Divided Focus
Scuba Diving|September/October 2020
Underwater, it’s vital to remember what’s really important
By Eric Douglas

Tina and Josh had been diving together for a long time, since before they were married, 10 years earlier.

They had both dabbled with underwater photography, but Tina recently had picked it up again as her new passion when Josh gave her an underwater camera for their anniversary. They immediately planned a dive trip.

THE DIVERS

Tina was 37 and petite. She stayed active and was fit, with no known medical conditions. Josh was 40, a big man, over 6 feet tall and burly. He had a sedentary job and didn’t make as much time for exercise as Tina did.

They were both experienced divers, making three or four trips to the Ocean a year. They also made occasional trips to a local lake to go diving.

THE DIVES

Conditions were good when Tina and Josh arrived at the dive boat early in the morning. The water was warm and so was the air. There was a light wind and no current to speak of. It was going to be a beautiful day above and below the water.

On their first dive, the boat captain chose a reef in 80 feet of seawater. They made a typical dive for the two of them. Josh tended to use his air supply more quickly than Tina, and he was the limiting factor on the dive. They surfaced after 25 minutes.

As the crew moved the boat to a new dive site, Tina took the time during their surface interval to look over her photos and adjust some of the settings on the camera and underwater strobe. She knew it was going to take some practice to get everything right, but she liked the results she had gotten on her first try.

THE ACCIDENT

The crew attached a line to a buoy in 50 feet of water. After resting a little longer and having a snack, the divers entered the water for their second dive. At this shallower depth, Tina and Josh knew they would have plenty of time for Tina to practice.

Tina was focused on finding good photo subjects and immediately began searching the reef once they got to the bottom.

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