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Can I dive without an octo?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by alex_can_dive, Jun 17, 2021.

  1. alex_can_dive

    alex_can_dive Contributor

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Massachusetts
    My octo broke and is being fixed(probably takes a week or two):(.
    Can I go without it for week or two?(is it illegal or something?)
  2. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    Illegal, no. Good idea? Absolutely not.

    You dive with buddies, correct? What if one of them went OOA? You’re probably not trained in buddy breathing. Or what if something happens to your primary? You’d have nothing to switch to. Boat charters very well might not let you dive without one.

    Best idea would be to rent or borrow one.
  3. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    Buy another second, solve the issue now and later.

    If I was buddy diving, I wouldn't dive without a second second stage because it is rare that anyone would know how to buddy breathe. If I was solo, no big deal.
  4. Scuba-74

    Scuba-74 Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Longmeadow, Massachusetts
    if you have to ask these types of questions - definitely not.
  5. 2airishuman

    2airishuman Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Greater Minnesota
    Sure, do what you want. There are no scuba police except the ones in your head.

    Secondaries can be rented, borrowed, purchased, etc.

    Most of my dives are solo dives.

    Even on solo dives I have a secondary, except in some very unusual situations*. In waters frequented by divers, I never really know when I'll encounter someone else who is diving. Looking at OOA (out of air) accidents/incident statistics, in a substantial number of cases a diver unknown to the OOA diver shared air.

    If I encountered an OOA diver and was unable to share air with them, well, that is a sequence of events that I would not soon forget.

    * I do sometimes dive a minimalist rig with no BC or secondary for things like hull maintenance on my boat, where depths are shallow and there are no other divers in the area.
    markmud, Marie13 and Bob DBF like this.
  6. GreggS

    GreggS Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Thomasville, NC
    OMG, NOOO!!! All will be lost and yo will DIE!!

    Seriously, though, I'm fairly certain there is no law against it, and while not the best of ideas, it is doable. But consider the possibilities. What if your primary should malfunction while diving? Without an octo or other secondary, your only choice is to grab your buddy's octo. No great big deal, right? Ascend and end the dive as quickly but safely as possible.

    Okay, what if during your dive your buddy should not be paying attention to his gauges and runs out of air? Now his octo is useless to both of you. Your only choice is to buddy breathe. It appears you are just beginning in diving. Do you think you would have the composure and ability to pass a secondary between the 2 of you while ascending without one or both of you holding your breath and suffering a barotrauma?

    In the early days of diving, octos were unheard of. Watch a few episodes of Sea Hunt and there's not an octo in sight. But in the end, it's your choice. You don't say where or what type of diving you'd be doing without it. If it is a quarry or lake where you won't be going very deep I might would take the chance. After all, how often do we have to use our secondary air source? If it's a deeper dive in the ocean, I would probably err on the side of caution and wait until my octo is repaired.
    alex_can_dive likes this.
  7. alex_can_dive

    alex_can_dive Contributor

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Massachusetts
    So I dive with buddies (plural - 2 of them). It’s unlikely both of them would be OOA at the same time, no? :D
  8. Jayfarmlaw

    Jayfarmlaw Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tuttle, Ok
    Can you? Yes.

    Should you? No, especially as a new diver.

    What could possibly go wrong??? You'll probably be fine..... it's not like anyone ever dies Scuba diving. Oh wait.....nevermind.

    The buddy system has killed lots of divers too.

    You might want to take up bowling for a couple,of weeks or ask the shop for a loaner while your octo is down.

    Pkishino, Jay Adams and alex_can_dive like this.
  9. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    Diving with even 2 buddies I would say wait 'til your octo works--rare, but there may be a situation where only you can donate air. If solo, it's not a big deal. It's always nice to know it's there in case you need to "retrieve the reg" as in the pool OW skill. -- Has anyone ever really done that? I suppose so.
    My reg hose broke and while it was getting repaired I dived with my pony bottle reg (no octo, of course), but that was only to a max of 30 feet, so detailed gauges were not needed.
    Cdncoldwater likes this.
  10. ginti

    ginti DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lyon, France
    You never know.

    Usually, when diving, we plan for only one major problem. However, with gas sharing, I tend to be conservative, because you can get OOA as a consequence of other problems. I give you a crazy example:

    One buddy get entangled, you go to help him, but the third one doesn't see you and continues his dive. After a bit, you manage to free your friends, but due to stress your friend is out of air.

    I can build so many stories like this, and although these scenarios are unlikely, they are not impossible at all. Go to the website "scubadivingmagazine.com" and look for the "lessons for life", you will see many of these unlikely stories (all of them are real).

    You are diving rec in warm water, right? Any octo will serve you well, just rent one.
    alex_can_dive likes this.

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