Rough waters, dangerous ladders, and capsized boats

When the waters are rough, getting back onto the boat takes a little patience. It's a good idea to steer clear of the ladder until you've shed your equipment and are ready to climb back onboard. At least once during my most recent trip, I took an angry, flying ladder to the shin. And at least two boats, that I saw, sank. One sank out on the reef, and the other on the dock alongside West End Divers. Each of those surprised me, because although the water was rough, it didn't appear that rough, but it's a good reminder that the ocean can be violent and unforgiving.

The boat that sank on the coral capsized, apparently after its engine failed. By the time we spotted the sinking boat, its passengers were floating in debris after having been thrown from the boat. The boat was nearly entirely underwater. It felt surreal to put my Rescue Diver skills to use only a handful of dives after completing the course. It was rewarding to remain calm and save someone; although, to quote my friend Willem, no rescue is ever perfect, and I should have taken at least one additional precaution: Before entering the water, I should've instructed the most experienced divers on the boat to reconnect a few BCDs to the tanks, to serve as flotation devices should the situation get more serious. Fortunately it wasn't an issue, but it could've been.

Sammy helps a struggling diver back onboard Delfin; Roatán, Honduras.