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(BBC)   Man survives brushfire by using his scuba gear   (bbc.co.uk) divider line 64
    More: Strange, diving equipment, bushfire, protective gear, Australians  
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7069 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Nov 2011 at 1:16 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-11-25 12:52:44 PM  
Needs the Hero tag. Awesome story.
 
2011-11-25 12:57:23 PM  
Ok now that is just awesome
 
m3h
2011-11-25 01:05:29 PM  
This the first time I've ever heard of a swimming pool being useful. Normally, they just cost money and kill people.
 
2011-11-25 01:06:16 PM  
if he'd pulled this stunt here in the US, i'm pretty sure some government idiot would charge him with breaking some kind of obscure law or something.
 
2011-11-25 01:06:25 PM  
It takes balls to sit underwater in a pool with SCUBA gear on and watch roaring flames pass overhead.
 
2011-11-25 01:09:20 PM  

BackAssward: It takes balls to sit underwater in a pool with SCUBA gear on and watch roaring flames pass overhead.


I just wish he'd had a camera with him that could have taken pictures of it all.
 
2011-11-25 01:12:38 PM  
My first thought was the old myth of the SCUBA diver getting picked up by the forest fire tanker helicopter
 
2011-11-25 01:35:04 PM  
I have wondered if doing that would work, now I know.
Any black Friday deals on scuba gear?
 
2011-11-25 01:38:27 PM  
Before RTA my first thought was what a bad idea strapping an oxygen to your back during a fire would be but it seems like a great improvised idea.
 
2011-11-25 01:43:07 PM  
Most people who die from fires end up suffocated by the smoke, rather than burned alive. Even without the pool, the mask would protect your eyes from smoke and the regulator / tank would allow you to breath clean air for over an hour per tank.
 
2011-11-25 01:43:35 PM  
So now that his house is saved, he can *puts on shades* breathe easier?
 
2011-11-25 01:46:30 PM  

titwrench: Before RTA my first thought was what a bad idea strapping an oxygen to your back during a fire would be but it seems like a great improvised idea.


Scuba tanks are not oxygen tanks. Usually they're filled with the 21% O2 (regular air), or Enriched Air Nitrox (32-36% O2). Pure O2 would cause central nervous system toxicity even if used at shallow depths.
 
2011-11-25 01:46:35 PM  
Did the dude save the neighbor's house that saved him? I need to know this in order to gauge my feelings on the matter.
 
2011-11-25 01:47:07 PM  
For some reason I was imagining an above ground pool. I don't think that would have ended as well. As long as you keep the fire away from the water, you'll be fine. Otherwise Australian Soup.

/CSB.
A paper cup will not burn below the water line when placed in a fire. We'd always have boyscout competitions to boil an egg in a paper cup. Everything above the water level would burn, everything below would be fine until the water boiled off a bit.
 
2011-11-25 01:58:02 PM  
He's got soggy brass ones.
 
2011-11-25 02:05:48 PM  
Cool! I've always wondered if something like that might work!

Of course, I have everything but the tank, so I'd still be screwed.
 
2011-11-25 02:07:50 PM  
of course, he ended up dumped in the middle of some trees putting out a forest fire
 
2011-11-25 02:08:28 PM  
Australia -- Stupid, but ballsy.
 
2011-11-25 02:19:52 PM  
I've heard of this being done one other time with a massive fire in Alaska. In that case someone used a bulldozer to make their own firebreaks and then used scuba gear to stay under the water of a nearby lake. They made it out safely, but I can't recall if their house made it or not.
 
2011-11-25 02:21:16 PM  

Weaver95: if he'd pulled this stunt here in the US, i'm pretty sure some government idiot would charge him with breaking some kind of obscure law or something.


I'm pretty sure it was during the Cedar Fires around San Diego in 2003 that I heard about someone doing the same thing.
 
2011-11-25 02:21:41 PM  
put this man in a beer commercial!
 
