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  • 1 Post By windapp

Thread: Drift diving Safety

 


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    beaverdivers's Avatar
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    Drift diving Safety

    Should divemaster's or divers doing drift diving in location's like Cozumel have a Nautilus Lifeline or a similar device?









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    Absolutely.
    You should also have a pony bottle in case your regulator fails, and a carbon monoxide detector to to test the air in your cylinder every time it is filled.
    However, before spending my safety dollars on such a device, I would spend a little extra money to dive with a reputable operation that does proper roll calls so I don't get left behind, and a good SMB with radar reflective tape.
    danvolker likes this.

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    randy88k5's Avatar
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    I would say no, from my limited experience in Cozumel. In the general tourist areas, you do not drift far enough away from the boat where it would be necessary, in my opinion. The boat operators seem to be able to follow the bubble trail very well. I believe in the recent accidents in Cozumel, it is generally accepted that the divers never surfaced or surfaced unconscious and sank without being noticed. I think a SMB and attentive crew experienced in drift diving should be enough for most locations.

    It's already hard enough to get O2 available on boats in some dive locations, a radio or EPIRB would be much more difficult to get.

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    I guess we have to look at the track record for Cozumel. How many incidents have there been whee divers have needed such a device? Where does it end. How much are you willing to carry in addition to the normal safety gear. Should everyone have an SMB in Cozumel? I personally think so. They are cheap and take up almost no space. If we take this same thought process and carry it to other areas of our life, we would all have a dephibrilator in our cars in case someone had a heart attack and be trained in how to use it. Life itself is a risk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by beaverdivers View Post
    Should divemaster's or divers doing drift diving in location's like Cozumel have a Nautilus Lifeline or a similar device?
    I think this is the ultimate solution for you in cozumel, or any other drift dive environment.
    SPORASUB BLUE WATER INFLATABLE FLOAT This is what I use, and this torpedo concept has been used by WKPP deep ocean divers on 289 foot deep drift tech dives in 5 mph currents, flawlessly for almost 2 decades. With this one, or most shown, you need to create a towing harness, so the torpedo will run straight on the suraface, and distribute the weight from your line pulling on it.... I used an old dive flag staff( thin but strong fiberglass rod ) and have it running the full length under the float, and the line I pull connects to the bottom of this and rod about 1/3 of the way back from the front. If you don't configure like this, the float can nose dive from being tied to the very front end of the float--fine if it is being used to slow down a speared fish, but not good for scuba divers :-)

    You actually feel almost no pull at all with this float, very unlike any float used by any charter boats. I have a easy to use reel, to let the line out, and before jumping in, you let out about 20 to 50 feet of line, while the boat is still going at it's setting up speed of around 7 mph or so.....Related to this low drag issue, try having the boat go 16 to 25 mph, and dropping a standard dive flag or dive ball in the water at this speed, and see if the line is not ripped out of your hands, or you end up getting pulled in--with the torpedo, even at 20mph the pull is insignificant, and can't even be compared to the drag of normal dive flags....
    The point being, this is comfortable and easy to tow around...you let out the minimum line possible, to avoid tangling yourself--you want the line as close to vertical as you csn get, without it pulling you up, messing with your buoyancy.
    It needs little scope, as it has such small drag.

    Deflate for flying, inflate before diving. Sell it at a profit to the mexicans on your leaving :-)


    In relation to the OP question, if this is not apparent - if i have been too obtuse..... The boat will see where you are, where you are headed, easily, even at huge distances and in enormous seas much bigger than a cozumel operator will take you out in..... Another bonus is that on the surface, you have an awesome buoyancy and zero drag swimming device :-)
    Regards,
    Dan Volker
    South Florida Dive Journal SFDJ.COM & www.facebook.com/WILD.DIVING

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