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Catastrophic BCD Failure questions

Discussion in 'Buoyancy Compensators (BC's) and Weight Systems' started by Bill Toler, Oct 2, 2019.

  1. Soloist

    Soloist Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina
    I know, but “condemned to the depths of the abyss” has such a nice melodramatic ring to it! :) I am very curious if the OP was already in the process of ditching his gear out of panic or if the instructor thought this was a good idea. Regardless, from the details provided it appears the situation was handled poorly.
    lexvil likes this.
  2. OkByMe

    OkByMe Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Collierville, Tennessee, United States
    One other thing to consider... If the hose was extended, and the cable extended too, you need to consider a longer inflation pressure hose as well. When you pull on the dump valve hose and the pressure hose is too short, it will pull on the first stage preventing the cable from loading and opening the dump valve. All 3 of these things need to be addressed in addition to proper assembly. If they did not extend the cable, it will always pre-load the dump valve with the weight of the inflation valve assembly, causing it to burp air without you knowing it and giving you some buoyancy control issues you might not understand... not to mention wasting air by having to make up lost air. A short cable will not allow the longer inflation hose to relax to its' full extension ether which was the whole point of the modification.
  3. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    Equipment fails, inspection, maintenance, and replacement narrows the chance for catastrophic failure, of which this is an example. Unfortunately a new diver is at a disadvantage as the chance of being taught the fine points of gear inspection in OW is slim, and as you can see, even trained proffessionals make mistakes.

    Now that you know that people and gear are fallible, it should give you more reason to work on your gear inspection and emergency procedures.

    First on the list is to be properly weighted, this will minimize how negative you are initially. This makes easier to stay on the surface while you drop your weight belt. I'd probably only ditch my rig if I was had to make a long surface swim and the rig would impede its completion.

    johndiver999 likes this.
  4. shurite7

    shurite7 Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: MT

    It is very rare for zip ties to fail. Yet, I have seen them break. Perhaps only one was installed and it broke off sometime before the dive. The pictures and OP provide a narrative of what happened. They do not provide evidence of who is to blame. I'm not ruling out the zip ties were not used nor am I saying the OP is making an invalid presentation. I'm simply pointing out there is no definitive clear evidence to point a finger at. Not yet, a least.

    W W Meixner made a good statement:

  5. mac64

    mac64 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Ireland
    Can’t understand if the dump valves were fine why not slip the hose back on and pump the bc. If someone tried dumping my gear they’d could be found with some serious stab wounds.
  6. Angelo Farina

    Angelo Farina Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Parma, ITALY
    Of course your equipment can fail you. You should never thrust it too much. Any piece of gear may fail, and it will eventually fail, earlier or later.
    You should be prepared to the failure of some parts of your equipment: that's the reason for employing two regulators, as the regulator is what you depend on for breathing. Of course it is quite rare to see people with two BCDs...
    But time ago the BCD was an optional, and we did train people diving WITHOUT BCD for a number of dives, before training them to use it. So, when the BCD fails, you are back to the previous state, which you already master.
    In my opinion, one first should be safe in water and underwater with no equipment. No mask, no fins, no suit. Naked. You should be able to swim around and to dive to, say, 5 meters without anything.
    Then you get used to mask and fins (no snorkel yet), free diving to, say 10m, and master equalization of the ears, of the mask and of the other cavities in your head. And using properly your fins, of course.
    Third you need to use the snorkel, and to breath with face submerged, with and without mask.
    Then you go on, adding one piece of the equipment after the other. It takes a while before arriving to the point you wear everything is currently recommended for recreative diving...
    When I was certified, in 1975, the course was lasting 9 months... We had our first air bottle after 5 or 6 months!
    Now people gets certified in two days, and they wear everything since the beginning.
    Nowadays instead i see people who are carrying 50 kg of equipment, and who cannot survive it just one of 20 pieces of gear fails. This cannot be safe, in my opinion... Training must be done in steps, as explained above.
  7. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Orca

    Safe diving well depth for the 10 m platform is 5 m. That's the one I got to dive in a s kid. For the 5 m platform it's a mere 4 metres. That's what we have where I swim now: maybe 14 feet at the drain if you lift the mesh and stick a depth gauge inside. And that's actual diving wells: lap pools, community pools, etc. aren't even close.

    10 m? -- maybe if global warming hurries up and we all get to spend the rest of our lives in beachfront properties...
  8. Perryed

    Perryed Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Missouri
    Geez, all the OP had to do was ditch his weights. Doesn`t matter who or what was to blame. Loose the weights, problem solved. No one here is going to be able to assign responsibility.

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