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Russian and Ukrainian snorkels

Discussion in 'History of Diving Gear' started by David Wilson, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle

    Thanks for your interest, guys! I promised to review an L-shaped snorkel in this posting from "back in the USSR", but first let me indulge in a little background information. Some time ago I placed a successful bid on eBay for a set of Soviet basic underwater swimming equipment:
    I have already showcased the dark green oval mask in my "Post-Soviet masks: Ukrainian models" thread in this forum, so I'll pass straight on to the cardboard box containing the two articles displayed in the picture above. The illustrations and text on the containers that commercial items came in can, of course, make excellent indicators of their provenance.

    In this case, the main illustration on the box was somewhat at odds with the appearance of the contents, particularly with reference to the shape of the snorkel mouthpiece. The text printed in white block capitals on a red background above that image reads "Снаряжение пловца‑ныряльщика", which translates into English along the lines of "swim-diving gear"; I'll settle for "underwater swimming equipment". Here's a close-up of the text under the misleading image: 5016938100_8.jpg
    The text reads as follows:


    ТУ 1-01-0520-78
    Артикул МО-049-420
    Цена 4 рубля 55 копеек
    Дата выпуска____________________
    Штамп ОТК______________________
    Завод «РЕСПИРАТОР»
    г. Орехово-Зуево Московской области

    My very rough English translation:

    TU 1-01-0520-78
    Article MO-049-420
    Price 4 roubles 55 kopecks
    Release date_____________________
    Quality control stamp ______________________
    "RESPIRATOR" Factory
    City of Orekhovo-Zuyevo, Moscow Region

    The "TU 1-01-0520-78" code may refer to the official specifications for this kit, while the "MO-049-420" is probably a stock code for the set. In the photo, the release date is stamped as 9-85, which I assume means September 1985. As for the factory named "Respirator", I refer you to my "Soviet masks: Russian models" thread that showcased one their masks with the buckles riveted to the body on both sides. Orekhovo-Zuyevo is an industrial city (administration building below, courtesy A.Savin (Wikimedia Commons · WikiPhotoSpace) located 85 kilometers (53 miles) east of Moscow in a forested area on the Klyazma River. Hopefully, the rest is clear.

    I've noticed similar online auctions for these boxed masks and snorkels. One of them on a Russian or Ukrainian site came with instructions that were either partly or fully displayed in the auction photographs:
    383674684_2_1000x700_maska-dlya-podvodnogo-plavaniya-fotografii 1.png 383674684_3_1000x700_maska-dlya-podvodnogo-plavaniya-vodnye-vidy-sporta 2.png
    My transcription of the above is as follows:



    1.1. Снаряжение пловца-ныряльщика защищает органы зрения и дыхания от воды и позволяет:
    — плавать на поверхности воды с опущенной в воду головой.
    — кратковременно погружаться в воду на глубину 5—6 метров, прекратив на это время дыхание, как при обычном нырянии без снаряжения.
    1.2. При наличии подводного ружья в фотоаппарата в специальном подводном контейнере снаряжение пловца-ныряльщика дает возможность вести охоту и фотографирование в воде.

    2.1. Данным снаряжением пловца-ныряльщика могут пользоваться умеющие плавать люди, а кратковременное погруженные из глубину 5—6 метров доступно опытным и физически натренированным для этого пловцам-ныряльщикам.

    3.1. Перед началом плавании необходимо:
    — внешним осмотром резиновой части маски убедиться в отсутствии на ней проколов и проверить исправностью креплений стекла и пряжек.
    — провести подгонку маски так, чтобы она плотно прилегало к лицу. Глубоким вдохом через нос убедиться в герметичность маски и ее прилегании.
    — проверить герметичность соединения загубника с дыхательной трубкой. Продуть дыхательную трубку и убедиться в свободном прохождением воздуха через нее.
    3.2. После проверки и подгонки снаряжения можно приступить к плаванию, для чего необходимо:
    — надеть маску, предварительно смочив ее воде для предотвращение запотевания стекла при плавания.
    — хомутик дыхательной трубки продеть под ремень маски и свободный конец, хомутика вновь одеть на трубку.
    — взять в рот загубник трубки так, чтобы выступы его были плотно прижаты зубами.
    3.3. Затем, войдя в водоем, лечь вниз лицом на воду и медленно, ритмично и глубоко дышать ртом. Убедившись в том, что маска не пропускает воду, дыхание не вызывает затруднений, можно приступить к плаванию.
    В процессе плавания и нырянии вода, попадающая в трубку, при всплытие на поверхность, легко выдувается резким выдохом.
    3.4. После плавания необходимо:
    — снять снаряжение (после плавания в морской воде обмыть пресной водой) и протереть его частой ветошью.
    3.5. Просушить снаряжение в тени, то есть, солнечные лучи разрушающе действуют на резину.

    4.1. Просушенное снаряжение переносить и хранить завернутым в бумагу или материю. При длительном хранения резиновую часть маски и загубник рекомендуется пересыпать тальком.

    And here is my tentative rendering into English:



    1.1. Underwater swimming equipment protects the organs of respiration from the water and allows the user to:
    — float on the surface of the water with the head downwards in the water.
    — submerge temporarily to a depth of 5-6 metres in the water, refraining from breathing at this time, as would be the case when diving without equipment.
    1.2. If a speargun or a camera in a special container is available, such equipment enables the underwater swimmer to hunt or photograph in the water.

