BC Remove and Replace Skill

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wetb4igetinthewater

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I would be very surprised if the average diver could perform all the skills on this list
Sir, I would not bet against you!
 

tursiops

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I would be very surprised if the average diver could perform all the skills on this list
I suspect they could fresh out of a decent OW class. Which skills do you think would diminish with time?
 

scubadada

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I suspect they could fresh out of a decent OW class. Which skills do you think would diminish with time?
The key is fresh out of a decent OW class. Many divers never learned or have forgotten proper weighting and weight check, neutral buoyancy and low pressure hose, weight and trim check with buddy :) There are some other routine skills that would probably challenge many if they were asked to perform them, or had to while diving.

I'm pretty sure that many divers could not remove and replace scuba kit or resecure a loose cylinder band (this would require don and doff unless done by the buddy)

I volunteered to take a young husband and wife on their first drift dive in SE Florida by taking the flag and guiding them on the reef. Both had OW and a moderate number of dives, something in the range of 20-30. The woman was significantly underweighted and could not descend, I got her more weight and she replaced her weight pockets. Just before reaching the bottom, one of her weight pockets fell out and she began to cork, I grabbed her and replaced her weight pocket. Her husband was doing better but did not appear to have spare bandwidth in addition to taking care of his own diving. Due to all the time taken, we had a long swim back to the reef. At that point, the woman's tank fell out of her BC and I replaced it. The rest of the dive went better. The second dive had no catastrophes. Sometimes people just need a little help and a refresher discussion. Obviously, most people do fine, as long as there are no major problems. I'm not sure how this dive would have turned out had they been by themselves, with their own flag to boot. The first dive probably would just have been aborted, maybe with a redrop after help on the boat.

I do a lot of boat diving in SE FL, most of it solo. I don't see many other divers, but I hear most of the stories back on the boat. I notice that the skill list does not ask about competently using their dive computer, that would be another one.
 

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At that point, the woman's tank fell out of her BC and I replaced it.

Has anyone ever asked the question “should all recreational BCD’s have two tank bands” in the Basic Scuba forum? Oh wait, actually they did…and they were summarily dismissed!

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. :D

 

scubadada

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Has anyone ever asked the question “should all recreational BCD’s have two tank bands” in the Basic Scuba forum? Oh wait, actually they did…and they were summarily dismissed!

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. :D

Ha, I have had a single tank band since 2002, I've never had a tank come loose :)

I've seen some pretty wild diving on the reefs of Bonaire over our last several trips, how about you?
 

wetb4igetinthewater

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But weight pockets fall out. There is no denying that. They can be checked on the surface during a buddy check, and they still can fall out. It certainly happens way more often than divers running out of gas, or getting their mask knocked off. Trying to figure out how to replace them underwater for the first time while in cold water, in a thick suit and wearing gloves is not ideal. It's not hard to do, but it takes some technique. It takes about 5 minutes of pool time, and even less in open water.
What I'm getting at is why do pockets fall out? Yes, they do for one or more of causes:
1. Faulty design and/or worn gear
2. Overweighted (we don't need much weight in warm water, and if you stuff in 8 lbs, that excessive weight just makes it more likely to come out
3. Student didn't clip them in properly and ...
4. Student didn't check by tugging on them to ensure they were secure (when horizontal they are more likely to fall out. This would catch 1 and 3, no?

Proper weighting, including weight distribution (i.e. use of trim pockets) would go a long way to addressing this. I would suspect that in the cases where people lose a weight pocket, at least one (probably more) of this list were missed. This is all about basic fundamentals.

However, I will concede your point based on the reality that the fundamentals are not taught. Like teaching neutral buoyancy and trim (is it so hard to include that weight distribution must also address the difference in center of mass and center of volume/displacement?), agencies don't give good guidelines (RAID appears to be an exception.

The lack of guidelines form agencies for teaching things like NB/T frustrates me and that's why I wrote that blog series that took up a lot of time. You can tell someone to teach something, but it will help a lot. Now Mel is going to be shocked and 911 should be on standby, but I do think the PADI Guide to Teaching (which is open next to me) is a good start, a very good start in fact. But it also has some serious shortcomings that need to be addressed.
It's a known problem with an easy fix. Why not train for it even if the letter of the standards don't require it by a very specific reading?
I just wish there was more honesty in the industry as while scuba diving can be a fairly safe activity and a stricter adherence to standards. When I did my IDC, I was told to not explain the reg retrieval for when a reg gets kicked out of your mouth when diving off a cattle boat as "that would scare students. Tell them it is for when taking a picture and smiling for the camera". So when a student does get a reg kicked out of their mouth they are more likely to panic. Brilliant! Sorry, I'd rather tell my students that there are two things that are dangerous to them in the Puget Sound (as the orcas kill any great whites that swim in): boats at the surface, and other divers.

