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Best signalling equipment from the searchers point of view

Discussion in 'General Scuba Equipment Discussions' started by Navy OnStar, Dec 1, 2007.

  1. D_B

    D_B Kimber/TekDiveGirl storyteller and memory keeper ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
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    The distance a searcher is going to be able to see that is not going to very good .. you should investigate any of the links I posted as to thoughts/results of using a laser
     
  2. D_B

    D_B Kimber/TekDiveGirl storyteller and memory keeper ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
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    Reposting this to a good thread with important information so that others can gain from it.


    EVERYONE ... you need to save this, a very good, if long, read on rescue trials of signaling equipment conducted in real world conditions in the Scapa Flow ... How far can you see me? ... Diver location trials: Introduction

    And this .. Equipped to Survive ... Signaling.. EQUIPPED TO SURVIVE (tm) - SIGNALING GROUP ... and there is a treasure trove of good information in the rest of the site ... Survival Gear and Equipment Evaluations - EQUIPPED TO SURVIVE (tm)

    and this .. Radar Detectable SMB ....
    Quality Diving Equipment by Custom Divers - SEEKER - RADAR DETECTABLE SMB
     
  3. Scuba_Jenny

    Scuba_Jenny dirty-finned dive goddess ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
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    I skimmed the first article. Interesting conclusions. Should be noted however, that the article is from 1999, long before the advent of PLBs.
    The Equipped to Survive article was written in 2005. Good stuff.
     
  4. Rred

    Rred Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
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    FWIW-

    SOLAS refers to "Safety of Life at Sea" and can be found at
    International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974

    Basically it is a treaty backed by an international committee to set standards for safety equipment. If you are a boater and you buy marine rocket flares, they may cost 5x more if you buy the "SOLAS approved" ones. But those will be parachute flares, which have an incredibly greater visibility and other differences from the cheapies.

    With "SOLAS reflective tape" (available from 3M and others) the approved tape has a hexagonal pattern of reinforcement in it, very visible to the eye. It should also meets standards for how reflective it is, how flexible it is (purpose of the hexagonal grid) and how good the adhesive is. 3M makes these tapes in a variety of colors and sizes, eve in large sheet rolls for outdoor signage. If you buy "DOT conspicuity tape" that's the red-white-red-white stuff that is used to mark off tractor trailers, and it is often way the least expensive because of the larger market. And while not very flexible, it has a permanent adhesive.
     
  5. D_B

    D_B Kimber/TekDiveGirl storyteller and memory keeper ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
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    the important parts are the fact that they did it outside in real weather .. their data is one of the reasons I went with a florescent yellow SMB instead of an fluorescent red one
     
  6. Rred

    Rred Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: In a safe place
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    I think it was ISAF, now renamed "World Sailing" who conducted similar tests on high visibility colors for PFDs and other materials for man-overboard garments and markers some years ago. Their conclusion was that chartreuse, aka "hi viz lime green" was the best color when all sea conditions were considered, including time of day, since the setting/rising sun can make everything appear amber to red. Which is why the hoods on offshore foul-weather gear are often lime green, regardless of the rest of the garment color.
    Of course if BC's were made in bright colors again instead of black...SMB's might be less profitable. Or necessary.
     
    D_B likes this.
  7. D_B

    D_B Kimber/TekDiveGirl storyteller and memory keeper ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
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    a SMB can stick up above, and still be visible in waves
    I always carry mine, it's bungeed/tucked under my wing of my BC like I've seen some carry on BP & W
     
  8. Rred

    Rred Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: In a safe place
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    "a SMB can stick up"
    Of course it can.
    Then again, it can leak, fail, get lost, get torn off, get left home, be more clutter on the diver. Heck, rolled tightly mine is still bulkier than my octopus!
    So while the SMB may still have some advantages, a brightly colored BC, especially one with "shoulders" like a jacket, can't get lost, left home, all that good stuff. And it still presents a large mass of potentially high visibility "PFD" just like the SAR guys are used to looking for in boating mishaps.
    IOW, there's no burden, financial or otherwise, on the diver to wear one. Except, the entire industry has decided that you should not have the option of enhanced safety.
     
  9. D_B

    D_B Kimber/TekDiveGirl storyteller and memory keeper ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: San Diego, Ca.
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    I understand there is a lot of *you're not a serious diver if you're not wearing black* mentality prevalent but there are still plenty of color options in gear choice, rash guards, wetsuits, drysuits, head gear, fins, wings, straps .. that you could use in a way to be as visible as possible

    A small light, a signalling mirror, are inside my BC, a small BC knife on my strap, and the SMB is bungeed to the plate ... they do not take up room or count as much clutter, even when diving in kelp ... and along with a compass they are taken with me on every dive.

    SMB_bungee_1.jpg

    You have the option of taking signalling gear or not , there are many who do not and get by just fine .. that does not make it a prudent decision
     
    woodcarver likes this.
  10. Zeagle Eagle

    Zeagle Eagle Barracuda

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
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    My SMB has a strap on the bottom. I can put my foot in it and hug the top part and keep it upright fairly easily.
     
    D_B likes this.

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