Frequency of advanced divers practicing CESAs ? [Poll]

Approximately how often have you practiced doing CESAs up till now ?

  • Never.

    Votes: 121 75.2%
  • A few times.

    Votes: 22 13.7%
  • About once every 5-10 years.

    Votes: 2 1.2%
  • About once every 2-4 years.

    Votes: 2 1.2%
  • About once a year.

    Votes: 4 2.5%
  • About once every 5-6 months

    Votes: 1 0.6%
  • About once every 3-4 months.

    Votes: 1 0.6%
  • About once every 1-2 months.

    Votes: 5 3.1%
  • More often then once a month.

    Votes: 3 1.9%

  • Total voters
    161

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northernone

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It's a mandatory skill according to the major dive instruction agencies for basic certification.

While I agree with planning it's an emergency skill that shouldn't be commonly used I'm not going advocate ignoring it or allowing myself to lose "mastery" of it.

With this in mind I regularly practice a controlled emergency swimming ascent whenever I've been dry a while (month or more without diving) or twice a year when diving regularly.

I no longer practice it from beyond recreational depths and now adhere to "modern" safe ascent rates.

Until CESA has been dropped from the agency's training manuals and no longer considered standard practice in our hobby I intend to keep my toolbox supplied with the normal abilities.

Cameron
 
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Roger Hobden

Roger Hobden

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It's a mandatory skill according to the major dive instruction agencies for basic certification. (...)
Until CESA has been dropped from the agency's training manuals and no longer considered standard practice in our hobby (...).

This (according to my inexperienced opinion) appears to be the key question that should probably be addressed: what are the pedagogical priorities within the core curriculum of these dive training agencies ?
 

Diving Dubai

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I never practice ish...

I once had to do one for real, it wasnt' that I was OOA - I had 2 full redundant supplies - I'd swallowed water (reason never established and my epiglottis had spasamsed shut)

I can assure you looking at 2 SPG's showing almost full and not being able to breath is probably worse that seeing empty ones (although the effect isn't the same)

As an instructor I have to teach CESA and have to do it. Great planning is taken by me to minimize the potential; effects - especially with multiple students.

And yes I hate CESA
 

johndiver999

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Practing a cesa has pretty much zero risk if performed
at the beginning of the first dive of the day and from a
Moderate depth.

All you have to do is ascend at a normal rate and slowly and continuously exhale. The is no more risk of dcs than a normal ascent or dive. The skill is probably useful in allowing the diver to remain calm and think of other options for a few moments before making a frantic run to the surface.

If during practice, the diver feels air starved or the ascent is going too fast, dump air, stop kicking and breathe and try it again another day.

In a real emergency a cesa or buoyant ascent is probably going to be made at an accelerated ascent rate and could be somewhat dangerous, especially if the diver is loaded with nitrogen or deep.
 

BoltSnap

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As a NAUI instructor, I am required to teach "CESA" to our "Scuba Diver" courses students. I do it per standards but don't like it at all. I wish that it will go away as "Buddy Breathing" went in the past.
 

The Chairman

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For the record, when I first learned how to dive I received no card. It was a Master Cheif in the Navy and he never got in the water with us. He told us what to do and we did it. We never did a CESA, but when I ran out of air, I swam like heck for the surface. Usually, that was due to the K valve lever being knocked down. It was intuitive and I learned to check that stupid valve a few times before I splashed.
 

boulderjohn

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According to a joint PADI/DAN study a few years ago, the number one reason for a dive fatality (other than medical events) was an air embolism following a rapid ascent following an OOG situation. In other words, the victim made an improper response to an OOG situation. Ideally the diver would not have run out of gas. The next proper choice was to go to a buddy to use the alternate gas source. The diver's last option was a CESA (or, worse, a buoyant ascent, which is nearly the same skill). In the fatalities, the divers failed to do the CSA properly, probably because of panic.

If you don't teach CESA, what will you expect your students to do if they get themselves in the situation where they need it?

Decades ago, before the advent of the SPG, the J-valve was popular, but it often did not work. I was not diving in that era, but ScubaBoard posts from those who did dive then said that he CESA was a very common means of ascent. It works--if it done properly. I have also talked with people who did CESA's in actual OOG situations, and they reported it was no problem for them. It apparently does not take a lot of practice.

What it apparently does require is enough confidence to believe that it will work so you will not panic and hold your breath. Start your ascent with that confidence, and you can make it to the surface safely from any recreational depth.
 

The Chairman

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If you don't teach CESA, what will you expect your students to do if they get themselves in the situation where they need it?
If you teach them right, they'll never need to do it. However, you do realize that everyone that died in that study had completed this skill in their OW training?

the J-valve was popular, but it often did not work.
I've never known them not working, but that the valve was put down into the full open position sometime during the dive. IOW, it was diver error. I had to do several CESAs in that era due to my mistake. Mind you, I had never learned how to do a proper CESA, but I certainly didn't panic. It's my belief that panic overrides training, even with well-taught skills.
What it apparently does require is enough confidence to believe that it will work
I disagree.
  • It often hurts the instructor over time with such repetition.
    • How many instructors have had to stop teaching due to the repetitive stress on their ears?
    • They are inherently dangerous
  • It sets a horrible, horrible example for the students
    • They want to dive like you and see you being a human yo-yo
  • The same skill can be taught horizontally.
 

boulderjohn

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As far as I know BSAC has never required this exercise to be practised.

As an Advanced Diver, I’m qualified to manage diving operations, be a rescue manager, undertake dives with mandatory deco stops, lead less qualified and trainee divers, plus a whole load of other diving related things like boat handling.
We have had discussions about this in the past, so what I am going to write next is based on my understanding of those discussions. If that understanding is incorrect, please correct it.

In those discussions, BSAC people said that BSAC requires divers to carry a redundant air source, making CESA unnecessary.

After one such discussion, I wrote to someone at BSAC who confirmed it. I asked what would happen if a BSAC diver somehow found himself or herself in an OOG situation without that redundant air source. He said that diver would have to do a CESA.
 
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