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my new BC gave me a big headache !

Discussion in 'Buoyancy Compensators (BC's) and Weight Systems' started by Ali.Q8, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. Ali.Q8

    Ali.Q8 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Kuwait
    31
    0
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    I received my new BC - the Mares Dragon AT .

    I love every feature of it and it fits my torso very well and is very comfortable.

    during a dive last week. and im so thankful that i was just at 10m depth. suddenly i began an uncontrolled asscent ! while struggling to maintain my depth i noticed one of those weight pockets missing. It had fell without me noticing and I don't remember bumping into anything..

    a buddy found that pocket for me and there was nothing defective about it .. its scaring me now. when i was diving this week i kept my hands on the pockets :shakehead:

    anyone had a similar issue?
     
  2. bamamedic

    bamamedic Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Somewhere between "hold my beer and watch this!" a
    1,251
    6
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    I'm not familiar with that particular BC, but my friend had a Mares BC...and the pockets just kind of "clicked" into place with a plastic clip...is it possible that it wasn't quite clipped in properly to start with?
     
  3. rstofer

    rstofer Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Northern California
    2,199
    4
    0
    There is anecdotal evidence that integrated weight pockets do fall out and it isn't nearly as uncommon as it should be.

    It is particularly a problem on older BCs where Velcro was the primary retaining mechanism. Sooner or later the Velcro fails.

    The plastic buckle retention system can work better but sometimes the buckle isn't latched properly.

    In any event, take your BC back to the LDS (if possible) and see if they think it should be sent to Mares for evaluation/repair. Mares has a good reputation for customer service.

    Personally, and this is just me, I wouldn't dive a BC that I wasn't absolutely certain would function properly. I don't know about water temperature in Kuwait so I can't guess the weight but for cold water diving, losing a weight pocket could be catastrophic.

    That, and I believe that integrated weights are only suitable for warm water diving where there may be perhaps 5# per pocket. If I need more weight than that (and I do since I dive cold water), I would carry my weight in a DUI Weight & Trim Classic harness.

    Richard
     
  4. Jeff Toorish

    Jeff Toorish Instructor, Scuba

    1,518
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    Try this --click the pockets into place and then remove them each several times. Try to pull them out once they are in place.

    If you can pull them out, there is a problem.

    I'm thinking most likely, your weight pocket was not secure in place.

    Jeff
     
  5. imwright1985

    imwright1985 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: West Palm Beach, FLorida
    567
    9
    0
    jeff has it, dont remember how exactly the dragon's weights are, but know a friend of mine dives one and hasnt had a problem like that
     
  6. Ali.Q8

    Ali.Q8 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Kuwait
    31
    0
    0
    thanks for the inputs guys, now when I think about it, I did insert those pockets while the BC was inflated. and that may made it difficult to fully insert the pocket to the clips to click on both sides.. I don't really know. but during the last dive I did try to pull them off without using the eject handle and they were secured pretty well.

    oh , and the water here? well my computer registered 32C at start of dive and 31C during the dive ! so I would call that HOT instead of warm :D
     
  7. consta

    consta Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Romania
    11
    0
    0
    Hi Ali,

    I have experienced the same problem as yours with a "Mares Vector 1000 MRS Plus" jacket three times while I was on a trip to the Red Sea this spring. One of my weight pockets fell off three times on two different dives at 20m+ depth so i decided to switch back to the weight belt.

    It was a hard lesson for me to learn, but I managed to get to the bottom (purging air, strong kick and getting some help from my buddies) and collect my pocket. After the last incident, i had both my hands on the pockets until the end of the dive and I was really pissed off by this.

    The plastic buckle is connected to the weight pocket by two webbing straps. From what I've seen later while washing the jacket, one of the pockets (the faulty one) had one of the webbing straps loose, so the pocket could slide more then when having both straps in place out of the jacket, press on the buckle and then fall to the bottom of the sea.

    I believe this might have happened due to a lead weight kicking the webbing strap on the interior of the pocket, although the Mares Engineers :)mooner:) should have thought about this safety issue. I had only 2 x 2kg lead weights in each of the pockets at that time, so you can't say I had put too much of it.

    HTH

    Later Edit: Losing pockets, along with other disadvantages of the jackets convinced me to go for a bp/w setup (of course, from DSS) :eyebrow:

    //Sorin
     
  8. Diver0001

    Diver0001 Instructor, Scuba

    0
    48
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    I'm glad you're ok.

    Question: how much weight did you have in them and how much weight were your carrying in total?

    R..
     
  9. Ali.Q8

    Ali.Q8 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Kuwait
    31
    0
    0
    consta: those pockets in this dragon BC are secured with Clips, dunno if vector uses the same, there's a red handle in front that when pulled will compress locking edges and release the pockets. I have tried so many times to pull those pockets by force not by pulling the handles and they are quiete secure. and I guess I really need to make sure that the clips really CLICKED when inserting them, and only do so when the BC is fully deflated. ..

    btw. what is bp/w setup and dds ? :)

    Diver0001: thankyou, was a new thing i experienced .... i'v had 3 + 2lb leads on each pocket (total 10lb)
     
  10. consta

    consta Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Romania
    11
    0
    0
    Hi Ali,

    BP/W is an acronym for Backplate and Wing (Backplate and wing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    DSS is a BP/W supplier and Tobin (the owner) is a very active member of Scubaboard.

    On the subject, can you please check the interior of both weight pockets to see if there's anything wrong with the webbing straps?

    //Sorin
     

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