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OP, I think the issue here is that you don't know what you don't know. You can drown in a bathtub. I don't know how often this happens, but you can. If you don't know this is possible, you won't have any concern about falling asleep in the bath, which could easily lead to drowning, but if you're aware of this, you make sure to not fall asleep.
You can hurt yourself diving with compressed air in water as shallow as 5ft, half of the deepest you're planning to go for now. So you've figured out that you have to always keep breathing. Great, but what happens if your rig suddenly stops working or you get stuck somehow? Now what?
Dive training is supposed to enlighten you to the dangers you don't know about and how to deal with them. If you really don't want to go this route that many have already suggested, I hope you can at least find a local mentor who knows about these dangers and can help show you the ropes. Everybody here wants you to learn about the dangers and how to keep yourself safe, we just don't want you to learn about them the hard way. Unfortunately the way you seem to be approaching this suggests you're more likely to learn the hard way.
Thanks Jeff for giving a dose of reality to this conversation. Youre seeing here what you see on alot of internet boards, a new person asks a question, one guy says something then a bunch of followers pile on the "noob", kind of shows the maturity of people in general. Yes there is some danger, theres some danger diving at the YMCA, but this isnt one mans quest to reach the bottom of the sea. I think theres just some jealousy Im going to have a perfectly good time with my $500 Hookah setup.
I agree you are unlikely to hurt yourself if you stay at 10ft and don't hold your breath, but I think it is unwise to chalk up all of the words of caution you are hearing here to jealousy or some desire to beat up on the noob. As you said in a previous post, Doug makes a lot of sense and I agree with that completely -- the problem is that even if you start this in only 10ft in ideal circumstances, you will quickly want to move onto other situations that could get you in trouble (eg, moving currents in a river while distracted looking for gold). Someone else said you will get bored fast and I agree with that too. I know I would get bored quickly on the leash and for the same $500 you could get certified and have a much larger safety window to work with and not be tied to the surface like a dog. I simply think for what you will be able to safely do with it, the hookah is a waste of money compared to a certification, but its your money to spend as you see fit. Certainly, I'm not jealous of it and I'm not trying to sell you anything or trying to beat you up, so take this for what is worth. You came here for advice and you now have it; what you do with it is up to you. You seem set on this and that may very well be the right decision for you. I hope you enjoy it.
You should take an OW course for the reasons stated above. More importantly this will get you accustomed and somewhat comfortable in the water. They have already told you that holding your breath even at 10' could be fatal but knowing that will not help if you do not know what you are doing and panic. The first rule of diving is "If you panic you die". There are no exceptions to this rule. Beyond what has been said you are adding a further element of risk diving surface supplied that the sport divers do not understand. Diving surface supplied from a dock cleaning a boat in calm water is easy. Diving surface supply in a flowing river is far more complicated and potentially more dangerous then just sport diving. Just the choice of hardware you use to attach the umbilical to yourself could make the difference between you leaving the job in your car or an ambulance or a hearse. Sounds to me like you are going to do what you think is right regardless of what others have said. So explain to me why you bothered to ask in the first place?
Well its on the way and I got the perfect place to try it out, its right near where I used to go white water rafting. I already ordered my 50 lb weight belt as well. Dont worry you guys I know, hold your breath count to 10 yada yada yada. I dont know what your advice about solo dives was, but Im going solo so I dont have to have share my gold with anyone. Ill give you guys an update next week.
This brings to mind the potential problem or selling diving equipment to uneducated people, which is a growing trend due to the internet sales. Hookah Diving is, if not more, dangerous as SCUBA. I strongly believe that anyone considering using a hookah that they have atleast a basic OW card, and possible look at a specialty of surface supply air.
I believe there needs to be further education of the dangers of SSA and some system of proving that you are a diver before buying SCUBA equipment online.
Last edited by MMM; May 8th, 2012 at 12:49 AM.
Reason: reference to deleted content
Guys free dive beyond 10 feet, heck pools are deeper, I guess I dont see the issue. Seems alittle overblown...
Everyone that has gone through a basic Open Water course should understand that when breathing compressed air at depth, it's the last 5-10 feet that provides the most opportunity for a mistake or an incorrectly handled problem to cause injury or death.