Lesson “confirmed” on certification dive

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SlugMug

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My current setup is uses the standard DIY bungee necklace, with a slight modification so it breaks away.

20210624_143148 - Copy.jpg


Steps:
  • You can tie & secure it as shown in fisheater's post.
  • Instead of being one piece, it's two pieces of bungee (or cut the bungee)
  • Insert the two ends through the "cord lock." You can buy them bulk for cheap, or steal one from a lanyard you're not using.
  • Tie only one end of the cord-lock.
When you pull hard enough, the non-tied end will slip through the cord-lock, while the knot on the other side prevents the cord-lock from being lost. The disadvantage of this setup is (1) that it's VERY difficult to reset underwater wearing gloves and (2) the cord-locks aren't 100% consistent with the amount of force required before it slips, meaning it occasionally slips too easily, or occasionally requires extra force to come free.

A better setup might involve magnets, but I need a decent source of inexpensive magnets, which can easily be tied to a cord. I've also considered velcro, but have noticed it's hard to get the right amount of velcro, and the amount of force is even more inconsistent (see #2) than the cord-lock.
 

DeltaWardog

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I'd also add you should be breathing off your octo before every dive to verify it is working properly. I don't see nearly enough people checking their alternate air source on the boat. I do the 'couple breaths watching SPG' check on BOTH of my regs before every dive. I've read stories in the scuba mags about people offering their octo to an OOA diver and the octo not working, or the mouthpiece coming off, or some other malfunction, resulting in panic and fatalities.
 

El Diablo

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Hi all,

Back awhile ago when I completed my first OW dive for my certification I had a minor incident that has been instructive to me over the years of diving.

I was in a group of 10 or so students. The instructor had us all go down to the bottom at about 15-20 feet. He would then have us practice out of air scenarios but we weren’t supposed to surface as part of the drill. Ok, sounds good. I go down to the bottom and am squatting comfortably and watching the instructor work with one buddy team at a time. Then the bite block part of my regulator tears off and I watch the stupid thing float away and I have just rubber in my teeth.

My first thought, and I can’t believe I remember it so vividly was “I would have thought there would be bigger bubbles coming out of the thing I was breathing”. Then I had two thoughts occur nearly instantly: I was out of air, and THE OCTO ON MY BUDDY HAS AIR. It’s probably because I happened to look right at it. Finally things slowed down and I realized I was only in 15 feet of water and I was plenty close to my buddy. I gave the out of air signal, took the octo from her, gave signal to surface and we went up. The instructor followed up pretty quickly to ask why we surfaced and we debriefed quickly and I continued the dive on my octo.

The lesson of the importance of a good buddy was cemented in my mind. My buddy was watching what happened and was right there to help. If I was out of air for real and my buddy was 30 feet off and we were deeper that would have sucked. I never let my buddy out of my vision for more than a few seconds. Ever. If I have a buddy off in his or her own little world I just follow them and enjoy the dive that way. I won’t ever let myself be outside of a comfortable swim from that octo.

The other lesson was the obvious: had I simply retrieved my octo I wouldn’t have had to ascend with my buddy. Now I make touching my octo a part of checking my console. I try to make it muscle memory during the dive, as much as I can.

I hope any part of this is instructive for someone like it was for me. I was damn glad to get this so early in my training, and in a way that didn’t put me in any danger.

Oh, and now I am building out my scuba kit (finally) and I will be adding a redundant air system ASAP. I thank those of you that have shared your thoughts on those systems.

I've seen that happen to a student when assisting on an OWD class, it was actually terrifying as with the bite piece in his mouth he basically thought the second stage was still there... I literally saw the reg detaching from the mouthpiece but in the 2-3 seconds it took me to react he had already inhaled water and immediately started coughing and drowning. Not funny although besides the big scare, nothing major happened and we still celebrated his certification the same day in the tavern :)
 
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Matt2401

Matt2401

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That is a good point! I caught a tank valve only partially opened during my pre-check and I usually do breathe off of both second stages but I will make it purposeful now.

Thank you for that information.

I'd also add you should be breathing off your octo before every dive to verify it is working properly. I don't see nearly enough people checking their alternate air source on the boat. I do the 'couple breaths watching SPG' check on BOTH of my regs before every dive. I've read stories in the scuba mags about people offering their octo to an OOA diver and the octo not working, or the mouthpiece coming off, or some other malfunction, resulting in panic and fatalities.
 

BlueTrin

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That is a good point! I caught a tank valve only partially opened during my pre-check and I usually do breathe off of both second stages but I will make it purposeful now.

Thank you for that information.
Because you mentioned that it was only partially opened: many people recommend to not do a quarter turn back anymore, so you have less chances to confuse a partially opened and partially closed valve.
 

fisheater

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Because you mentioned that it was only partially opened: many people recommend to not do a quarter turn back anymore, so you have less chances to confuse a partially opened and partially closed valve.

That includes Divers Alert Network.
 

SlugMug

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BLACKCRUSADER

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I'd also add you should be breathing off your octo before every dive to verify it is working properly. I don't see nearly enough people checking their alternate air source on the boat. I do the 'couple breaths watching SPG' check on BOTH of my regs before every dive. I've read stories in the scuba mags about people offering their octo to an OOA diver and the octo not working, or the mouthpiece coming off, or some other malfunction, resulting in panic and fatalities.

I will do a full dive on my secondary every 10 - 15 dives or so. Seen too many times when people went to let someone use their secondary and it wasn't working properly. If I have to use rental gear I use the secondary as it is rarely used so also much cleaner :)
 

SlugMug

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I will do a full dive on my secondary every 10 - 15 dives or so. Seen too many times when people went to let someone use their secondary and it wasn't working properly. If I have to use rental gear I use the secondary as it is rarely used so also much cleaner :)
Not to dive too off topic, but it always annoys me a little when people act like an "octo" is something completely different from a 2nd stage regulator. Sure, the octo is usually less expensive than the main & might be adjusted to avoid free-flow, but I generally keep mine fairly clean and ready to go. One of my sets of regulators has identical 2nd stages & the other has nearly-identical 2nd stages, just because it makes servicing easier.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

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