It was the final day of checkout dives for my master scuba diver course, and I could not wait to get to the lake and dive. Early that morning our class members met at the local shop, grabbed our rental gear and threw it all into the back of four pickup trucks.
An open-water class would also be diving at the lake that day, so the atmosphere was a bit chaotic as 20 divers unloaded gear and set up equipment. After I squeezed into my 3mm wetsuit, grabbed a tank and connected my regulator, I noticed that the tank was less than half full. Perhaps an open-water student had unknowingly replaced the cap on the valve, causing this tank to not get refilled, but I knew I could still get a full tank from the truck. Before I could swap cylinders, however, a classmate asked for help finding his mask. The entire class rummaged through almost all the half-empty gear bags scattered along the rocky shoreline, looked inside the trucks and on the truck beds, and checked any potential place the mask could be. We finally found the mask covered up by clothes in someone’s bag.
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Issue 03 - 2019