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My question is if you were starting from scratch designing a protocol to address the out of air diver would it make sense to use your dive buddy?
The concept of redundancy for critical equipment in recreational diving breaks down with the rubber O-ring.
So, why not use a truly redundant system for recreational diving?
No reason at all ... and your dive shop will love you for it ...
Just make sure you get a redundant source that's adequate to your needs ... and establish protocols for assuring that the reg is accessible and usable if/when you need it.
Also keep in mind that a dive buddy provides more redundancy than just air ... assuming that you've both been properly trained and follow procedures for actually BEING a dive buddy, as opposed to just another person in the water at roughly the same place and time ...
It was just below freezing and snow was falling steadily. As we stepped toward that portal separating a cold and dreary world from the tranquility and wonder of another dimension teeming with life and color a passer-by shook his head and muttered "crazy". Poor fool. If he only knew. (Airsix)
If you plan to buddy dive you don't need to carry redundant gear for every dive. It costs more, slows you down and is a bit like driving around with an extra gas tank in your car. If you can't reach your buddy in time, either make dives you feel you can make a self-rescue or stay closer to your buddy. There are dives where doubles and stage bottles are required, or a rebreather, but for most recreational diving nothing more than a single tank and reg will suffice.
And there is always the issue of packing it for travel. It is not impossible but it means you will have to make some compromises that a good dive buddy (or other plan) would make unnecessary. OTOH, for deeper diving where travel weight is not an issue, I often carry a pony even when diving with a good buddy. It just gives us more options.