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  • steveclaggett2 Jan 5, 2011

    Last line should have read "We wish him and his wife Cindy only the best."

  • steveclaggett2 Jan 5, 2011

    We at the Office of State Archeology at the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources are distressed and concerned about the accident and the condition of Rick Allen. He has been the underwater videographer for the wreck of the presumed Blackbeard flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, since 1998. The Office of State Archaeology’s Underwater Archaeology Branch leads investigation of this shipwreck. He has worked energetically and enthusiastically in conditions that often are unfavorable, uncomfortable, and challenging for diving, filming, or anything else. Rick is totally professional and a great companion for our research crews, visitors, and media representatives. When viewers see underwater footage of the Blackbeard shipwreck site on local TV, or in documentaries by UNC-TV, the BBC, History Channel, Discovery Channel, or others, that footage was shot by Rick Allen. He does a marvelous job of sharing North Carolina history and lore with the world. We wish him and his wife Cindy only t

  • fredolds Jan 5, 2011

    Rick Allen gave me my first two production jobs in the video business. We shot two episodes of the History Channel's "Tactical to Practical". Later, I worked with him through the Museum of History for an exhibit. The man is the best in the business and I want nothing more than a speedy recovery for him and his wife. I'll be praying for you, Rick. -Jerry

  • deton8tor Jan 5, 2011

    photobrucie, speculating on the cause of the accident in no way minimizes everyones concern for the victims recovery and in fact most post have concluded with hopes and prayers for the victims of this tragic event. It is only human for people to try to figure out what may have happened when they learn of an event such as this. That being said as a diver myself of 25 years I have much respect for Rick and Cindy's accomplishments and love of diving. I hope that Rick will have a speedy and full recovery and can return soon to the sea that he loves.

  • photobrucie Jan 4, 2011

    I am disgusted by so many of the posts on here. Rick and Cindy are friends of mine. More people should be concerned about their recovery than telling them what they should have done. These are experienced scuba divers. Most likely the tank was faulty. But nevertheless, have a heart and keep them in your thoughts rather than condemning him with what you would have done in that situation. Just thank your lucky stars you were not.

  • Tug Boat Jan 4, 2011

    my prayers and thoughts are with the family tonight. I hope they both recover 100%. It's bad enough that they lossed their home much less their health.

  • rdmcswai Jan 4, 2011

    Wildcat - I actually agree with you for once! :]But seriously, some of you people really have no hearts. Hope these two have a speedy recovery!

  • frosty Jan 4, 2011

    I am guessing that WRAL just published what they got off the police report and do not have the full details.

    Of course the ubiquitous habit of the press to think all SCUBA tanks are filled with oxygen does not help things.

    Unfortunately, there will probably not be a follow up story with what actually happened. But I do believe that there is more to the accident.

    But best wishes and prayers to the family.

  • Peace Love and Cold Meds Jan 4, 2011

    He worked for ABC news too! That's nice. Why is it wral won't post this piece of info that they left out?

  • wildcat Jan 4, 2011

    If anyone on this board CANNOT say anything NICE....than don't bother to say NOTHING!

  • wildcat Jan 4, 2011

    May the both of them continue to get better as each day passes. Both of you are in my prayers.

  • passport423 Jan 4, 2011

    Amen ncteacher22! I have grown disgusted with the majority of the posters.

  • james27613 Jan 4, 2011

    Heat source could have been from vehicle, the story reads that
    he just returned from hockey game.

  • james27613 Jan 4, 2011

    This is very unfortunate. Could have been avoided.
    All gas cylinders must be stored base down and chained or
    clamped to wall or cart.

    He must have been using Heliox (mix of 20% O2 +80% He gas)
    for deep dives.

    Hope he pulls through.

  • ncteacher22 Jan 4, 2011

    Why are we nitpicking his request, or how it happened, or whether it is newsworthy? A local couple expereinced something horrible, he lost part of his arm, the house has structural damage. We all want to pick and poke...but we ought to send prayers and well wishes, instead. I am ashamed of so many people on here who want to know the "rest of the story". He was badly injured. He used to work for WRAL. He needs positive thoughts...not speculative negativity!

  • superman Jan 4, 2011

    I read somehwhere that 80% of home fires start in the garage. People dont think clearly when they store items like oxygen tanks, propane takes, gasoline etc in their garage. I store my extra propane tanks and gasoline for my mower in a small covered shed in the back yard as far away from the house as I could. Anything that is flammable goes to that area. If you dont have a smoke detector in your garage and most people dont-you should get one immediately. It wouldnt have helped in this situation but keep in mind 80% of home fires start in the garage and usually no one is in there to know that you have a fire. This was certainly a tragic accident but then most accidents are.

