Lift Bag Ride

By Capt. JT

The dive was to a popular wreck with a depth of 105 fsw, the wreck would give up gun shells and other types of artifacts.

I went down with a friend of mine and recovered some shells and took a tour of the wreck. I also took him to a spot where I showed him a lobster around 15 lbs. I later told him that I had been trying to get this lobster for a couple of years.

We did a small deco hang and returned to the boat. During our surface interval another friend arrived at the wreck with his 40 ft sail boat and his 24 ft power boat in tow. They were doing a weekend trip.

He was having trouble hooking the wreck so I let him tie up to my stern. He also tied his power boat to the stern of the sail boat after not being able to hook the wreck with it either. So, I had (3) boats pulling on my tie in to the wreck.

Boats tied to my stern.

On our second dive we went down to send up a load of shell casings after our planned penetration of the stern. We gathered up the casings and my friend sent a load up with his 200 lb. lift bag and rigged it to slide up the anchor rope. Unknown to us, it had cinched on the rope at around 50 ft. He had already started on his ascent when I saw that the tines on my hook were straight and the tie in rope was the only thing holding us in. My friend had gone out of sight and I wondered what I should do as it was my job to untie so we could leave.

I decided to hold a tine with one hand and cut the tie in rope with the other hand as there would be a small jerk from the three boats on the line. I had no idea that I would be pulled by a lift bag.

When I cut the rope, or should say touched it with my knife, I was pulled in about 2 second from 105 ft to 59 ft. My friend who had been nearing the lift bag just let the rope go as it jerked. He saw me coming like a missile and when I stopped he come over to me.

I signaled to him I felt funny and was badly shaken from the ride I had just taken. I had about 20 minutes of deco to do. We hung there for a short time until I felt good enough to continue up. He was doing accelerated deco and I was on air with no deco gas. When his time was up he gave me his deco gas and I breathed it. Sometime well past my deco time I came up and got on the boat.

I continued to breathe the gas on the boat as a safety precaution and this I believe lead another diver to think I was "doing my deco" on the boat.

JT breathing the deco gas.