How Do I Handle A Panic Situation Underwater?
(Dallas, TX US)
On dive #2 of my checkout dives, I had trouble equalizing my right ear on descent. I remembered that I should stop, ascend a little, try to equalize and continue my descent if successful.
As I was trying to do that, the instructor grabbed my bcd and pulled me down to the platform quickly. My ear still wasn't equalized and more pressure made it more painful. It finally did pop after several tries and I felt okay.
My breathing was labored and rapid because my ear was in such pain, and I didn't expect to be pulled down, but I continued and tried to calm myself down.
My next task was the full flood mask clearing. I felt a bit uneasy as I was still breathing a bit heavy but I tried anyway and failed. I signaled to my instructor that something was wrong and I needed to go up. I grabbed my deflator and started to ascend.
At this point I was calm but he grabbed me (forcefully) and pulled me back down, shook his head no and motioned for me to try the task again.
That's when the panic set in.
I forced myself to try to stay rational but my breathing was out of control. He finally gave in and we both went up to the surface.
After a few minutes of my choking and spitting out the water I had inhaled, he said we should try again. I really wanted to do it.
I got back underwater and was able to control my breathing enough to get my mask cleared of half the water but couldn't manage to get the rest out no matter how hard I tried.
Again I told my instructor something was wrong and I needed to go up and again he pulled me and told me no and would not let me go.
I was literally begging him underwater to let me go and he wouldn't. He finally relented and I just bolted to the surface.
As a new diver, I know that bolting to the surface was wrong. I totally understand that. I was initially calm when I tried to tell my instructor, but when he pulled me down and said no, all kinds of things went through my head and I started having trouble breathing. I didn't quite understand why he was holding me there.
I'm going out again in about a month to do the rest of my check out dives.
I practiced a lot and I know I can do all the tasks. What did I do wrong?
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