2011-11-25 02:23:21 PM  
few years back when we had two huge fires in our local mountains, that was our
exact plan. if it got to that point, park the trucks in a large open meadow,
and head down to the lake with the scuba gear. if conditions permit, head
out to middle of the lake in one of the boats. if not, head to lee side of our point
with the scuba, and head into the water.
As it turned out, we took three boats out with a bunch of beer, and watched 20
helicopters, 5 fixed wing tankers, and the DC-10 tanker do their work. awesome
airshow but don't really need to see it (or huge fires like that) again...
 
2011-11-25 02:24:16 PM  
I recall a similar story from Florida when a train derailed, spilling poisonous checmicals that formed a gas cloud. Many died from the gas, but one guy put on his SCUBA gear in his car (he was in his car on the highway) and walked out of the cloud.

By the way, SCUBA tanks normally contain compressed air, not pure oxygen. It's a common error made by a lot of people. Besides, under pressure, oxygen becomes poisonous at such concentrations.

/Been a SCUBA diver since 1974.
 
2011-11-25 02:27:48 PM  
As a qualified diver, I always wondered about that as an option. That is cool.

As a reasonable human being though, this guy risked his like for a box full of stuff.
That is less cool.
 
2011-11-25 02:39:14 PM  

Spoonfed'sBuddy: titwrench: Before RTA my first thought was what a bad idea strapping an oxygen to your back during a fire would be but it seems like a great improvised idea.

Scuba tanks are not oxygen tanks. Usually they're filled with the 21% O2 (regular air), or Enriched Air Nitrox (32-36% O2). Pure O2 would cause central nervous system toxicity even if used at shallow depths.


That's just something we tell newbs.

Plenty of scuba tanks contain pure O2.
 
2011-11-25 02:51:58 PM  

Spoonfed'sBuddy: Most people who die from fires end up suffocated by the smoke, rather than burned alive. Even without the pool, the mask would protect your eyes from smoke and the regulator / tank would allow you to breath clean air for over an hour per tank.


much more than an hour if you're close to the surface I think. You get an hour down at 60 feet where you're emptying the tank 3x as fast.
 
2011-11-25 02:53:09 PM  

Spoonfed'sBuddy: titwrench: Before RTA my first thought was what a bad idea strapping an oxygen to your back during a fire would be but it seems like a great improvised idea.

Scuba tanks are not oxygen tanks. Usually they're filled with the 21% O2 (regular air), or Enriched Air Nitrox (32-36% O2). Pure O2 would cause central nervous system toxicity even if used at shallow depths.


I think you're ok with pure oxygen if you stay shallower than 30 feet, which is pretty much in any pool, if I remember my classes right.
 
2011-11-25 02:56:38 PM  

stuffer: Spoonfed'sBuddy: titwrench: Before RTA my first thought was what a bad idea strapping an oxygen to your back during a fire would be but it seems like a great improvised idea.

Scuba tanks are not oxygen tanks. Usually they're filled with the 21% O2 (regular air), or Enriched Air Nitrox (32-36% O2). Pure O2 would cause central nervous system toxicity even if used at shallow depths.

I think you're ok with pure oxygen if you stay shallower than 30 feet, which is pretty much in any pool, if I remember my classes right.


I was under the impression that pure 02 at even just 1 atm was enough to be fatal eventually.
 
2011-11-25 03:02:41 PM  

m3h: This the first time I've ever heard of a swimming pool being useful. Normally, they just cost money and kill people.


Seriously? How do you not like pools? I float in mine reading books for a few hours each day on the weekends for six months year. Having a pool is awesome, especially when it's 113 outside.

/also girls like going topless at private pools
 
2011-11-25 03:10:56 PM  

threadjackistan: stuffer: Spoonfed'sBuddy: titwrench: Before RTA my first thought was what a bad idea strapping an oxygen to your back during a fire would be but it seems like a great improvised idea.

