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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2airishuman

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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.

You mean a J valve lever? K valves don't have levers...
 

Edward3c

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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.
First, BSAC teach alternate source take in an OOG situation, there should always be a buddy available. Pony cylinders are recommended, not mandatory. I dive with many who only have the one cylinder. CESA is covered in theory lessons, but not practiced - for the reasons mentioned earlier.
 

boulderjohn

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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?
Yep, and in my opinion, it was not taught well. I have written about this before, but IMO, the way it is commonly taught (horizontal in the pool) contributes to it not being done properly. Teaching it the way we do violates one of the most most important rules in performance instruction (as in athletic coaching)--you need to make your practice as "gamelike" as possible, and if you don't, it can lead to poor performance in the actual "game."
  1. The instruction for it (at least with PADI) does not include the fundamental fact that the tank is NOT out of air. It is just too deep for the regulator to deliver what little air is left. Once the diver is in shallower water, at least a little air will become available. The diver can get air while inhaling on the way to the surface, assuming the regulator is in the mouth. In proper performance instruction, we would reward the student for having the good sense to inhale near the end of the ascent. Instead, we punish them for it. They have failed the exercise and must repeat it. We thus not only don't tell them the truth about the air supply, we reinforce the belief that they will not gt anything. In real life incidents, many divers discard their supposedly useless regulators.
  2. The PADI standards call for a diver to cover 30 feet horizontally at a "normal" ascent rate of 60 FPM. That means it would take 30 seconds to cover that distance. When I was instructor certified, we were told emphatically that the key was the 30 feet--don't obsess over the time. If they do it in 20 seconds, fine. Just don't let them sprint. However, when I was a DM and and AI assisting classes, most of the instructors insisted on taking something close to 30 seconds. It is really, really, really hard to exhale for 30 seconds on a horizontal swim. It is much, much easier on a vertical ascent, while getting the benefit of the expanding air. Thus, the horizontal CESA teaches the students this lesson--it is too hard. In a real life event, you probably won't make it. That is a lesson that will lead to panic and breath-holding.

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.
We are talking about two entirely different things. I was talking about what is necessary for a diver in an actual OOG situation to make it to the surface. You are talking about something entirely different.
 

Dirty-Dog

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The instruction for it (at least with PADI) does not include the fundamental fact that the tank is NOT out of air. It is just too deep for the regulator to deliver what little air is left. Once the diver is in shallower water, at least a little air will become available. The diver can get air while inhaling on the way to the surface, assuming the regulator is in the mouth.

Mine did. Oh my ghad! You're telling me we violated standards???? :wink:
 

boulderjohn

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Mine did. Oh my ghad! You're telling me we violated standards???? :wink:
No, it is not a violation of standards to teach this. I sure did. It is just not part of the regular instructional material. I would, in fact, guess that many instructors do not know it is true.
 

Dirty-Dog

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No, it is not a violation of standards to teach this. I sure did. It is just not part of the regular instructional material. I would, in fact, guess that many instructors do not know it is true.

That final statement does not speak highly of the knowledge base of PADI instructors...
 

The Chairman

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You are talking about something entirely different.
I thought we were discussing CESAs. My points were about teaching CESAs. What were you discussing?

With the advent of the SPG in my dive gear (@2000), I have never, ever run out of air. I don't think I've ever heard of any of my students running out of air, either. Before I put an SPG on my kit I probably ran out of air a half dozen times. Well, I ran out of air a lot, but reached to my left butt and pulled the rod attached to my k-valve. Then I usually had air. Usually. During those half a dozen times, my ascent was rapid... I mean ICBM fast. I don't care how many times it happens, or how many times you've trained for it, when you run out of air with no buddy around, you fly to the surface. Almost like my life depended on it.
 

Akimbo

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I practice free ascents, with gear and second stage out of my mouth but in hand at least once a year. The minimum depth over the last decade or so has been between 120 and 140'. I was trained to do free ascents in my first Scuba class in 1962 and in the US Navy. I am NOT recommending this for anyone who is not trained to do them.
 

boulderjohn

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I thought we were discussing CESAs. My points were about teaching CESAs. What were you discussing?
In reference to the fact that OOG divers too often die during an OOG response because they apparently hold their breath while doing a panicked ascent, I wrote "What it apparently does require is enough confidence to believe that it will work."

You quoted that sentence and disagreed, apparently believing that an OOG diver does not have to have enough confidence to believe it will work. You supported your disagreement by saying that teaching CESAs is hard on an instructor, it is not good for students to see instructors teaching CESAs, and the skill can be taught horizontally.

I realize I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I am having trouble seeing how those points demonstrate that an OOG diver does not need to have the confidence that doing the CESA will bring him or her to the surface alive.
 
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