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Frequency of advanced divers practicing CESAs ? [Poll]

Discussion in 'Advanced Scuba Discussions' started by Roger Hobden, Sep 27, 2018.

Approximately how often have you practiced doing CESAs up till now ?

  1. Never.

    119 vote(s)
  2. A few times.

    22 vote(s)
  3. About once every 5-10 years.

    2 vote(s)
  4. About once every 2-4 years.

    2 vote(s)
  5. About once a year.

    4 vote(s)
  6. About once every 5-6 months

    1 vote(s)
  7. About once every 3-4 months.

    1 vote(s)
  8. About once every 1-2 months.

    5 vote(s)
  9. More often then once a month.

    3 vote(s)
  1. TMHeimer

    TMHeimer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dartmouth,NS,Canada(Eastern Passage-Atlantic)
    I agree with you that having the confidence that doing a CESA will bring you to the surface alive is important. That may be another reason why I practice it.

    KenGordon, And what if the two failures do manage to happen? Your answer is you drown?
    In my case solo, one failure, since I don't carry my pony for a 30' dive.
  2. Trace Malinowski

    Trace Malinowski Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Alexandria Bay, NY
    I tend to only do CESA's vertically when teaching open water classes and only practice them when demonstrating or performing the skill with students. I like to do CESA's from the 15 foot stop as if divers find themselves running out of gas while attempting a safety stop.

    I practice horizontal OOG swims in tech classes. The distance varies according to class standards, but 50 feet is the maximum distance I usually employ to build confidence yet prove the point that swimming to get gas sucks.

    When I learned to dive, PDIC's open water training demanded that any time we removed the regulator from the mouth we would make a humming sound to create an automatic behavioral response which eventually was employed during the emergency ascent. We didn't do reg in ascents because of the risk of inhaling air while traveling too fast resulting in a lung overexpansion injury.

    1) Remove reg and begin to hum
    2) Remove and ditch weight system
    3) Look toward the surface and swim up while continuing to hum
    4) Flare out around 30 feet and drift up as slowly as your momentum allows
  3. KenGordon

    KenGordon Rebreather Pilot

    My answer is still drowning. For your solo dive you ought to take a pony but you have decided to take the risk of drowning or a barotrauma. That is up to you but don’t be selling the fantasy that a direct ascent without gas is a solution.
  4. Preach

    Preach Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Nederland
    The cesa is learned in OW classes. Beginners that just start diving mostly stay very shallow. On top of that they don't have redundant gear (1 tank, 1 first stage). Also the chance they dive with other beginners with not the best situational/buddy awareness is high and they are not very good with gas planning yet. The cesa makes sense in this situation.
    But since the question is mostly for advanced divers the situation changes a lot. An advanced diver should be able to make adequate gas planning, also the situational/buddy awareness should be a lot higher. If you dive with redundant gear and decent buddy's the cesa becomes useless.
    Try doing a cesa when only 5 feet below the surface in a cave, you wont survive. Or when diving on a wreck 200 feet down.

    You should plan so, that you never even come close to having to use something like a cesa.
    2airishuman likes this.
  5. rhwestfall

    rhwestfall Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: "La Grande Ile"
    In 30 years, I have done 3 that were practice. First was part of my YMCA OW cert (horizontal), second was a few years later where a DM and I went over some skills (vertical from 30'), and the third was part of a NAU MSD (about 20'). No plans do intentionally do one as practice again....

    And, in all this time, I have never needed to actually do one....
  6. lowviz

    lowviz Solo Diver ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern Delaware or the New Jersey Turnpike
    I feel the need to respond.

    I once held the very same view. My PSD instructor put that soundly to rest with a simple exercise. I was face down in two feet of water. Fin as hard as possible for 30 seconds and then go to your backup secondary.

    I would suggest that you try this drill.
  7. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    According to DAN, active instructors have the highest incidence of DCS among divers.
    Ken, if they were given the power of control in their classes, then neither would happen. It's not hard, but instructors have to make a commitment to turn out divers who are in control of their depth with a modicum of situational and buddy awareness.
    Blueringocto_73 likes this.
  8. jvogt

    jvogt Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Lakewood, CO USA
    Last weekend I went for some dives in our locally training area. Being we are at the edge of "diveable" weather here, it was packed. One shop must have had 20 students at the site. Every student I spoke with was planning to go on a shop trip to Cozumel in February. I would be willing to bet that for most of those students, their very first dive out of OW will be >80'. Maybe even >100'.
  9. Kharon

    Kharon Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Upstate NY
    Something I don't understand about gas planning. I know how to do it, but, if you are keeping track of your air and you are getting low earlier than expected (in other words, plan blown) don't you abandon the plan and head for the exit? To my way of thinking, gas monitoring trumps (sorry, no other word quite fits) gas planning.
  10. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    First of all, if your lungs are full enough to cause a lung expansion injury, you cannot inhale. If you have the ability to inhale while ascending, it is safe to do so.

    Next, a UHMS study of dive fatalities a couple of decades ago identified the CESA as the number one cause of instruction-related injuries, and the removal of the regulator was the primary reason for it. When the students inhaled, the got water, and that began the drowning process.

    Finally, as I pointed out earlier, as you ascend to shallower depths and lesser ambient pressures, the regulator will once again be able to give you air. That will only happen, though, if the regulator is in the mouth.

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