Monday, May 27, 2024

‘If Only…’ Dive Documentary Premieres Online Today


A documentary about the death of a technical diver is slated to premiere online later today.

High-risk diver and human factors expert Gareth Lock has joined forces with Ashley Bugge to share the story of how her husband Brian died unexpectedly during a dive.

“If Only…” launches virtually today at 18:49 UK time (07:49 Hawaii time) on the second anniversary of Brian’s death.

The movie was originally scheduled to premiere at last month’s TekDiveUSA, but that gathering was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ashley and Gareth will be running a Facebook Live session from 18:35 UK time and finishing at 18:49 when the film will be available for people to watch via Vimeo or The Human Diver website.

According to Gareth:

“One of the inspirations for this film was ‘Just a Routine Operation’ by Martin Bromiley which had a huge impact on developing human factors practice in healthcare.

“I hope that ‘If Only…’ has the same effect in diving and further afield too — showing that the multiple factors which lead to an accident are not easy to see at the time and that by discussing these context-rich stories, we can improve safety for all. We must understand how it made sense for those involved to do what they did, even if it appears irrational in hindsight.”

According to Ashley:

“For me, it’s not about who is to blame and who did this or who did that. This is not a blame game for me. This is about Brian’s life and death being the inspiration for everyone in the diving community to consider how their thoughts, feelings, instincts and behaviour all play a critical role in being safe in the water. I’m hoping the pain and trauma of losing Brian will encourage divers to never take anything for granted. Every day must be a school day when it comes to diving.”

Gareth Lock and Ashley Bugge during filming of 'If Only...' in November 2019
Gareth Lock and Ashley Bugge during filming of ‘If Only…’ in November 2019

Gareth went to Hawaii in November 2019 to film the story of Brian, who was an officer with the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s Integrated Undersea Surveillance Systems department. Brian died on May 20, 2018 in Honolulu, Hawaii while off-duty on a training dive. He was 35 and Ashley, a diver herself, was weeks away from having their third child.

On the day of the accident, Brian was using a rebreather device that allows divers to recycle air and inject metabolized oxygen. Unfortunately, he did not turn on his oxygen supply for his rebreather before entering the water, and within minutes, he passed out and sank to the ocean floor. Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful. The manufacturer of the equipment was not found to be at fault in Brian’s death.

Gareth, who privately funded the documentary, said:

“I hope this film will act as an example of what can be done when a story can be told, and save lives in the process. This is only the start of a very long journey to improve diving safety by looking at the role of human factors in diving incidents.”

Check out the trailer below.

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.



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