyour buddy John foundhis speargun? oke
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Old 12-14-2008, 09:01 AM   #4
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Default RE: Have you seen my buddy?

Glad evrything turned out Ok, I'll keep my safety sausage at all times now.
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Old 12-14-2008, 06:06 PM   #5
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Default RE: Have you seen my buddy?

John didn't find his gun. I, however, did purchase him a new one with all the accessories to the tune of about $400. A small price to pay to keep from getting my ass kicked.
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:58 PM   #6
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Default RE: Have you seen my buddy?

Great read.Thanks for posting.
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:18 PM   #7
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Default RE: Have you seen my buddy?

Dude, you have the worst luck on your dive trips. I am glad that your buddy was alright though. I just must stay away from you when I dive. I have bad enough luck, and by your stories, the exploding turtle was the best by the way, I don't need any more.
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:44 PM   #8
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Default RE: Have you seen my buddy?

Quote:
Turtlebait (12/13/2008) when Murphy's Law decided to camp on our boat
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