Hi Reddit!

I'm Charlie and last night I was taking part in a night dive off the coast of Bali when I was interrupted by a 7.0 earthquake that occurred on Lombok, the nearest island to Bali.

After the dive we drove to high ground due to the Indonesian government announcing a tsunami warning which was eventually removed after 90 minutes in the hills.

The earthquake has resulted it around 100 deaths (and rising) and mass evacuation of the area near it. Just google 'Lombok Earthquake' if you want to read more about it.

My proof is my stamped and signed diving log book: https://i.imgur.com/SPRerVS.jpg

Comments: 970 • Responses: 39  • Date: 

SirHotWings5801 karma

"Visibility: Good until Earthquake", that made me smirk a little because of how blunt it was lol.

As for my question, what was it like getting back to land? Was it affecting the water at all due to the pressure?

NINETY_LIVES3292 karma

Was quite proud of that comment.

Not really, only worry was my SO and the people, we could see cars fleeing the shore so started to worry we could be in trouble.

For me as well I didn't have a phone so couldn't contact anyone which was scary.

SirHotWings528 karma

You should be proud of it, haha.

Ah right, you were thinking about time and stuff?

Oh, that's a bit scary. I'm glad everything worked out for you guys though and you were safe! :)


Time and the fact that we had been underwater for 10 minutes away from the towns - we didn't know if there had been really bad damage to building or anything!

SirHotWings33 karma

Thank you for answering my questions by the way. It was interesting and I appreciate it :)


No problem at all :)

opiferus3008 karma

Could you feel the water move when it happened? Like, a shift or something?

NINETY_LIVES5973 karma

Not really actually. It was very much pressure based - like my ears were being popped constantly and explosively for about 3 minutes.

It threw silt up, changed fishes behaviour and caused me to evacuate the area after though!

JohnDalysBAC191 karma

Did you panic? Did you know it was an earthquake? I feel like i'd be gulping down air at that point and head for the surface.


I got through the same amount of air as I normally get through in 15 minutes in the ~2 minutes it lasted.

Ranakor1088 karma

You mention explosions of ear poping, did you get checked afterward / is there any ear damage?

NINETY_LIVES1595 karma

That'd be a sensible thing to do and something I'll make sure I do soon.

It wasn't actual 'popping' though, but more like the pressure build up you experience when you are about to pop them when diving.

My ears, balance and head are fine today, but will keep an eye out and get myself properly checked soon.

workplacethrownaway1353 karma

Translation: "Oh shit, I should probably do that..."


NINETY_LIVES1696 karma

This attempt on my life has left me scarred and deformed

JustCBA719 karma

What happened once you reached the surface/made it to the shore? What was everyone else’s reaction at that point? Was the earthquake still ongoing?


Ripped our gear off, threw it into the van.

Spent a minute checking what was occurring and got through to our dive centre/hostel which said there was a tsunami warning so we ran to the nearest hill and stayed near the top. After 90 minutes warning was cleared and we headed back.

Werkstadt27 karma

Where in Bali was this?


Amed, northeast Bali.

streepke514 karma

Did you see the ground moving or shifting or sand swirling up?

Did the animals under water react before, during or after the earthquake struck?

Did you have an increase of current or new 'washing machine' types of current pushing you up or down?

Did you hear a rumble or feel vibrations before or during the earthquake?

I'm trying to understand why you were getting ear pressure changes if there was no tsunami or other major water-shift happening at the time of the earthquake, have you figured this out yourself?

How did the people at the surface experienced the earthquake, was there damage at the beach you used to exit the USS Liberty dive site? Were they panicking or were they just following instructions when going to higher grounds?


Did you see the ground moving or shifting or sand swirling up?

The ground didn't move noticeably but sand was thrown up massively and seriously reduced visibility.

Did the animals under water react before, during ot after the earthquake struck?

Before they seemed hidden and we couldn't work out where they were. During I was concentrating on myself and my buddy. Afterwards they seemed chilled out, hung out with a prrot fish for a while.

Did you have an increase of current or new 'washing machine' types of current pushing you up or down?

