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A Case for Spare Air

Discussion in 'Advanced Scuba Discussions' started by certainmisuse, Mar 28, 2019.

  1. BRT

    BRT Giant Squid

    Compressor, do you always dive with a redundant air source?
    Compressor likes this.
  2. wetb4igetinthewater

    wetb4igetinthewater Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Seattle
    My concern will never be lazy people. Look, some people are going to be lazy and waste their money on this product. That has no impact on me. I don’t think 6 Cu ft is sufficient for my level of risk. Everyone decides that for themselves. If someone wants to shoot out of the water like a Polaris missile, that is their choice.

    Fortunately equipment failures are exceedingly rare for properly maintained equipment.
  3. certainmisuse

    certainmisuse Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Atlanta GA
    Interesting account I have to share. Just now, I was watching a YouTube channel on fish aquariums and they took a trip to a Canadian aquarium to check out the exhibits. At some point in the video they caught a diver in the scene cleaning tanks by himself, and as it would happen ... yep, you guessed it, he had a Spare Air, clipped off on the chest ring.

  4. ReefHound

    ReefHound PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Houston, TX
    He probably doesn't need or want a redundant air supply for a 20' cleaning dive but regulations require it so he clips off the smallest most unobtrusive device that checks the box.
    markmud and Bob DBF like this.
  5. Compressor

    Compressor ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: NYS
    Almost always yes. But I count a willing and able buddy as redundant source. Of course it works both ways for my buddy.

    I’m trying to think when I don’t have a redundant source: very shallow dive (~10 feet) for a short dive. Rare.
    markmud and RyanT like this.
  6. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    I was curious, not lazy, and as it worked out, wasted my money. If I dove in different conditions, it would have met my needs at the time.

    Everyone chooses their level of risk, you would need a couple of Spare Airs to get 6 cuft.

    I've made a number of CESAs, and on another occasion, dropped a 30# weight belt and I never shot out of the water like a Polaris missile. Closest I came was buoyant ascent training in sub school, but the concept was to ascend from depth as fast as possible.

    And even when when it isn't maintained, from my experience.

    chillyinCanada and markmud like this.
  7. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives. ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
    Hi Compressor,

    Yeah, situational awareness is so critical. Keep your head on a swivel, and know the variables that mother nature is throwing at you, or could throw at you.
    Hi Bob,
    Your posts are spot on as usual.

    May I add to your phrase about risk: As a project manager when dealing with risk, we always scoped out assumptions. These always lead to "what if" debates. What if my assumptions prove to be false and an anomaly happens to me on this dive?

    Spare Airs have been marketed in a 6cf version for quite a while.

    So very true regarding failure rates and overall reliability of scuba gear:
    Did you attend the Fire Fighting School at Treasure (edited a day later--removed Mare) Island? I was there in 1978.

  8. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives. ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
    Hi Bob (again):

    You were USN. I was raised by an Naval Officer and fighter pilot. We fished for pelagic fish offshore while I was a kid (100 nm offshore). I went to various survival, firefighting schools, and Damage Control schools. I learned about the 100 sailors on Forrestal who did not do buddy checks and did not know to double check the OBA cannister to make sure it was 100% engaged in the OBA. Do you remember that little clip at the bottom that had to be engaged properly? I do because I had to do it correctly in total pitch black darkness before going into the smoke filled compartment and hanging out for 15 or 30 minutes.

    My dad knew we were fishing offshore with other people on their boats. He made a point of informally training us in survival. He was worried about us being lost at sea. His response was to push us into the water in winter and make us swim and practice getting our shoes off and using our pants for floatation. We learned the value of a Stearns Vest when operating vessels at sea while everyone else was asleep.

    And then I became a tug skipper.

    Here is my point:

    Have you and I been trained to a point that "panic" is not one of our primary responses? I keep reading that I will use ungodly amounts of gas if a "real OOA" situation occurs. "You know, you will suck that 13cf pony down in 20 seconds if your OOA is a real situation--son, you better sling a 40..."

    I feel that, you (Bob DBF), react well in SHTF situations. I doubt you would use 1/3 of your 19cf pony in a real OOA situation.

    Is it your nature, or your training, or both?

    Do you actually slow down and work methodically to resolve an issue?

    The statement, "slow is fast" isn't a cliché, is it?

    The size of ones pony or SA is a personal decision. A man/woman has got to know his limitations (that is a profound statement--it should be in a movie!).

  9. EFX

    EFX Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: North Central Florida
    Before I enter the water I always take a few breaths from each reg making sure they breath OK. If you do this with the SpareAir how many breaths will you have in an emergency? If you do this again on a later dive how many breaths will you have left? If you don't do this will it work in an emergency?

    I recommend every diver breathe from their secondary, either alternate or primary source, early in the dive to make sure everything works. If there's a problem abort the dive and fix it. Your life or your buddy's depends on it.
  10. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives. ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
    Hi EFX,

    Does the SA system come with a trans fill whip? Or, is that an optional item? If a diver has the trans fill option, they can test the SA all day long, right?

    I don't know how one would fill an SA. I would like to know the options.


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