Scuba tanks are not oxygen tanks. Usually they're filled with the 21% O2 (regular air), or Enriched Air Nitrox (32-36% O2). Pure O2 would cause central nervous system toxicity even if used at shallow depths.

I think you're ok with pure oxygen if you stay shallower than 30 feet, which is pretty much in any pool, if I remember my classes right.

I was under the impression that pure 02 at even just 1 atm was enough to be fatal eventually.


Hospitals give pure Oxygen at one atmosphere all the time.

The working limit for pure O2 is around 1.6 atmospheres.

Give or take your risk allowance.
 
2011-11-25 03:15:17 PM  

Spoonfed'sBuddy: titwrench: Before RTA my first thought was what a bad idea strapping an oxygen to your back during a fire would be but it seems like a great improvised idea.

Scuba tanks are not oxygen tanks. Usually they're filled with the 21% O2 (regular air), or Enriched Air Nitrox (32-36% O2). Pure O2 would cause central nervous system toxicity even if used at shallow depths.


I kind of figured as much but I wasn't sure. I knew that if I put that out there a fellow Farker would give me the facts. Thanks.
 
2011-11-25 03:23:57 PM  

Because People in power are Stupid: Needs the Hero tag. Awesome story.


You gotta save someone else, or a pet, to be a hero.
 
2011-11-25 03:28:01 PM  

Weaver95: if he'd pulled this stunt here in the US, i'm pretty sure some government idiot would charge him with breaking some kind of obscure law or something.


No, they talk about the laws concerning evacuation quite openly.
 
2011-11-25 03:33:13 PM  

titwrench: Spoonfed'sBuddy: titwrench: Before RTA my first thought was what a bad idea strapping an oxygen to your back during a fire would be but it seems like a great improvised idea.

Scuba tanks are not oxygen tanks. Usually they're filled with the 21% O2 (regular air), or Enriched Air Nitrox (32-36% O2). Pure O2 would cause central nervous system toxicity even if used at shallow depths.

I kind of figured as much but I wasn't sure. I knew that if I put that out there a fellow Farker would give me the facts. Thanks.


Those are not "facts".

That information is incorrect.
 
2011-11-25 03:34:57 PM  

m3h: This the first time I've ever heard of a swimming pool being useful. Normally, they just cost money and kill people.


No, years back there was a woman in very small pool- I think it was one of those odd ones that pumps a current for swimming training (so it's like a treadmill for swimming?) when a natural gas pipeline burst, incinerating the house. She stayed in the water for quite awhile.

One could call "bullshiat" on this because you can't breathe a fireball, nor the resulting smoke. I think, though, the key here is that there will be a laminar inflow of fresh air underneath the rising fireball. The radiant heat of the fireball would not be tolerable, even if you avoid the flame itself. So she could use the pool to protect against radiant heat and have fresh air off the ground as long as combustible liquid didn't spill onto it.

Well they do say "stay low" in a house fire because there's breathable air near the floor. She found herself in a totally unique situation there- she was actually safe BELOW ground level and it's a matter of NOT getting up and leaving.
 
2011-11-25 03:40:44 PM  

T.M.S.: Spoonfed'sBuddy: titwrench: Before RTA my first thought was what a bad idea strapping an oxygen to your back during a fire would be but it seems like a great improvised idea.

Scuba tanks are not oxygen tanks. Usually they're filled with the 21% O2 (regular air), or Enriched Air Nitrox (32-36% O2). Pure O2 would cause central nervous system toxicity even if used at shallow depths.

That's just something we tell newbs.

Plenty of scuba tanks contain pure O2.


Cool story bro.
 
2011-11-25 03:49:24 PM  

T.M.S.: titwrench: Spoonfed'sBuddy: titwrench: Before RTA my first thought was what a bad idea strapping an oxygen to your back during a fire would be but it seems like a great improvised idea.

