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This page is dedicated to the best thing there is. Ice-diving in Holland. Unfortunately the last 12 years the winters where not cold enough to make us a good old 6" of ice. Now after all these years today we had the opportunity to make a very nice dive in a cold and icy Holland. This was a very nice day with friends in a good atmosphere. Nice dive, nice weather and most important we made a safe dive. For that reason we used a lot of rebreathers because they are comfortable, offer warm air and are very reliable.  The diving spot was organised in the official way using traffic signs and the Police checked the spot so all was OK. Enjoy the pictures! 12-01-2009 11-01-2009
Icediving in the Netherlands 2009
We had a fantastic dive, check the GALLERY here
ADDENDUM 12-01-2009

WARNING!!    This is a LONG, DULL dive report of some stupid Dutchmen

doing something silly. You have been warned.

You can STILL hit the “delete” button….    END-OF-WARNING.


Once in a while you have to do something silly. Or stupid. Or both.

Like: once every 11 years. Because 11 years ago it was the last time the Dutch waters were frozen enough to skate on it. Or dive under it. Both dangerous and sort of silly/stupid.


Which is EXACTLY why we embarked on it!


“We” is JanWillem Bech & friends – 8 divers & audience. 1 x Classic Inspo, 3 x Vision Inspo, 4 x OC. Our usual North Sea wreck-diving group, this time hunting for…. well – ice.


We went looking for our original selected diving spot, only to find out that icebreakers had ruined it in order to keep a lane open for boats (Why!?!?!? They have the rest of the year already to pester our diving spots with ships. Can’t they just keep a short holiday…?).


So we packed it up and went to the next spot, a diving club with its own small lake, which was separate enough to cut a hole in it. (In this time of the year, you do NOT get very popular if you cut a whole in the middle of a skating rink). A short Police visit confirmed we could go ahead with ruining the ice.


JW was well prepared, and within 15 minutes his trusty chainsaw (now probably completely ruined….) had cut a nice big triangular hole in 16 cm thick ice. Depth check: a “whopping” 2 meters of water between ice and muddy bottom. Not exactly a depth record, but most likely a low-viz record….


We “borrowed” some stuff from around the spot, including some nice red-white traffic-control poles to indicate to unsuspecting skaters that this was NOT the place to be.


And we even found a nice left-over ladder to ease the going in & out of the water!


The diving went quite smooth. We had 50 meter signal lines to allow us to get far away from the hole, to (slightly) less murky water. It is quite intriguing so see people walk on top of you, and waving to you.

The silence of the rebreathers even allowed us to hear them!


The Inspo’s were boring. They refused to follow Mrs. AM and Mr. AD’s advice to pack up on us. They stubbornly did what they were supposed to

do: do their job without any problems. Quite frustrating….


SO….: I decided to raise the ante a bit, and challenge my own Inspo a bit further.

After having finished my dive, I had to walk back to shore on the slippery ice. I guess you can see where this is going…. Thinking, “steady, steady”, I wasn’t steady at all for a brief moment - and made “The Mother Of All Crashes” on the ice.


Image a 190 cm long, 100+ kilo, white-haired guy with some 40 kilo’s of kit on his back, crashing full-speed on his left shoulder. Highly NOT RRRecommended! I was actually surprised the ice didn’t break...


It must have caused a quake of at least 4 on Richter’s scale, and unfortunately one with level 7 in my left shoulder. I used some words that Gordon’s profanity filter will for sure NOT let through here. After my lovely wife Rita & support-diver Hans had taken the kit off me, I could examine the damage. Inspo:Tino = 1:0. As in: Kit was 100% o.k., despite the yellow/black case having taking a huge knocker, chasing it off its hinges, but no breaks/bends/cracks. Good stuff!


I can also tell you that the new battery box is not very prone to battery bounce. Forget all those small lab(rat) tests, dropping it from a measly meter or so on soft, warm water.


This is the REAL thing. I suggest it should be added to the new

EN14143:2008 standard:

1.      take one big bulky stupid unbalanced Dutchmen;

2.      fit working Inspiration to cloggy;

3.      put combined assembly on frozen, slippery icy surface;

4.      kick the legs from under him, or let him do the job himself (so

called auto-drop);

5.      plug ears for hard bump & subsequent nasty words;

6.      ignore injured diver, if necessary silence him with brute force;

7.      observe readouts of controllers C1 and C2 on handset: they

should still be running o.k. ….


Unfortunately my left shoulder most certainly did NOT pass EN14143, or in fact any other test. Once adrenaline had faded, my left wing was rapidly invaded by pain and lack of operational use. Subsequent photo’s in the hospital luckily did not seem to show breaks, so it must be “just” ligatures and (what is left of) muscles, AND my pride, that is hurt. Let’s hope it all gets usable again, as my skiing holiday is lurking in two week’s time.


Bottom line and lessons to take away:

-       Ice diving in itself is not dangerous;

-       Similar to flying, the dangerous part are take-off and landing.

In my case especially the landing;

-       The Inspo is way stronger that the human parts it is attached


-       You shouldn’t do these things anymore on my age;

-       It is very hard to give “the finger” if you cannot successfully

lift your left arm;

-       Drinking ability also gets severely hampered when you cannot

lift your arm;

-       Hence drinking and crashing with full Inspo-kit on frozen water

are proven to be incompatible.


‘ Nough said. JanWillem has already sent a link to this List yesterday with some photo’s on www.therebreathersite.nl

<file://www.therebreathersite.nl>   as “proof” we were actually stupid

enough to pull this off…





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