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What is too much safety !!!

Discussion in 'Advanced Scuba' started by shark_tamer, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. shark_tamer

    shark_tamer Photographer

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Montreal, Canada
    754
    3
    While getting our gear on, preparing for a dive on a charter, one newbie diver across the boat looks at me and asks:

    What's all the gear for and why so much ?


    My gear includes an 8 foot hose, a pony bottle, a safety sausage, a knife, a whistle, a shaker....

    I explained to him what every component is for and why I dive with all that gear.

    He then replied :

    One day someone is gonna find you drowned, all tangled in all this excessive gear !!


    He then had me thinking. I asked my instructor at my LDS the question and he gave me a very good answer.



    I am throwing this one at you ScubaBoarders!


    What is too much safety/back up gear for no-deco recreational diving, and where do we stop ?


    :coffee: ( This one should be pretty interesting !!! )
     
  2. divestoclimb

    divestoclimb Rebreather Pilot

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Bethesda, MD
    206
    0
    1. You're carrying more than you need for OW rec diving

    In my ocean no-deco dives I would carry the sausage, a spool, whistle attached to sausage, and knife. 7 ft hose would only be if I'm diving with no students and I usually forgo it on ocean single-tank dives. If I were to dive with a pony, I would side-mount it and pass it off to a diver in need of gas, thus the 7 foot hose would be unnecessary. My recommendation is to choose one or the other there. I think a shaker is useless; IMO if your buddy is so clueless that you can't get his attention some other way, he's not going to recognize what that gravelly noise is that he's hearing (I've seen this happen with other divers).

    However...

    2. It's not about what you carry, it's about how you carry it.

    If your gear is streamlined properly and you're used to it, it's not a big deal how much you're carrying unless you're unhappy with your air consumption or you find the weight of the gear out of water to be a hassle. If stuff is dangling off of you and could get entangled, or if you have a hard time deploying and using an item in your kit when you need it, I would consider cutting back and practicing on using the items you really need. Once you get those down pat you can put the other gear back (if you want) in a way that doesn't interfere with the basic stuff and doesn't pose a major entanglement hazard.
     
  3. vaq

    vaq ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New Hampshire
    38
    0
    I don't think you can be too safe unless the gear creates a hazard. I dive a similar config less the shaker. I was recently coming up the line off a wreck (New England waters, 45 degree temp, 3 foot waves at the surface), when the mooring line snapped at 45ft. I let go not knowing what snapped or where, and made a controlled ascent to the surface. By the time I surfaced, I was 100 yards from the boat. Crew was looking for divers and spotted me only aflter I blew my whistle, then inflated the safety sausage (they commented it made it much easier to keep an eye on me for the 15 minutes I was in the water and also stated had a tougher time with two divers that didn't have or deploy a sausage). Also, I surfaced with just over 500psi and decided since I was going to be in the water a while, and was bouncing up and down in the swells, to keep a reg in so I switched to the pony. Pretty much by the book and went a long way in keeping me confident and calm. Now I also carry a float bag and thumb spool to deploy if something similar happens again, to ensure a proper ascent and safety stop. (All by the way, tucked into the pockets in my dry suit. Stuff happens, be prepared......
     
  4. Walter

    Walter Instructor, Scuba

    18,583
    337
    Trade the shaker for a buddy line, they have 1001 uses...
     
  5. rstofer

    rstofer Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Northern California
    2,199
    5
    I would start with the position that my buddy is NOT my backup plan. If you can carry the gear (in the water) and it's streamlined, I don't think I would care what another diver said. You might be HIS backup plan but don't let him become yours.

    Self-reliance is the goal. In fact, were I younger, I would be looking into the solo diver training. In fact, every agency should be teaching solo diving. OW, AOW, Solo; that works for me! You can either take care of yourself or you die. Pretty simple...

    Richard
     
  6. texdiveguy

    texdiveguy Contributor Rest in Peace

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: DFW,Texas
    6,965
    26
    Dump the silly shaker thing!!
     
  7. Sas

    Sas Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    7,599
    225
    What is a shaker? :confused:
     
  8. shark_tamer

    shark_tamer Photographer

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Montreal, Canada
    754
    3
    That's 2 against the shaker.

    85% of my diving is done while on vacation in the Carribean, and usually dive in group of 10 divers or so.

    The shaker is not for signaling my buddy ( I make sure he's/she's right next to me !! ) but if I ever have to signal the DM in charge of the dive.:D

    :shakehead: I'm not shaker happy
     
  9. DaleC

    DaleC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Leftcoast of Canada
    4,981
    2,325
    My safety gear includes: My common sense, side slung pony, sausage, whistle, two cutting tools (knife and shears) and a B/U flashlight. I also have a compass (is it safety gear or just standard gear?) and for deeper dives I might carry a b/u mask in my drysuit pocket.

    I don't know if a long hose counts as safety gear (per se) as much as just a different regulator configuration. I use a 5' primary with bungied B/U myself.
     
  10. nereas

    nereas Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Expat Floridian travelling in the Land of Eternal
    2,735
    6
    By "whistle" I hope you mean a DiveAlert LP pressure horn, and not one of those cheap plastic worthless things, right?

    Also, I think the shaker is a waste, because I don't like someone else making noise underwater while I am diving.

    I am not sure you need a pony bottle either, if you can ESA, and as long as you keep your buoyancy neutral, because then one or two kicks and up you go!

    The 8 ft hose is a great idea, if you (1) drive a DPV or (2) you want really good buddy separation when you share air. Because it's not like you are going into a shipwreck or cave with a single tank on, right?

    The SMB and the knife are great ideas.


    Here is my own list for boat diving:

    Snorkel
    Spare mask
    Knife
    SMB & spool
    DiveAlert LP hose horn
    Flares inside a flashlight housing

    Here is my list for beach diving:

    Snorkel
    Spare mask
    Knife
    SMB & spool
    DiveAlert LP hose horn

    Here is my cave diving list:

    2 of everything (tanks, regs, manifold, computers, knives, masks, etc.)
    7+ft hose
    No snorkel
    No flares
    No SMB & spool
    No DiveAlert LP hose horn
    Several reels and markers

    Here is my shipwreck penetration list:

    2 of everything (tanks, regs, manifold, computers, knives, masks, etc.)
    7+ft hose
    Snorkel
    SMB
    DiveAlert LP hose horn
    Flares inside a flashlight housing
    Several reels
    No markers

    :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2008

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