Not during it but there seemed to begreater swell as we headed towards shore after.

Did you hear a rumble or feel vibrations before or during the earthquake?

Just before it sounded like a boat going over and then after there were some aftershocks but nothing major.

I'm trying to understand why you were getting ear pressure changes if there was no tsunami or other major water-shift happening at the time of the earthquake, have you figured this out yourself?

I'm not sure only imagine that there was a minor shift in the ground where the earthquake occurred but not enough to cause a mjor tsunami? Im not sure honestly!

How did the people at the surface experienced the earthquake, was there damage at the beach you used to exit the USS Liberty dive site? Were they panicking or were they just following instructions when going to higher grounds?

My SO, wasn't diving, with me and said it was a very strong. She didnt know whether i was diving or on land when it happened and was concerned for me. After there was a lot of confusion on whether to evacuate for a tsunami. Lots of different information from different sources. When we got in contact with the dive centre we saw there was a queue of cars going in the opposite direction- we had to decide whether to evacuate too or head back to the dive shop for our friends. Evacuation won.

DaysOfRoses237 karma

Did you feel safer underwater or on highground.?


Well underwater I didn't really think about the risk of tsunami and once it was over I felt fine underwater.

High ground I was fearful of being trapped or my stuff getting damaged - I didn't have my phone or passport on me so that was a bit worrying.

prostagma43 karma

Where did you leave your passport?


In my room at the dive shop.

EternaiRest168 karma

Where are you staying right now? My sister was in Lombok when it happened and is now sleeping at the airport.


Padang Bai - heading to Nusa Lembongan to dive with Manta's!

jreed2677 karma

Not sure if you’ve been or if you’re interested in going, but if you have the time/money I would highly recommend going to Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores. The diving around there and Komodo is incredible!!


Off there in a week!

DaringHardOx144 karma

Did you need to change your wetsuit afterwards?


Always wee on entry to water, start warm

DaringHardOx137 karma

Good tip, but I wasn't talking about wee ^


( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

es_price28 karma

Serious question...how do you get the emoji on the mobile. Can't be bothered to google it...

Loved Bali, never got to Lombok. Dove on the North Coast o Bali back in October 2001. It was great diving. Be safe.


If you are on iPhone the Apollo app has them as a feature!

Yeah it's been nice diving! Thanks man!

phools13 karma

Wait is this true? I’m finishing up my PADI course this month.



DwarvenJTH118 karma

How/when did you work out that it had been an earthquake?


After about 10-20 seconds underwater I had worked it out.

I began by thinking I had damaged my ears or something but as it went on and the other guys on my dive reacted I realised this was happening to everyone.

Then thought maybe it was dynamite fishing that, sadly, sometimes occurs but then as it went on I worked out it had to be an earthquake.

PsychicVoid63 karma

Did you survive?

Did you feel it under water?

Did you have any close calls? Rocks falling eg


'Did you survive?'

I hope so or this AMA is gonna be awkward

'Did you feel it under water?'

Not really felt it with my body, but you could feel 'explosions' of pressure in your ears and I was diving next to the USAT Liberty, an American WW2 ship, and that shook and I was worried that would slip down the sand bank it was on as we were 'below' it when it occured

'Did you have any close calls?'

No not really, one girl panicked as she thought her tank was exploding so we had to calm her down till it was over. There was a load of silt thrown up afterwards which made visibility terrible afterwards.

LinoVentura6666 karma

Very interesting. I always wondered what happened while at sea. I lost a friend, a PADI dive instructor in Phuket in 2004 when the Tsunami hit. Glad you live to tell, 👍

On a lighter note, your log book entry looks like it was written on land during aftershocks or is it just your normal handwriting? 😉

Take care friend, hope your ears are fine now.


Im sorry for your loss, is really sad to hear of the deaths from this earthquake but glad most people are getting evacuated and looked after.

My handwriting is terrible, just me haha! I was rushing it a little this morning as we had to get to a taxi to take us elsewhere.

brokedownpussywagon51 karma

On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate your underwater earthquake experience?


5/7 perfect score.

