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Old 09-13-2010, 04:47 PM
Bimini Kiteboarding Bimini Kiteboarding is offline
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Default 19 Year old almost loses his life freediving

Both are 19 years old with substantial free diving experience. This is what happened from Rick Rodriguez.

My friend james and I decided to go freedive 70ft just for fun as we are comfortable at this depth. We went, made it to the bottom and everything was going great, we gave each other a high five at the bottom with what we thought plenty of oxygen in our lungs and started to ascend. On our way up when i got to the surface When I got to the surface I realised James had not made it back up, I looked down and James was 20ft below drifting away unconscious with the current. I immediately went back down and saw his face, something I will never forget it, his entire face was blue including his chest, his lips and his eyes where bulging out of the sockets. I wasnt sure if he was going to live... I swam him to the surface and at this point the current had pulled us away from the boat, I shouted as loud as I could for them to come. At this point I am trying to give him cpr while the boat is heading over. I'm not sure how we got james on the boat but we did. We were giving him cpr and he was foaming out of the mouth with blood coming out of his nose. After what seemed like forever he finally coughed a little bit and started to breath very little. We ran him into the nearest marina were the paramedics were waiting. He is in the hospital now conscious and talking. I was puking and almost passed out myself once I got on the boat. I was so happy when I saw james breath I bursted out in tears, I thought he was dead...

What a crazy day that has scared me and ill never forget. My initial thought after experiencing that was "I'm not sure how I'm ever going to freedive again" The experience was so traumatic and unimaginable to people who haven't experienced it. I will never dive alone ever again. I'll always try to have someone on the boat. As a decent freediver for my age i always read about blackouts and have watched all the movies, but you never think that will actually happen to you or that you'll have to save your best friend from it. No doubt My friend and I are lucky to be alive and the way i think about freediving has changed drastically.

The first thing I am doing as soon as I get time away from school is a free diving safety course with FII in Ft Lauderdale.

For those that are in experienced please get some safety training before you go out free diving. Most of these blackouts happen in less than 10ft of water.

James is due out of hospital today after spending 2 nights under the watchful eye of doctors and nurses. He has Pneumonia and is still finding it hard to breath but lucky to be alive.

Last edited by Bimini Kiteboarding; 09-13-2010 at 04:48 PM. Reason: Forgot something
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Old 09-13-2010, 06:57 PM
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b-rad b-rad is offline
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Good job man
Ride On.

Brad Lange
Seven Kiteboarding, Islamorada, Florida Keys
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:42 PM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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Amazing story and outstanding save, well done! Your decision to take a good free diving course with the folks at FII is an excellent one. Your already good free diving skills should advance noticeably during the course. More importantly they will teach all about blackout, the outward signs that might show up in your buddy, symptoms in yourself, protocols to try to avoid it in the first place and physical recovery and reviving procedures for a blackout victim.

In bringing a blackout victim to the surface it is important to keep their mouth closed to try to avoid them inhaling water. This may well have happened before you even reached him at 20 ft. perhaps making it a moot point in this instance. It is a great thing you were paying attention and interceded successfully to save his life. FII teaches how to support the diver at the surface and coax him to breathe again if no water has been inhaled. You will practice these skills in the pool and in the ocean while evaluating the background during the discussions. I've seen six guys blackout in controlled circumstances in competitions and each one was breathing again in seconds using these techniques. No CPR was administered or needed in these cases, again if water is inhaled things become much more complicated with the outcome uncertain. Another procedure they will describe to you is one diver down, one diver up to act as safety during dives. There is still a lot more that they teach you in the Level II course. More info at: The fact that you took CPR training and applied what you learned so effectively is another very good thing. The success rate in reviving someone with no pulse is fairly low. Great job in bringing him back and thanks for sharing your story. People could do with better awareness of blackout hazards and training to try to avoid it.
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Last edited by RickI; 09-13-2010 at 08:56 PM.
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freediving, freediving danger, freediving death

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