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Documentary film "If Only..." - video

Yesterday, Wednesday 20 May, the long-awaited documentary ‘If Only…’ premiered, a study of the diving accident in which technical diver and US Navy officer Brian Bugge died as a result of his own error. His wife Ashley and diving experts bring this tragic story to life. Ahley Bugge with support from Gareth Lock reveal the
Published: May 21, 2020 - 09:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 19:50
Documentary film “If Only…” – video

Yesterday, Wednesday 20 May, the long-awaited documentary ‘If Only…’ premiered, a study of the diving accident in which technical diver and US Navy officer Brian Bugge died as a result of his own error. His wife Ashley and diving experts bring this tragic story to life.

Ahley Bugge with support from Gareth Lock reveal the details of the final dive and the factors that contributed to its fatal end.

“My point is not to be able to blame someone and say who did this or that. This is not an action focused on finding someone to blame. It’s about making Brian’s life and death an inspiration to all members of the diving community and a topic to consider how their thoughts, feelings, instincts and behaviour, play a key role in ensuring safety underwater. I hope that my pain and trauma at losing Brian will encourage divers to never take anything for granted. In the context of diving, every day must be a learning day.” – Ashley Bugge

“I hope ‘If Only…’ will have the same effect in and out of diving – it’s about raising awareness that many of the factors that lead to an accident are not easy to spot straight away, and that by discussing these context-rich stories we can improve the safety of us all. We need to understand how those involved should do what they did, even if it seems irrational in hindsight.” – Gareth Lock

Last November, Gareth flew to Hawaii to film the story of Brian, who was an officer in the US Pacific Fleet Integrated Surveillance Systems Department. He died on 20 May 2018, in Honolulu, Hawaii, while diving off-duty. He was 35 years old and his wife was due to give birth to their third child in a few weeks.

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Brian conducted his last dive on closed circuit. Unfortunately he did not turn off the oxygen supply to his rebreather before entering the water and within minutes he passed out and sank to the ocean floor. Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful. Subsequent findings concluded that the equipment manufacturer was not to blame for Brian’s death.

“I hope this film will be an example of what we can do when we have the opportunity to tell a story that could save someone’s life in the future. This is just the start of a very long journey to improve safety in diving by looking at the role of human factors in diving incidents.” – Gareth Lock

The film was originally scheduled to be shown as early as a month ago during TekDiveUSA, unfortunately the event, like many others, was eventually cancelled. It is now available online for everyone to see and take something away from it to make our diving safer.

Source: The Human Diver

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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