Scuba tanks are not oxygen tanks. Usually they're filled with the 21% O2 (regular air), or Enriched Air Nitrox (32-36% O2). Pure O2 would cause central nervous system toxicity even if used at shallow depths.

I kind of figured as much but I wasn't sure. I knew that if I put that out there a fellow Farker would give me the facts. Thanks.

Those are not "facts".

That information is incorrect.


Sounds correct to me:
Wikipedia: Oxygen Toxicity (new window)
Atmospheric O2 is about 20%. At eight times the normal partial pressure, OT is a problem. At standard pressure, pure oxygen maxes out at 5x the normal pressure, which cannot cause OT, nor can it be a problem in a plane at high altitude.
At 30ft, total pressure is 2 atm, and breathing pure oxygen may cause OT, because it's 10x the normal partial pressure.

At deep dives, even compressed non-enriched air can mean the partial pressure of oxygen is above the danger threshold. It's worse with Enriched Air Nitrox (32-36% O2).
 
2011-11-25 03:50:48 PM  

threadjackistan: I was under the impression that pure 02 at even just 1 atm was enough to be fatal eventually.


Only if frayed wiring sets your velcro on fire, and you have inward opening hatches.
 
2011-11-25 03:56:35 PM  

Oznog: T.M.S.: titwrench: Spoonfed'sBuddy: titwrench: Before RTA my first thought was what a bad idea strapping an oxygen to your back during a fire would be but it seems like a great improvised idea.

Scuba tanks are not oxygen tanks. Usually they're filled with the 21% O2 (regular air), or Enriched Air Nitrox (32-36% O2). Pure O2 would cause central nervous system toxicity even if used at shallow depths.

I kind of figured as much but I wasn't sure. I knew that if I put that out there a fellow Farker would give me the facts. Thanks.

Those are not "facts".

That information is incorrect.

Sounds correct to me:
Wikipedia: Oxygen Toxicity (new window)
Atmospheric O2 is about 20%. At eight times the normal partial pressure, OT is a problem. At standard pressure, pure oxygen maxes out at 5x the normal pressure, which cannot cause OT, nor can it be a problem in a plane at high altitude.
At 30ft, total pressure is 2 atm, and breathing pure oxygen may cause OT, because it's 10x the normal partial pressure.

At deep dives, even compressed non-enriched air can mean the partial pressure of oxygen is above the danger threshold. It's worse with Enriched Air Nitrox (32-36% O2).


Google "accelerated stage decompression diving".

Like I said. The no O2 thing is just something we tell the noobs.
 
2011-11-25 04:02:25 PM  

stuffer: Spoonfed'sBuddy: Most people who die from fires end up suffocated by the smoke, rather than burned alive. Even without the pool, the mask would protect your eyes from smoke and the regulator / tank would allow you to breath clean air for over an hour per tank.

much more than an hour if you're close to the surface I think. You get an hour down at 60 feet where you're emptying the tank 3x as fast.


My SCR is around 0.5ft3/min, so a common AL80 would give me right about 2 hours of air at the bottom of a 10-foot pool.
 
2011-11-25 04:04:37 PM  

T.M.S.: Like I said. The no O2 thing is just something we tell the noobs.


You're being unreasonably pedantic. 99% of scuba tanks are filled with air or nitrox. The statement "scuba tanks are filled with oxygen" is more wrong than the statement "scuba tanks are filled with air."
 
2011-11-25 04:11:48 PM  

Fish in a Barrel: T.M.S.: Like I said. The no O2 thing is just something we tell the noobs.

You're being unreasonably pedantic. 99% of scuba tanks are filled with air or nitrox. The statement "scuba tanks are filled with oxygen" is more wrong than the statement "scuba tanks are filled with air."


Every dive I do is with tanks filled with O2. Every body I dive with uses tanks with pure O2 as well.

It is very common around here. And it is very common where this incident took place.
 
