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Harness or No Harness

Discussion in 'Public Safety Divers/Search and Rescue' started by Waterdog Diver, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. Waterdog Diver

    Waterdog Diver Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Georgia, USA
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    I would like to know if there are any PSD teams that do not use (require) a harness when diving.
     
  2. ditch-diver

    ditch-diver Instructor, Scuba

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    Here in Canada, if the dive is such that a life line is used (one diver in the water, confined space dives...) a diver MUST wear a harness. If it is a free swimming PSD dive, they do not.
     
  3. BladesRobinson

    BladesRobinson ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I am unaware of any agency today that suggests that the diver "hand hold" a search line. Because tethered diving is the the standard, so are chest harnesses and this is what is taught by the PSD training agencies. The exception would be when conditions allow AND require a two diver down system.
     
  4. oneshotshooter

    oneshotshooter Dive Charter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Cambridge, MN
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    I was fortunate enough to have my open water check out dive with the head of NAUI Tech diving. So my gear configuration started out with a back plate & wings, streamed lined, and came with a built in harness.

    I am surprised that more public safety divers don't adopt the technical gear configuration. It has served me well. I am our counties dive team leader. If you dive a back plate and wings with a complete harness, an additional harness is not required. As a matter of fact, it really gets in the way and screws up the whole system. I have various D. rings that are all Inc. into my dive gear configuration. Adding extra D. rings and bulk makes it difficult to find what I am looking for in a zero visibility environment. Not to mention the added drag when diving in current.
     
  5. todd_18

    todd_18 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: North Ogden, Utah, United States
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    The main reason for using a harness that is NOT integrated into your BC is that if you have to ditch for whatever reason, you are still tethered.
     
  6. bridgediver

    bridgediver Instructor, Scuba

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  7. muddiver

    muddiver Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: West Coast USA
    2,630
    104
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    I get the impression that oneshotshooter does not understand that a safety harness is expected to be capable of holding the diver when either a strain from current or lifting of the diver is encountered. It is not a "where do I hang this tool" harness as most technical divers need. Thus I agree with bridgediver and his failed atempt to mess the two systems.

    Until some one makes a scuba back pack with a Navy MK 20/21 or a bell type harness integrated into it. The two will most probably stay as two seporate items that a fully trained PSD diver will be dealing with.
     
  8. oneshotshooter

    oneshotshooter Dive Charter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Cambridge, MN
    133
    30
    28
    I am not attaching to a ring on a BC. My full body harness is capable of lifting me with my gear on. Maybe you are not familiar with the type of harness that goes along with the back plate and wings. For me, the two work as one.

    I understand people always say that you need a harness in case you need to ditch your gear. Why would I ditch my gear?
     
  9. bridgediver

    bridgediver Instructor, Scuba

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    Not speaking for mud but I know of the harness you speak and it doesn't work as well for a tether point. A seperate harness will place the tether point where it needs to be for PSD; up high on the front, lower chest (or level with the solarplexus), slightly offset from middle (there is an optimum spot unless you enjoy having the tether line getting tangled in your legs all the time). It also needs to be attached "to the body" so that the diver can easily feel the tugs - tenders shouldn't have to yank so hard that it actaully pulls the whole diver off course (don't laugh, it happens!).
    I haven't seen a BCD or a BP/wing set-up that will place the tether point in the right spot.
    Personally I'd hate get get lifted out by it unless I'm unconcious and they'd probably need a crane or winch to do it (tanks, weights and all)!

    Other problems I've found is that they (BP harness) don't work well with a weightbelt. I can't rapidly ditch the weights if I need to and it doesn't ride fit very comfortably or securely. Ditching weights rapidly for PSD is fairly important as a lot of us tend to dive severely overweighted (right or wrong). Don't get me started on integrated weights haha
    And the biggie for me (sorry, Mark:D). The back inflate system will always tend to tip you forward or face down in the water. A good thing if you're underwater, free swimming but if you're working on the surface with a victim it may be a liability

    All that aside there is a remote possibility that a diver will need to ditch gear, pull the redundant bottle and surface if he is fouled so bad. We really would rather not risk loosing contact with the diver if this was to occur. Don't forget that the PSD environment is usually more entanglement rich than any other diving environment and he may be alone (no buddy diving).
    I can think of at least 1 incident in NJ where a diver got so badly tangled in a drift net that he had to pull his redundant supply and ditch the rest.

    The harnesses we use are very basic and you really don't realize you have it on (many divers have tried to take their DS off before realizing their harness was still on:D- they fit that well). And they don't cost much. You don't need fancy, expensive climbing harnesses for PSD.

    I also understand where you're coming from with streamlining, drag etc but for PSD it isn't a factor as we're plodding along through the muck anyway. Not a whole lot of midwater swimming unless you've got the benefit of a few feet of vis.

    Anyway, just trying to help. Like I said I thought there had to be a way too but after 10+ yrs of doing both types of diving I've given it up and just bring the right hat
     
  10. oneshotshooter

    oneshotshooter Dive Charter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Cambridge, MN
    133
    30
    28
    if that's the case, I would be happy that it was attached to my gear. One less entanglement and a way for me to recover my gear. :wink: , where do you guys carry your redundant air?
     

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