ImpostorSyndromish41 karma

How long did you take to surface? Depressurization and the need to haul ass don’t exactly go hand-in-hand.


Slow ascent over ~10 minutes, couldn't ascend straight away as I enjoy living.

cobalt50331 karma

What's Amy's status she OK?


Shaken but okay :)

She's doing her rescue diver course starting today so wish her luck for that.

guitargirlmolly22 karma

I’m curious: aside from this, what’s been your most memorable diving experience?


Aside from this dive.

Probably diving in the Caribbean, we did a wreck dive and one of the cabins had an air pocket in so at 24 metres below the surface we could take out masks off and have a little chat - was very weird.

rucksacksepp8 karma

Sounds awesome. I always wanted to go wreck diving. I read that there's a wreck lying in 9-30 m somewhere near the coast of Bali (sorry, don't know where exactly).

I will be in Bali in November, any spots you can recommend?

Also have you see blue-ringed octupus?


That wreck is the USAT Liberty - great little dive site.

Oh I could talk at you for hours! But highly recommend Fab Dive in Amed if you wanna do some diving!

CryogenicMouse21 karma

What’s the most remarkable marine animal you’ve seen during a dive?


Great question!

Probably either a hammerhead shark or a dolphin feeding off a coral reef as we dived.

Skyrothepyro21 karma

I see in your dive log you recorded the magnitude of the earthquake, how were you able to figure out that it was a 7.0 so quickly?

wapz101 karma

I think he must have had a seismographic technotomitor and put it into the crust of the earth when they first sign of the quake hit. Then he measured it for 30 seconds and went into a waterproof capsule, took off his scuba gear, took out his pen, and logged the findings.

Or he just wrote it the next day while waiting for a taxi.


Fucking hell mate he has a family!


Was posted on twitter by an earthquake recording company very soon after.

I also filled the log book this morning so by then the news was widespread.

Leaking_Sausage18 karma

Did you spot any unusual marine life activity prior to the earthquake? Perhaps fish swimming away from the general epicentre direction?

Also, you should get a tattoo to mark the survival of a 7.0 earthquake during scuba diving.


They seemed to be hiding before the earthquake but no obvious signs really.

No tattoos for me - stops me being able to donate blood and that's something more important to me.

wjnees13 karma

How did you get your job as a diver? What kind of qualifications do you need to get these kinds of jobs? I’m in a landlocked state so these questions are weird to get answers for.


Not my job, am on holiday!

Macluawn12 karma

Did you meet aquaman?


Does my dive leader count? Absolute legend called Sven!

Saw some crustaceans, parrot fish, some trigger fish, eels and other things but we think the animals may have felt it occur and hidden so wasn't the most amazing dive for fauna.

Activeangel6 karma

Were you in proximity to any wildlife at the moment of the earthquake that weren’t hiding? If so (and if you weren’t too distracted by the ear popping), did you notice any peculiar behaviors?


Wasn't really looking at wildlife at that time, was trying to calm Amy and think about best course of action.

AutoModerator4 karma

Users, please be wary of proof. You are welcome to ask for more proof if you find it insufficient.

OP, if you need any help, please message the mods here.

Thank you!

I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.


No one on the team had a camera but my log book is signed by my dive leader. I can send pictures of the dive site or the messages I sent when I got out to the mods if required.

redsandypanda1 karma

How is the diving there? I'm visiting Bali the end of the month for two weeks - if you have any recommendations send them this way!

Also: I just wanted to remind you that driving to higher altitudes immediately after diving gives you a higher risk of DCI. Beware if you have any signs! Glad you're safe.


Amed - go to Fab Dive, super nice good people and take you to awesome dive sites.

duplicatehelix1 karma

Have you developed any superpowers?

Sounds like a great origin story if there was some sort of radiation or radioactive material in the area.


Was next to a sunken american WW2 warship so...

Captain America (played by a British guy now)

the-G-Man1 karma

What was the name of the warship?


USAT Liberty

The_Vegan_Chef-9 karma

30 min night dive on the liberty? Advanced open water dive 3?


We cut it short as there was, ya know, an earthquake.

Ive dived 70+ times.