    2.1. This underwater swimming equipment may be used by people who can swim and for a brief dive to a depth of 5-6 metres by underwater swimmers with the experience and physical training to do this.

    3.1. Before beginning to swim, the user must:
    — conduct a visual inspection of the rubber parts of the mask, verifying the absence of punctures and checking the lens and buckles are fastened securely.
    — adjust the mask for fit so that it fits snugly against the face. Breathe in deeply through the nose to ensure the mask is watertight and a good fit.
    — check that the connection between the snorkel mouthpiece and barrel is watertight. Purge the snorkel to ensure that air passes freely through it.
    3.2. To begin swimming after the equipment checks and adjustments, the user must:
    — put on the mask after wetting the lens with water to prevent fogging when swimming.
    — pass the snorkel keeper under the mask strap and put the free end back over the barrel.
    — insert the snorkel mouthpiece in the mouth, gripping the lugs tightly with the teeth.
    3.3. Then enter the water, lying face down in the water and taking slow, rhythmical and deep breaths through the mouth. After confirming that the mask is watertight and there are no breathing difficulties, swimming can begin.
    If water enters the snorkel while swimming and diving, swim to the surface. The water can be easily blown out by exhaling sharply.
    3.4. After swimming, the user must:
    — remove the equipment (washing it with freshwater after swimming in saltwater) and wipe it with a thick cloth.
    3.5. Dry the equipment in the shade, i.e. the sun’s rays have an adverse effect on rubber.

    4.1. When it has dried, wrap up the equipment in paper or cloth when transporting and storing it. During long-term storage, a sprinkling of talc is recommended for the rubber parts of the mask and the mouthpiece.

    I wonder whether these instructions are complete or whether there may be more pages that weren't photgraphed. Anyway, in my next message I'll focus my attention on the L-shaped snorkel that came with this cardboard box.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  2. tridacna

    tridacna ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: New Jersey
    David, what are the advantages/disadvantages of a U vs L shaped snorkels?
    David Wilson likes this.
  3. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle

    The US Divers Snork-L was one of the first snorkels around with an L-type configuration. Here's the article itself with an explanation of its function from the 1964 US Divers catalogue:
    So a comparison between a snorkel ending in a 90-degree bend with an offset mouthpiece and a snorkel ending in a 180-degree bend with a straight mouthpiece is seen to favour the former because (a) less water gets stuck in the bend, making it easier to blow it out and to breathe normally and (b) the mouthpiece can be rotated to any position for greater mouth comfort.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
    tridacna likes this.
  4. iamrushman

    iamrushman Great White

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: ft. lauderdale, florida
    The directions above seem quite in-depth. Jokingly; I don't think you would get those in-depth instructions with your common snorkeling kit from wal-mart....LOL.
    David Wilson likes this.
  5. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Regular of the Pub

    David Wilson likes this.
  6. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle

    I agree. The inclusion of such directions was a response by manufacturers of the time to new National Standards containing specifications relating to "health and safety". The underlying idea was that newcomers to underwater activity needed protection against themselves.

    The Soviets were not alone in this respect. In the UK, 1969 saw the introduction of a British Standard for masks and snorkels:

    One long-gone company, W. W. Haffenden of Sandwich in Kent, which made "Britmarine" fins, masks and snorkels, began enclosing safety instructions with its products in response to this British Standard:
    iamrushman likes this.
  7. David Wilson

    David Wilson Loggerhead Turtle

    Much bedtime reading and food for thought there, dmaziuk, and very helpful too.:)

    I had been trying for quite a while to work out the precise difference between GOST documents and TU documents. In particular, I've been looking for a document entitled "ТУ 89-023-79 (1979): Трубка дыхательная для пловцов-спортсменов. Технические условия. My rough translation: "Breathing tube for sports swimmers. Specifications". So far as I am aware, there were full GOST standards for masks and fins, but none for snorkels, just the TU 89-023-79 technical conditions.
  8. tridacna

    tridacna ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: New Jersey
    Remarkable just how little things have changed since then. Sound advice then and now. The quality of the English is also much better than the Chinenglish which so often accompanies new products.

    Keep it up! Really interesting stuff.
    David Wilson likes this.
  9. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Regular of the Pub

    Theoretically there should be TUs for every specific model of a mask and fin you've posted about.

    TU is the set of documentation that includes
    - requirements specification
    - acceptance testing methods and objectives,
    - shipping, storage, and operating instructions,
    - warranties.
    It is developed and agreed upon by the producer and the consumer, which back in the Soviet day meant a manufacturing entity, often their Design Bureau ("KB"), and "we the people" represented by some bureaucratic entity. Like, sovnarkhoz perhaps.

    GOST in general is a standard, not a set of documentation. In this case GOST is a standard for creating TUs. It defines when and why TU is developed, what parts it must contain, exact format of said parts, and the process by which the parties involved agree on the TU, and so on.

    I expect Soviets did not invent this and something along those lines exists in British and/or German engineering and manufacturing systems as well.
    David Wilson likes this.
  10. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Regular of the Pub

    PS. When you see a GOST stamp on a product, that is a statement of standard compliance. So it's similar to CE stamp in that sense.

    As I undersand it, CE mark indicates compliance with "applicable directives" whereas GOST stamp should include the exact number of the standard the product complies with. So once you start digging into details, GOST stamp is not quite like CE mark.
    David Wilson likes this.

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