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donning/doffing BPW with long hose procedure and balance

Discussion in 'Advanced Scuba Discussions' started by stepfen, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. 1atm

    1atm DIR Practitioner

    I understand where you are coming from. I don’t dive solo, so take this with a grain of salt ... but imho you might want to reconsider this strategy in case of entanglement.

    In my modest experience from cave diving, the best thing to do in case of entanglement is to stop immediately, think carefully and try and undo/reverse your last movement. Often that gets you free ... if not, its time to stop moving and let your buddy fix it. If you dont have a buddy, I suppose its knife time. I see your point that you might be entangled where you cant reach, but you might cut the net where you can reach?

    What I’m trying to say: once you’re entangled, in my experience you should try to move as little as possible to not make a bad situation worse. Trying to take off the rig, could get you even more entangled than before. But maybe that’s cave mindset and your dive environment is different...?
  2. Storker

    Storker ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: close to a Hell which occasionally freezes over
    No worries.

    In that case, I'd avoid doffing if at all possible. My rig is noticeably negative while I'm under water, so if I were to take off my rig, I'd be equally noticeably positive. And I really don't want more weight on my belt, so moving weight from my rig to my belt isn't particularly attractive.
  3. BlueTrin

    BlueTrin ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: London
    I have tried to remove my wing midwater in a pool and never realised that I had so much difference in buoyancy until then between my body and my BCD.

    Since I put all my weights on my BCD, I become positively buoyant as soon as I remove my BCD.

    This is an interesting thread and thanks for posting the videos @MichaelMc
  4. TrimixToo

    TrimixToo Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New York State
    My weight harness balances the positive buoyancy of the suit, the wing the negative buoyancy of the (LP steel) tanks. The rig and I can be independently neutral, which helps D/D considerably. I don't want to get tangled up inside a wreck and have to manage differential buoyancy at the same time I deal with the entanglement. That said, I have never failed to cut myself out of an entanglement when backing up doesn't work without having to doff and don, and I hope I never will. But I want to be able to do it, just in case.
  5. Dan_P

    Dan_P DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Scandinavia
    I'd make sure to confirm first that the harness is set right for you.
    You should be able to put a closed fist inbetween your chest and the harness, with the hand positioning so the distance made equals across your palm.

    In case of entanglement, I wouldn't advice taking off the equipment as a standard response. It'll bring about a very real risk of making the problem bigger by further entanglement.
    I personally haven't a use ready on hand for removing the harness mid-water, but I don't pursue solo diving so maybe I missed something inside that arena, in fairness.
    BlueTrin and chillyinCanada like this.
  6. johndiver999

    johndiver999 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Gainesville FL
    So the idea being put forth is if entangled and can not quickly resolve, then start cutting rather than remove the scuba unit and actually look at the problem?

    This makes the major assumption that the problem is something that can be cut and it also assumes that the diver can effectively and safely cut behind their head blindly.

    I personally would remove the scuba unit and try to disentangle and then possibly cut as necessary. Obviously if you have gotten yourself in such a tight situation that removal of the tank is prevented, then you are in a serious situation and would need to do something else.

    In short, I plan on removing the scuba unit before cutting blindly.
  7. stepfen

    stepfen ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Greece
    Several good replies above - thanks!
    As usual, I think the answer to the question if doffing/donning your gear underwater is the right action is "it depends on the situation".

    For example if the problem is fishing nets usually any extra move makes things worst, hence I wouldn't consider it at first. If I'm caught by nets I would first try to move back and away from them, get my shears and cut any entanglements. If that is not possible or successful then I'll have to consider the situation and I want to have removal of gear as an option. Worst case (depending on depth/time etc of course) remove the gear and bye bye (CESA).

    Now if it is a single string/line/wire/whatever that might get caught for example around my 1st stage again the first action would be to try cut it (if possible), but then removing the bpw to have a look at it and try to remove the entanglement sounds more favorable.

    In anyway as I said I don't think it is something that would happen regularly (I hope), but I feel much better if I am somewhat prepared for it.

    I also forgot to mention that I am not interested in passing through any type of restrictions (cave/wrecks etc) especially tight ones as I am a bit claustrophobic. There the skill sounds indeed useful but I'm simply not interested in these.

    As I do quite a lot of macro photography though it has happened a couple of times that I get focused on tiny things so much that I do miss noticing big and potentially dangerous things around me. As I get more used to it my situational awareness improves but just in case I'd better be prepared for the worst.

    Thanks again for all the replies.
  8. Storker

    Storker ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: close to a Hell which occasionally freezes over
    This is something I've never been able to understand. I brought a camera on my first post-cert dive, but already then I was adamant that my shooting should never influence my diving. I more or less succeed with that.

    Perhaps that's why my shots are rather mediocre...
    Griffo likes this.

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