2011-11-25 04:13:49 PM  

CruJones: /also girls like going topless at private pools


I'm listening.
 
2011-11-25 04:27:03 PM  

T.M.S.: Fish in a Barrel: T.M.S.: Like I said. The no O2 thing is just something we tell the noobs.

You're being unreasonably pedantic. 99% of scuba tanks are filled with air or nitrox. The statement "scuba tanks are filled with oxygen" is more wrong than the statement "scuba tanks are filled with air."

Every dive I do is with tanks filled with O2. Every body I dive with uses tanks with pure O2 as well.

It is very common around here. And it is very common where this incident took place.


That's great, but I doubt it's as common as air or even nitrox. And if you were going to wait out a firestorm at the bottom of a pool, I wager you wouldn't grab your O2 stage bottle unless it were the only shallow gas you had on hand.
 
2011-11-25 04:42:14 PM  

T.M.S.: Fish in a Barrel: T.M.S.: Like I said. The no O2 thing is just something we tell the noobs.

You're being unreasonably pedantic. 99% of scuba tanks are filled with air or nitrox. The statement "scuba tanks are filled with oxygen" is more wrong than the statement "scuba tanks are filled with air."

Every dive I do is with tanks filled with O2. Every body I dive with uses tanks with pure O2 as well.

It is very common around here. And it is very common where this incident took place.


Why would you DO that? I mean, getting O2 out of the air is more expensive and far more dangerous. Venting a tank accidentally can cause serious combustion issues. The thing is, if you're limited to shallow pool dives, the tank has a lot of capacity and replacements aren't far away at all. And you could just use a hookah hose indefinitely within that depth too.

Why bring in the expense and handling issues with O2, when it's got such a serious depth limitation you're not going to get any amazing utility out of it?
 
2011-11-25 04:48:36 PM  
You guys are doing it all wrong

divingg.com

i.dailymail.co.uk
 
2011-11-25 04:51:47 PM  

Oznog: Why would you DO that? I mean, getting O2 out of the air is more expensive and far more dangerous. Venting a tank accidentally can cause serious combustion issues. The thing is, if you're limited to shallow pool dives, the tank has a lot of capacity and replacements aren't far away at all. And you could just use a hookah hose indefinitely within that depth too.

Why bring in the expense and handling issues with O2, when it's got such a serious depth limitation you're not going to get any amazing utility out of it?


It's used at the tail end of deep dives. You don't use it as a primary breathing gas; you bring other tanks for that. You use the O2 during shallow decompression stops because it reduces the amount of time you need to spend at the stop.
 
2011-11-25 04:56:18 PM  

stuffer: Spoonfed'sBuddy: Most people who die from fires end up suffocated by the smoke, rather than burned alive. Even without the pool, the mask would protect your eyes from smoke and the regulator / tank would allow you to breath clean air for over an hour per tank.

much more than an hour if you're close to the surface I think. You get an hour down at 60 feet where you're emptying the tank 3x as fast.


That's what I was going to say, the OP's SAC is terrible.
 
2011-11-25 05:07:56 PM  
The Navy, and even Scrips, used to send guys down to about 60 or 70 feet on pure O2. The ppO2 limits, like everything else in the diving world, is based on the most conservative of conservative models.

The more you know fun fact: The rgbm deco. Program your computer is probably running isn't based off the navy tables. It might not kill you, but your living or dying is the data being used to prove or disprove a model different from a table the Navy has already proven works..
 
2011-11-25 05:27:30 PM  
When I was a kid some guy in our neighborhood wents nuts and started shooting at people out his 2nd floor bedroom window. The cops cleared the area and could not figure out why throwing cannister after cannister of tear gas into that room had no effect on the guy. He had just put on his scuba gear and continued firing. So there are several uses for that stuff besides diving. (The guy eventually decided what he was doing didn't make a whole lot of sense, and surrendered.)
 
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