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Use of the alternate regulator

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by TSandM, Aug 27, 2012.

Donation or self rescue -- which have you done more often?

  1. I've needed a reg for someone else more often than for myself; I use a standard rig.

    12 vote(s)
  2. I've needed a reg for someone else more often than for myself; I dive a bungied backup.

    21 vote(s)
  3. I've needed a reg for self-rescue more than donation; standard rig

    6 vote(s)
  4. I've needed a reg for self-rescue more than donation; bungied backup

    14 vote(s)
  5. I have never needed to use a backup reg for anybody.

    73 vote(s)
  1. diverrex

    diverrex Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: LA - North Hollywood
    I said I've never had to use my alternate which is true but half way through a recent dive I realized I had bit through one side of my mouthpiece but I continued the dive knowing I could hold it in my mouth just gripping the remaining good side and also knew I had my alternate if need be. On my safety stop I did switch for a while to my alternate to inspect my primary then switched back.
  2. spectrum

    spectrum Dive Bum Wannabe ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Atlantic Northeast (Maine)
    My alternate has had a lot of use over the years for various situations. For what it's worth I run a Sherwood standard yellow second stage on the LEFT hand side. Here it presents perfectly to a face to face diver and to one swimming on my left and it keeps them reasonably close.

    1) More than a handful of divers that signaled "turn" late came partway home on my air. In this configuration it's been easy assuming they had any reasonable buoyancy control. I wouldn't have wanted them wandering on a longer hose. My buddies are not always vetted.

    2) My wife is a power breather and if we want a long dive and she sees an imbalance she'll help level the playing field. She deploys, uses and stows on the fly.

    Every few dives I deploy my alternate and spend some time on it. I personally had use for it for the first time this past Saturday night. It was an evening dive and the light was dimming. I was a follower on this dive and as we approached the exit the leader broke into a frog kick. His new found wing span knocked the second from my mouth. When a quick sweep didn't find my primary I went for the sure thing, my alternate. I then found the primary swapped back and stowed the alternate all without breaking stride. Diver 3 following me somewhat to the side never noticed a thing.

  3. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    The last time I donated, I unscrewed my secondary from my primary and replaced my daughters secondary because it was freeflowing before the dive and she didn't want to dive her Air II or trust me to fix hers, so I dove my alternate.

    A couple of times I did have to buddy breathe, but it was before alternates were used.

    I do use my alternate on a regular basis when diving as one of my gear maintainance checks.

    Botton line, which should I check?

    I may be old, but I’m not dead yet.
  4. CT-Rich

    CT-Rich ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    I had my mouth piece rip most of the way off. I switched to my secondary and treated my primary as the back-up. Worked out great. It was the first time my secondary was ever used for anything other than a quick test.

    ---------- Post Merged at 10:23 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 10:23 PM ----------

    I had my mouth piece rip most of the way off. I switched to my secondary and treated my primary as the back-up. Worked out great. It was the first time my secondary was ever used for anything other than a quick test.
  5. maniago

    maniago PADI Pro

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Mid-Atlantic (MD)
    I'm a bit confused on the reason for the poll. What you've done with your secondary doesn't validate why you have one. A poll on "what is your intention with having a secondary" seems more appropriate wrt the OPs notation.

    Mine is there for whomever, whenever, for whatever its needed.
  6. koozemani

    koozemani Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Tucson, AZ
    Never gas to use it in a non training environment. But both my buddy and I use bungied backups.

    TONY CHANEY Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Mount Holly, NC
    Totally agree. When in rec. configuration I have given gas to a low on gas or OOG diver but in tec. gear I have (I think) have used it more for me.
  8. ajduplessis

    ajduplessis Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: dry land :-(
    I dive with a long hose and bungied backup. I have never been in an air sharing event in real life. Do I practice OOA drills, practice exiting a cave while sharing air, breathing of my backup at depth to really know how it performs. Then the answer is YES on nearly every dive. The backup is a vital peace of gear I check and maintain religiously even though the chances are slim in ever going to need it. I use a ATX40 or R295 as backup depending on the dive.
  9. bluekieran

    bluekieran Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: London
    My own interest in this question is due to the BSAC suggestion that your octo hose should come from the other side of your first stage than the first (assuming they both feed into the same side of the 2nd stage) so that it's the right way up to not breathe wet when your buddy is using it.

    This does however means if you need to use it, it's upside down and breathing wet - at least with many/most(?) regs. This puzzles me a bit as I'm sure when I was practicing air donation during my PADI OW, they told me to turn over the reg so it'd breathe dry, and I haven't tried out yet whether this is harder to do with my own octo.

    I should really write up a checklist of **** I want to try out/practice when I finally get underwater without training objectives to meet in limited time...
  10. jonnythan

    jonnythan Knight Scublar ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Upstate NY
    Interestingly, diving a long hose solves this problem. It's right side up for everyone.

    Anyway, I dive a long hose. I've never had a true emergency, but I have had a diaphragm tear slightly and make the reg wet. I've also used my primary to fill bags and whatnot, breathing off my backup while I did so. The only times I've donated have been during drills.

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