I do explain to my students that if they do not own their own gear, they have no idea as to the quality of the gear they will rent. I do teach a balanced rig and I am rather retentive on weighting and teaching my students to do weight checks at the end of dives, and in buddy pairs, take off 2 lbs/4 lbs (it seems 1 lb weights are not common) and see if they won't sink/cork.

While I was in Belize, I dove with someone who had a stainless steel backplate AND 16 lbs while in a 5 mil. I too was in a 5 mil, SS BP + STA and NO additional weight. During the last minute of our safety stop as we were buddied up, because she was so foot heavy (every time she frog kicked, most of the energy got her to be horizontal) I decided at that moment to try to help her. I just signaled her over to me, grabbed a D-ring, and removed one of her weight pockets with 8 lbs in it. I then told her to dump some gas from her wing before I let her go while I added some gas to my wing. It was the only dive I did with her, and I advised her the same thing as my students: keep iterating that on every dive until you.

The fundamentals in diving are just missing.
 

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Ha, I have had a single tank band since 2002, I've never had a tank come loose :)

I've seen some pretty wild diving on the reefs of Bonaire over our last several trips, how about you?

Haha! I rarely see tanks falling out of BCD’s anymore. That’s because we almost NEVER dive with a group! Yes, we have witnessed some very interesting dive “techniques” recently in Bonaire. Here’s an excerpt from a recent post.

“We were entering the water and noticed two guys flopping about at the shoreline attempting to exit with their fins on. One of them was in six inches of water violently twisting on his back with his legs in the air like a dying cockroach while desperately grabbing at his fin tips. At the same time his buddy was on all fours in eighteen inches of water ripping at his heel straps like he was being attacked by a herd of cats.”
 

TMHeimer

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I use the Apollo Bio Tank Lock-- don't need 2 straps or wetting straps. Tank has never slipped.
Which skills would erode first without practice?-- the ones that you don't regularly use (which is maybe most or all of them except mask clearing), beginning with the OP's topic doff & don--because that has the most steps.
I admit I don't bother actually practicing skills on my shallow shore dives-- except for CESA, because I usually ascend anyway tp check my exact location. But, once weekly I go over my list of the 24 PADI pool skills sitting in my easy chair. At least I know exactly HOW to do them. Everything erodes if you don't review-- like your CPR ability. Taking a course every 2 years IMHO means next to nothing unless an emergency occurs within a week after you took the course. Same thing with all the scuba skills I would think.
 

scubadada

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@wetb4igetinthewater

For a short period, I dived an Aqua Lung Outlaw Aqualung Outlaw. There were several problems for me with this setup. One of the main problems was the integrated weight system. The Surelock weight pockets were way back, perpendicular to the tank. I was never quite sure the weights were locked, despite the "click" as no mechanism was visible. I was always afraid that something I swam through would pull the handle and release the weights. There was essentially no way one could release and then reinsert the weights underwater, particularly, the reinsert.

I have dived many times where I have had to hand up my weights and BC before boarding the RIB, I would have hated to do this with the Outlaw BC.
 

wetb4igetinthewater

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@wetb4igetinthewater

For a short period, I dived an Aqua Lung Outlaw Aqualung Outlaw. There were several problems for me with this setup. One of the main problems was the integrated weight system. The Surelock weight pockets were way back, perpendicular to the tank. I was never quite sure the weights were locked, despite the "click" as no mechanism was visible. I was always afraid that something I swam through would pull the handle and release the weights. There was essentially no way one could release and then reinsert the weights underwater, particularly, the reinsert.

I have dived many times where I have had to hand up my weights and BC before boarding the RIB, I would have hated to do this with the Outlaw BC.
So let's use a hypothetical scenario. Let's say you are an instructor in some tropical destination where you need the plane ticket home at the end of your contract (a common scenario).

If your dive center only provided these BCDs, what would you do regarding this skill?
 
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