  • Diabolical Jan 4, 2011

    Adorable couple. Hope they can get past this ordeal. My thoughts to the friends and families.

  • bonnnie Jan 4, 2011

    IM so sorry for these guys that is terrible.

  • xchief661 Jan 4, 2011

    Wow! Hope they are all ok. Sorry to hear he lost an arm. Keep the o2 tanks somewhere in an outside building away from the house its just too dangerous to store them inside the house. Im assuming when he asked the neighbor to take care of his dog he already knew he and his wife were going to the hospital. Makes perfect sense to me. Some people just don't think before they open their mouth.

  • RB-1 Jan 4, 2011

    Lilymae - "You can't — and shouldn't — judge."


    Also, people are often in shock and say things that seem unsound. That's because they often are - because they're in shock.

    Our dad suffered an injury while on the job, and for days kept asking for our mother, even though she'd been dead for years and he was remarried.

    He didn't know our step-mother and kept asking for our mother.

    So cut some slack on what was said and consider the injuries incurred.

  • lilymae Jan 4, 2011

    A couple of folks have ridiculed this man for asking his friend to take care of his dog rather than take care of his wife. My father's last words as he was being put on a helicopter following a massive heart attack were to his friend. "Take care of my cat," he said. He knew my mom would be well-taken care of, but he didn't want Carrie to be forgotten. This memory for my mom and me is one of our most cherished and represents the kind-hearted man my sometimes gruff father was.

    Perhaps this situation is similar. You can't — and shouldn't — judge.

  • BEACH Jan 4, 2011

    PRAYING FOR THESE POOR PEOPLE, Burns are so terrible.
    Thanks WRAL FOR THE find job you do of reporting.

  • umop apisdn Jan 4, 2011

    More proof that tanks will go off like a missile:

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Jan 4, 2011

    "Nothing there to explode, there is more to this story. Scuba tanks are filled with just compressed air."

    Tanks CAN explode. But it's not a flammable explosion, unless it's one of those pure oxygen tanks like for an elderly person that has trouble breathing. But a scuba tank contains compressed air, like you said. If the tank explodes in a garage, it could happen near a gas tank that is near the tank. Maybe that is where flames came from?

  • passport423 Jan 4, 2011

    Gosh, I hope that this young man and his wife will be okay. Burns are the most horrible injuries so he will have a long road ahead, if he makes it.

    I think the important thing to know is that someone is critically injured. It really doesn't matter very much to me how or why it happened, unless accidents like this can be prevented in the future. Doesn't bother me that WRAL is reporting it, because I am a fan of WRAL (or I wouldn't be here) so if a former WRAL employee is injured, I am interested. God speed!

  • NCMacMan Jan 4, 2011

    According to the reports I heard it was a fiberglass tank with oxygen. Normally this would not be an issue unless there is an ignition source. I wonder what sparked the explosion?

  • Sez Who Jan 4, 2011

    OK, I'm reading here: to never store tanks never store them them standing them lying down...tanks will explode...tanks will not explode...
    The article says it was a FIBERGLAS tank! HUH?? Who dives with a fiberglas tank??
    Does ANYONE here know what they're talking about????

  • Joe Blow Jan 4, 2011

    I'm hoping for the best for all involved! I hope Lucky is OK, too.

  • bmg379 Jan 4, 2011

    We were doing an outdoor festival once,someone knocked over a large propane tank being used for a large grill,it shot into the air like a nasa rocket was being launched.

  • tjhiggs68 Jan 4, 2011

    Can never throw caution to the wind no matter how expert one is. My best wishes to both of them on a speedy recovery.

  • Cakalackie Jan 4, 2011

    If this wasn't a former WRAL employee, would this be a story? Would it be one of the top 3 headlines?

  • Scubagirl Jan 4, 2011

    Most scuba divers who own their own tanks store them at their homes, where else would you?
    This is why we are all taught to never store them standing up. Not all follow that apparently.

    Horrible freak accident, hoping thhe'll be ok.

  • RB-1 Jan 4, 2011

    Wow! One never thinks about things like this happening.

    Praying for them both. Burns are a painful injury.

  • ashleyperry2 Jan 4, 2011

    It appeared to be a tank of oxygen.

  • golowral Jan 4, 2011

    This was an oxygen tank, not a "scuba tank". I presume that it was kept for blending mixed gases or a rebreather cylinder. Any spark in the presence of O2 will certainly cause an explosion. The cause of the tank rupture is apparently not known at this time, but could have been that the valve was knocked apart in the fall. My heart-felt wishes go out to Rick and his wife.

