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Don's close calls


June 16th, 2015 
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Don’s close calls during his time in SEAL Team

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Tekdiver avatar
09/14/2018
08:24:08
Tekdiver said....  

I can relate to the dive under the barge. We were going to dive a wreck called the smell wreck. Named that because it stunk on the surface. What ever it was off gassing it was nasty. It was never dived because the current was always ripping and the viz was never good. We had heard it was "kinda" dive-able so we went out. Fairly shallow for tek. About 150 fsw the best I recall. No one really knew what this wreck was because it was just rare to make it there. We dropped the hook, snagged the wreck and I went to tie in. The plan was if the viz was not good we were not going to put the customers in and we would just relocate like every other attempt. By the time I reached around 70 ft the current was getting bad and the viz was non existent so I knew I was just pulling the hook and coming back. At about 110 ft I went from dark green water you couldnt see thru into a solid black line of water which meant I was now inside the wreck and by my self with no idea what this wreck looked like. I never knew you could sweat under water till that day but I was sweating like a Marine trying to read. I finally got to the anchor chain an looked at my bottom timer and realized I was at about 140 just on air. At that depth a little helium goes a long way. The anchor somehow found a wedge shaped crack in the wreck and I could only make it about half way to the wide side before the waves on the surface would snatch the anchor back in again. It was like being snatched by a truck. My only option was to sit on the bottom and hold the anchor chain long enough to time the waves 140 feet above me and wait for the lull. Then I knew when I got the anchor out I was still inside the wreck I knew nothing about and was going to get pulled thru it whether I liked it or not but at all cost I couldnt let go of the anchor because I would probably not find my way out of the wreck. I was not on my rebreather I was on oc and the clock was ticking. I got the anchor free and with a death grip on the anchor line with one hand I wrapped my other arm around my head as not to leave any chunks of skull on that wreck and away I went. A few minor bumps later I was in green water again and giggling like a school girl waiting on 70 foot so I could change tanks and get some richer gas. Talk about kissing the deck of a dive boat,,,I can still taste it. I hope that wasnt to boring and long but I am glad to be here to tell it.

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AG32 avatar
05/06/2017
22:41:30
AG32 said....  

Wow!! Been there done that duck hunting. Not in Alaska but a close scenario. The diving story was very intense must have been a horrible feeling couldn't even imagine that

Doc FMF avatar
03/29/2017
13:57:37
Doc FMF said....  

Thanks for sharing those stories. I think we all have some of those where even the thought of what the outcome could have been makes you just shutter. When they pop in my head I catch myself saying "so fucking stupid" out loud.

halsey avatar
01/16/2016
06:36:38
halsey said....  

Saginaw Bay Mi, Charity Islands. Flipped a 18 ft War Eagle, well my uncles did, in one hell of a storm duck hunting. One of the guys swam back to blind, in 45 degree water, but he could not climb up the steps and he was lost. We made it back onto the island and busted into a cabin. I was young, and thought we were done.

Joe45014 avatar
01/12/2016
20:54:33
Joe45014 said....  

Late November, 1985, myself and my buddy, Glenn, skipped school and entered the Great Miami River with two wooden paddles and an inflatable 2 man raft...Kmart quality. I wore a pair or gi pants, slippers, t shirt and an Army "all weather coat" (trench coat) without a lining. The river current was crazy, and unexpected, and the water so cold it hurt. We began to take on water, and realized we were NOT going to make a long trip down river to the next town. The water was FREEZING and our legs were numb, and I watched the paddle slip from my hands, I couldn't FEEL a thing. Glenn got us to shore, and the raft was full by then. I couldn't close my hand on a branch, so I hooked an arm over one, and was waist down in that cold ass water, just hanging by my arm. I knew there was no way I could get out of the water, and my buddy glenn, who could only crawl, grabbed me and dragged me out. As we took the little raft and paddles from his garage, he had grabbed a pair of gloves from his dads stuff. He said they were insulated diving gloves. I am no diver, and don't know what kind of gloves they were, but without them we'd have drowned in the river many miles from the high school our parents believed we were in at the time. we laid on the river bank, rubbing and pounding our legs until we could stand. My hands were like clubs...I couldn't feel them. Glenn actually rubbed my legs really hard so I could stand. we walked to an old woman's house, and glenn called his girlfriend's house, because her mother really liked glenn, and he knew she'd never rat him out. Now, it wasn't a bay in Alaska, like Don's, but then again we sure as HELL didn't do it AGAIN the next day, and we were 15 at the time I know EXACTLY how he felt though. I was much younger, but I remember hanging onto that branch and feeling SO stupid. KNOWING I could have, SHOULD have, known better. Glenn Still has his paddle; its the only part of our worthy vessel to survive.


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