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SEAL trainee dies during drown proofing at BUDS

Joined
Jan 7, 2009
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5,454
#2
I have to say that these guys killing themselves is not on the Navy. Suicide is and always will be a personal choice. I hate it when ANYONE tries to put a suicide on anyone other then the person who did it.

This drowning is tragic. However I don't want to say anything about it till it is investigated.
 

Scholar

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#4
Seems like a lot of people are talking about things they don't know about. I guess it's nothing new, but I'm just really starting to notice it.
 

8654Maine

Recon Marine
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Over the Rainbow
#5
Seems like a lot of people are talking about things they don't know about. I guess it's nothing new, but I'm just really starting to notice it.
What is your experience with either BUDS or "drown-proofing"?

"Drown-proofing" is a water confidence event. It is more than treading water. It is a ball buster.
 

Scholar

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#7
What is your experience with either BUDS or "drown-proofing"?

"Drown-proofing" is a water confidence event. It is more than treading water. It is a ball buster.
I don't have any, and as TLDR20 said, I don't claim to have any. Sorry I got your blood pressure up :thumbsup:
 

Etype

Special Forces
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Sep 18, 2010
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#12
I'm really skeptical of the whole, "instructor holding him underwater," bit. If it's anything like the Army, they could pull him from training for a number of reasons- there's no reason to try to hurt someone.

Water is dangerous enough and the instructors all know and have a healthy respect for this. I couldn't see anyone negligently adding to the danger, or any other instructors allowing it.

ETA-
My experience as an instructor in an official capacity is limited to shooting and parachuting. Folks in the military do stand together; however, if a student was ever hurt due to instructor negligence, no one that I've ever worked with would be lying for that person.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
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5,454
#14
I'm really skeptical of the whole, "instructor holding him underwater," bit. If it's anything like the Army, they could pull him from training for a number of reasons- there's no reason to try to hurt someone.

Water is dangerous enough and the instructors all know and have a healthy respect for this. I couldn't see anyone negligently adding to the danger, or any other instructors allowing it.

ETA-
My experience as an instructor in an official capacity is limited to shooting and parachuting. Folks in the military do stand together; however, if a student was ever hurt due to instructor negligence, no one that I've ever worked with would be lying for that person.
Cannot agree more.
 

Etype

Special Forces
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#15
Cannot agree more.
Another point that you may be able to atest to as a medic- dying from hypoxia induced loss of consciousness isn't something I've heard of happening to often. I think this gives their,' pre existing condition,' argument some merit.

I'm not a medic, and definitely not a DMT, but it was in the pool, and he wasn't breathing compressed air or O2 which could have complicated the matter- again, indicating something else was at work.

I would assume that the BUD/s cadre probably see 100+ students a year lose consciousness and have a very good, effective protocol for handling it.
 

8654Maine

Recon Marine
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#16
Point of clarification: I am trying to get facts. Dogpiling is stupid. No need for apologies @Scholar.

@Scholar wrote about people talking about things they didn't know. It appeared to suggest he knew better.

The issue centers around what happened in the pool and what the cadre did or did not do. The title of that article suggests that instructors caused his death.

So far, no one with BUDS experience has weighed in on this thread.

Who else has experience with combat dive school?

The instructors are very interactive in the water confidence events. I found them to be very knowledgeable, aggressive, sometimes "sadistic" but not negligible.

This is why the water drops many candidates in BUDS, PJ/CCT and ARS/BRC.

That was my experience ages ago.

As for cause of death, it could be many, including pre-existing conditions. But laryngeal spasm (I am only guessing here) is common especially in aspiration and it can happen anytime, to healthy people, and is scary shit to treat.
 

Johca

Pararescue
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May 23, 2011
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Anchorage Alaska
#17
dying from hypoxia induced loss of consciousness isn't something I've heard of happening to often.
Google shallow water blackout. The hypoxia is contributing causal to a drowning death.

I was visiting the PJ Development/Indoc courses last week. While taking the base shuttle bus from the FAMCAMP (where I parked and was living in my RV), I was approached by a PJ Indoc student on medical hold being evaluated for medical clearance to be returned into training or to be medically eliminated from training after experiencing a loss of consciousness in the pool. He initiated the conversation and disclosed he was wearing heart monitor and asked me what his chances were to be medically cleared to return to training.

Apparently, his disclosed history to me, this was his second time through Indoc. He had experienced several hypoxic events in the pool (decreased level of consciousness with no loss of consciousness) until he did experience a complete loss of consciousness (shallow water blackout). Whether he gets medically cleared to return to training or not is beyond my ability to speculate as I'm not the physicians looking at the results of all the medical tests and examinations.

What I can say is the instructor to student ratio in the water with instructors on the deck of the pool is such at the PJ development and Indoc courses that significant direct observation is given to each student and the training events for specific purpose to observe for and prevent a student entering into a hypoxic state to get to the point of complete loss of consciousness and to prevent a drowning death. I also observed, unannounced, just walked in, several pool sessions and didn't see any sadistic or inappropriate training being done. In fact it was considerably tame compared to how training was conducted during the 1970s and 1980s.

Also since 1964 to present day there has been only one water (drowning) death at the PJ courses at Lackland AFB.
 

Ocourse

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Feb 29, 2016
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Tenafly NJ
#18
I did drown proofing and I can tell you it totally sucked and I saw guys go tits up all the time and black out. They absolutely held our legs under the water. When we had to do another test, water rescue test, basically the instructor beat the shit out of you till you either failed or passed. I remember hitting my instructor in the head as hard as I could and then he finally let me wrap my arm around him. I will say that it is simply worse than you can imagine unless you have done it. This is what it takes to go through BUDS. I will say that the instructors however were all over us as far as watching for safety and were excellent at stopping when it needed to be stopped. Of course when you are doing it, you do not know that. 185.
 

Red Flag 1

Verified Military
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Sep 28, 2010
Messages
7,911
#19
I did drown proofing and I can tell you it totally sucked and I saw guys go tits up all the time and black out. They absolutely held our legs under the water. When we had to do another test, water rescue test, basically the instructor beat the shit out of you till you either failed or passed. I remember hitting my instructor in the head as hard as I could and then he finally let me wrap my arm around him. I will say that it is simply worse than you can imagine unless you have done it. This is what it takes to go through BUDS. I will say that the instructors however were all over us as far as watching for safety and were excellent at stopping when it needed to be stopped. Of course when you are doing it, you do not know that. 185.
Have you thought of vetting with us. I've looked at your profile, and I think it would be to your advantage. While it is not a requirement, it would open some doors for you, and once vetted, it answers the question of, "who is he to say.........". Be sure to include documentation with your application. Your DD-214 would be perfect, just be sure we can read your name, and protect your SSN.
 

Ocourse

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Feb 29, 2016
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Tenafly NJ
#20
Have you thought of vetting with us. I've looked at your profile, and I think it would be to your advantage. While it is not a requirement, it would open some doors for you, and once vetted, it answers the question of, "who is he to say.........". Be sure to include documentation with your application. Your DD-214 would be perfect, just be sure we can read your name, and protect your SSN.
Hi Red Flag, I would love to but I am waiting for my DD214, I sent it in a while ago and have not heard back yet. I can send it pics of me in BUDS to prove it if that helps. But not sure that is what you want. I will look at the application and see what i have besides my DD214.