  • lovesanimals Jan 4, 2011

    Thoughts and prayers to this couple.

  • rescuefan Jan 4, 2011

    Oh wow, I hope they'll both be okay!

  • scubamike1468 Jan 4, 2011

    mikeyj: "Why was he storing a full tank? First safety lesson in 1979 for a scuba coarse was how dangerous a full tank was. Never store them full and when done bleed them off. When bleeding them to never do it from the tank but purge through a regulator. These things are missle in a mishap!"

    Your comment makes no sense at all. Almost all dive shops and resorts store full tanks. Boat operators store full tanks. It's a bit hard to dive when the tank is empty. Bleed them off? That's a complete waste of air and money and is just silly. And contrary to what you may think, they ARE NOT a missle in a "mishap". They don't have fins or wings, and just spin wildy until the pressure deceases. Oh, and your fist safety lesson should have been "Never, ever hold your breath".

  • scubamike1468 Jan 4, 2011

    Sorry that the couple got hurt, but there is MUCH more to this story. I have an extensive background in Scuba and have NEVER hear of a tank "exploding". Based on the amount of damage described and shown in the photos it's not even plausable that a scuba cylinder caused this amount of damage. Compressed air does not burn, nor flash. In my opinion even a tank of Nitrox in the 30% or higher range would not have done this.

  • amyc74 Jan 4, 2011

    Oh my goodness. My prayers are with him,his wife, and family.

  • mgratk Jan 4, 2011

    I don't know anything about diving, but I'm surprised a tank could rupture with such apparent ease. Was it a defective tank? I'd think they should be manufactured to withstand tipping over.

  • ORMA Jan 4, 2011

    Something does not add up with this story. Where are the rest of the details WRAL? Tanks like this don't explode from being dropped or knocked over. If the valve is knocked off, they will become projectiles but they don't explode.

  • deton8tor Jan 4, 2011

    Wow I have been certified since I was 16 and I have stored many a tank in my garage. I too have been told not to store a tank completely empty because it make it susceptible to internal rust. I have heard of and seen the results on several tank ruptures. the tank can become a deadly missile. I have never heard of one causing burns though. Not with regular compressed air. It could have been an enriched oxygen mixture or a tri mix of some type. But it could be that the tank may have struck some other object stored in the garage that caused the fire. I hope they come through this OK.

  • mewuvbb Jan 4, 2011

    Prayers for Rick and Cindy, Wishing you well.

  • computer trainer Jan 4, 2011

    When I worked for McD's, we had an employee bringing in a CO2 tank one day, and he dropped it. Luckily, before it hit the ground, he grabbed it. Had it hit the ground, it would have been like a missile and blown a hole through the building, at the VERY least. When I saw it going down, I ran,waiting on the explosion. Hopefully this couple will be OK! Prayers for them.

  • cjcregg Jan 4, 2011

    Wishing Rick and Cindy a speedy and full recovery. Their documentary and photojournalism work over the decades has been outstanding; their underwater photography work is wonderful. They've been so instrumental in documenting the history off the NC coast, including the QAR and WWII.

  • Realamerican71 Jan 4, 2011

    There is quite a bit more to this story, there has to be. First of all, a regular Aluminum SCUBA tank is filled with only compressed air. Yes, compressed to 3000 psi typically however it's just compressed air. If he was a technical diver which it sounds like he was he may have been diving, storing, mixing gasses. Still, even if a tank of pure compressed Oxygen fell over, is it capable of exploding on impact? I've seen the Mythbusters episode, very powerful however no explosion with compressed air. I'm sure he knew how to safely store compressed cylinders. I wish he and his family the best.

  • drh3102 Jan 4, 2011

    Never Store an empty tank? What? I am 55 and have been diving since I was 14, back in the dark ages of diving, and I was always told "Never leave a tank empty" this will prmote rust and breakdown of the tank. I have several tanks in my garage that are all full. The safty aspect is to store them so that they can be knocked over. Mine are in a "rack" made of 2 x 4's so that they can stand supported in an upright position. You don't store them lying down as the thickest part of the tank is at the bottom.

  • Made In USA Jan 4, 2011

    Burns make terrible injuries. I pray that they will be ok and that their injuries heal quickly.

  • usmcasa Jan 4, 2011

    watch the mythbusters episode about compressed air cylinders and their destructive power. i'm surprised this wasn't a much worse outcome

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